Photo of Professor David Grey

Professor David Grey

Visiting Professor

Professor David Grey has almost 40 years experience worldwide in inter-sectoral water assessment, management and development. He is a water practitioner, policy analyst, researcher and writer who has lived and worked for extended periods in Africa, Asia, Europe and the USA. He is now a visiting professor at the universities of Exeter and Oxford while continuing to work with many governments around the world on water security issues. Professor Grey was a water specialist at the World Bank for 26 years to 2009, becoming its Senior Water Advisor with responsibility for corporate water policies and advisory oversight of the water community and the portfolio of water resources, irrigation, water supply and sanitation and hydropower.

He has had many affiliations over his career, including as Manager of the UNDP-World Bank Water and Sanitation Programme, Chair of the World Bank's Water Resources Management Group, Board member of the World Water Council, founding member of the Water and Sanitation Collaborative Council and member of its Preparatory Committee, and a founding partner of the Global Water Partnership. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society. Major current activities include: membership of an International Panel of Experts for the Mekong River Commission and an Advisory Panel for the World Bank's Ganges Strategic Assessment; advising the UN on negotiations on the Euphrates-Tigris River; and a leading role in an international policy and research partnership on water security.

Research interests

Water Resources

  • Development of the 'water security' paradigm; analysis of the roles that water insecurity plays in poverty, environmental degradation and dispute and water security plays in economic growth
  • Analysis of the risks that climate and other change mean for water security, livelihoods and environmental sustainability
  • Institutional and incentive structures for improving water management
  • Global dimensions of water security resulting from spillover and other effects of water-related actions and events; the consequent need for global frameworks for policy and action.

International Water Resources

  • Institutional, economic, political and legal drivers of cooperation
  • Development of the 'benefit sharing' paradigm; analysis of the role that benefit sharing can play in resolving inter-jurisdictional water disputes at all levels
  • Strategic basin assessments of costs and benefits of cooperation alternatives

Water Services

  • Institutional and incentive structures for improving the performance of water supply and sanitation institutions, including urban utilities and community management
  • Other political economy issues, including barriers to irrigation productivity and sharing benefits of hydropower development with affected people

Other information

Selected Publications