We created this site as part of a larger project to build a research community which will draw together multiple perspectives on the most pernicious water issues of our time, and the role of water in human societies. Human solutions focus on the interface between institutions/policy/practice.  As a Middle East Studies Center, our goal is to bring contextual knowledge of our region to these discussions, and develop a framework for integrating other world regions into a global picture of water resource issues. For example, case studies on cross-border conflict and cooperation, such as those in the Euphrates river region, might provide insights into water policy that would transfer to other regions.

Another purpose of this project is to look at local contexts of water insecurity and to learn from best practices for local management.  We are seeking to build a research community that will draw together multiple perspectives on the most pernicious water issues of our time, and the role of water in human societies. To do this we will host forums to discuss some of the most pernicious water issues of our time, and the role of water in human societies. In exploring diverse world regions, we will consider cultural contexts for human-centered solutions, including old traditions and technologies for water conservation in addition to the latest break-through technologies. Considering the gravity of climate change, a major paradigm shift may be needed. Please see u.osu.edu/h2oresearch


The directors of the area studies centers of the Office of International Affairs met in the summer of 2013 to discuss how we could connect to STEM topics while continuing to build on successes of the past. We landed on the global water crisis with an emphasis on river basins around the world. We convened a meeting with faculty from departments across campus to discuss the Global Water Crisis. In 2016 the Middle East Studies Center hosted a workshop on Euphrates Tigris Water Issues. The workshop resulted in the e-book, “Euphrates Tigris Water Resource Issues”.  We would like to continue this work we began with the Euphrates-Tigris Initiative for Cooperation (ETIC) and its leader, Aysegül Kibaroglu on Tigris-Euphrates Transboundary Water Issues (her support letter and an update on her current research, here).

Middle East Studies Center’s role:

  • facilitating teamwork and events
  • capturing and sharing multidisciplinary conversations
  • supporting grant proposals

Middle East Studies Center Strategy: Host multi-disciplinary forums to identify shared interests and forge projects. Support projects by organizing teamwork, proposal writing, and maintaining regular communications. See more on our approach to the related activities. 

Short-term outcomes:

  • initiating projects focused on water resource management that take local funds of knowledge into account around the world.
  • Demonstrating connections between humanities, social sciences and “hard” sciences to draw together to benefit from diverse perspectives.
  • curating marketable stories to engage students and the public


Long-term Objectives:

  • Create research communities around water issues, participate in new communities of practice, both global and particular to certain regions of the world.
  • Host a global water conference to establish OSU’s identity and clarify our role and contribution to solving the global water crisis.
  • Impact curriculum with courses and eventually degree programs.



  • Make the knowledge production process visible,
  • accountability to students and the common good,
  • open-source results and openness to partnership, meaning curating widely accessible and understandable information.