1986 …2019
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Personal profile

Personal profile

Dr. Sivapalan's research has focused on making predictions in ungauged basins, increasingly in the context of human-induced environmental changes. A basic aim of his research has been to understand observed space-time variability of rainfall-runoff processes at a wide range of scales, including their extremes, and to interpret these in terms of underlying climate-soil-vegetation-topography interactions. Increased focus on hydrologic change has led him to launch the new sub-field of socio-hydrology that aims to explore the dynamic feedbacks between social and hydrological systems lying at the heart of the many critically important water management challenges. Dr. Sivapalan is especially keen towards ensuring that advances in predictions based on socio-hydrologic understanding are used to address acute water management challenges in developing countries where resources are scarce and social and environmental vulnerabilities are intertwined. He has led major efforts towards developing an international network of scientists to address critical water management challenges in the emergent Anthropocene.



  • Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Princeton University
  • M.A., Civil Engineering, Princeton University
  • M.Eng., Water Resources Engineering, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand
  • B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka

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catchment Earth & Environmental Sciences
runoff Earth & Environmental Sciences
water budget Earth & Environmental Sciences
rainfall Earth & Environmental Sciences
modeling Earth & Environmental Sciences
hydrology Earth & Environmental Sciences
climate Earth & Environmental Sciences
hillslope Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Research Output 1986 2019

An Urban Sociohydrologic Model for Exploration of Beijing's Water Sustainability Challenges and Solution Spaces

Li, B., Sivapalan, M. & Xu, X., Jan 1 2019, In : Water Resources Research. 55, 7, p. 5918-5940 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

water management
water demand

Dynamics and driving mechanisms of asymmetric human water consumption during alternating wet and dry periods

Tian, F., Lu, Y., Hu, H., Kinzelbach, W. & Sivapalan, M., Apr 4 2019, In : Hydrological Sciences Journal. 64, 5, p. 507-524 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

arid region
sustainable development
river basin

Expanding the Scope and Foundation of Sociohydrology as the Science of Coupled Human-Water Systems

Konar, M., Garcia, M., Sanderson, M. R., Yu, D. J. & Sivapalan, M., Jan 1 2019, In : Water Resources Research.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

hydrological hazard
water economics

Sociohydrology: Scientific Challenges in Addressing the Sustainable Development Goals

Di Baldassarre, G., Sivapalan, M., Rusca, M., Cudennec, C., Garcia, M., Kreibich, H., Konar, M., Mondino, E., Mård, J., Pande, S., Sanderson, M. R., Tian, F., Viglione, A., Wei, J., Wei, Y., Yu, D. J., Srinivasan, V. & Blöschl, G., Aug 1 2019, In : Water Resources Research. 55, 8, p. 6327-6355 29 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
sustainable development
water resource
power relations
hydrological regime

Temporal and spatial signatures of sediment transport at the watershed scale: An approach to understand the behavior of the watershed

Liu, D., Tian, F., Li, H., Lu, H., Lin, M. & Sivapalan, M., Jan 1 2019, In : Tecnologia y Ciencias del Agua. 10, 4, p. 18-45 28 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Sediment transport
sediment transport

Honors & Recognition

PSIPW Creativity Prize

Murugesu Sivapalan (Recipient) & Günter Blöschl (Recipient), 2018


drinking water