The Indus basin is a global climate change hotspot, characterized by a rapidly growing population and strong economic development. This is associated with an exponential increase in water and energy demands. Given the arid climate in the densely populated and heavily irrigated plains and the geopolitical tensions between the riparian states, the road towards achieving the SDGs for water, energy and food is extremely challenging.

In SustaIndus, we will develop sustainable pathways that support decision makers and practitioners to develop science-based policy and climate–smart solutions to provide food (SDG 2), water (SDG 6) and energy (SDG 7) to all people in the Indus basin now and in the future.

To this end we will: (i) establish how the water-food-energy supply and demand may evolve in the future and translate global SDGs into quantifiable Indus Basin Development Goals (IDGs), (ii) develop, test and assess climate-smart technologies to conserve or generate energy and optimize water use and food production and to quantify potential for basin-wide upscaling, (iii) quantify the synergies and trade-offs between water, food and energy related IDGs, (iv) develop sustainable pathways consisting of optimal mixes of adaptation measures aimed at reaching the IDGs in a changing climate. (iv) Put the research into use by promoting climate-smart technologies to practitioners and promoting the developed pathways to key decision makers and practitioners.

The achieve these object SustaIndus brings together world leading research groups on glacier hydrology, water resources and waterenergy-food systems from Utrecht University and Wageningen University and two excellent regional research organisations. ICIMOD is the regional institute on mountain and water resources research and PARC is the primary agricultural research institute in Pakistan.  To facilitate the co-creation process and to ensure uptake of our research results by key stakeholders, the consortium is complemented with two partners specialized in knowledge uptake, communication, and policy influencing: The Climate Adaptation Services foundation (CAS) and NGO Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD).

Organization Country
Main applicant 1 Utrecht University The Netherlands
Main applicant 2 Wageningen University & Research The Netherlands
Co-applicant International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development Nepal
Co-applicant Pakistan Agricultural Research Council Pakistan
Co-applicant Leadership for Environment and Development Pakistan
Co-applicant Climate Adaptation Services foundation The Netherlands