Barbara van Koppen, a principal researcher based in IWMI’s Pretoria office has been appointed to the board of the South African government’s Water Research Commission (WRC). A rural sociologist by background, van Koppen is a specialist in poverty and gender.Her recent research has included investigating the potential of multiple use water services in Africa and Asia and the relationship between water law, human rights and water access.
“It is a great honour for me to be appointed to the board of the WRC,” she says. “South Africa is reaching a critical period in its development and the demands on scarce water resources are growing fast. We need to ensure that water management research benefits the poorest of South Africa’s citizens who have so often been excluded in the past. I am very fortunate that there is a superb team of researchers at IWMI on whose vast experience I can draw to make this appointment a success.”
The Water Research Commission was set up by the South African government in 1971 to support sustainable development through research funding, knowledge creation and dissemination. Currently, parts of South Africa are under threat of a lack of sufficient water, while water quality and availability issues are becoming more acute. The WRC funds critical research on water issues to ensure water for all, quality of life, and a sustainable environment.