UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources



Design and Assessment of water-energy-food-environment Mega Systems.

ludington pumped storage

16 August 2021

Key Facts

  • Funding body: UK Research and Innovation Economic and Social Research Council
  • Project duration: 3 year programme - Dec 2018 - Dec 2021
  • The Team: The programme is consortium of over 30 researchers, led by The University of Manchester (Global Development Institute) and the International Institute for Environment & Development. Our interdisciplinary team is made up of research institutions from across the UK, as well as the case study regions in East Africa, Ghana, Myanmar, Jordan and India.


FutureDAMS is an interdisciplinary research consortium working to improve the planning and governance of integrated water-energy-food-environment systems. The project is developing the knowledge base, tools and approach to enable system interventions to better support resilient and sustainable development in a warming world.
FutureDAMS is co-developing a decision-making framework and online integrated assessment toolset with institutional and case study partners. 

Our aim is to create a new framework for integrated system decision making seeking to enable effective design of complex systems. The proposed approach will use innovative and appropriate climate and hydrological science, engineering, economic, political-science and social analytical methods to assist in the development of water-energy-food-environment interventions that have high social and economic value, despite uncertainties about the future.

FutureDAMS is co-developing a state-of-the-art online integrated assessment modelling toolset for assessing and optimising system designs. Factors to be explored include alternative operating regimes, locations and sizes of new infrastructure, trade-offs and synergies between alternatives and links with wider regional energy, food and economic production, and ecological and social systems. The online software suite will facilitate collaborative working between diverse groups such as local, national and regional stakeholder and sectoral groups, investors, planners, consultants and academics.
The FutureDAMS decision-making framework and analytical toolset is being co-developed with partners in Myanmar, the Volta basin (West Africa), and the Nile basin and East Africa.

  • Journals:
    Nechifor and Winning. 2019. Global crop output and irrigation water requirements under a changing climate. Heliyon 5:3, e01266.
  • Working papers:
    Nechifor et al. 2021. Financing national scale energy projects in developing countries - An economy-wide evaluation of Ghana’s Bui Dam. Under revision.
  • Models:
    InvestCGE: is a  dynamic-recursive, single-country CGE model that assess the economy-wide impacts of investment and operation of infrastructure projects. InvestCGE is tailored to reflect direct, indirect and induced impacts of infrastructure investment across infrastructure project construction, financing, and operation.
  • University of Manchester
  • University of Cambridge
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Southampton
  • Newcastle University
  • UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology
  • Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (Ghana)
  • University of Ghana
  • Yangon Technological University (Myanmar)
  • Myanmar Rector’s Committee
  • East Africa Power Pool
  • Nile Basin Initiative
  • Methods for Irrigation and Agriculture (Jordan)
  • Institute of Economic Growth (India)
  • International Water Management Institute

Photo Source 

Ludington pumped storage