Robert Varady
Robert Varady
Research Professor of Environmental Policy, and of Arid Lands Studies, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
Adjunct Professor, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences
Past Director, Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
(520) 626-4393
PhD, Modern History, The University of Arizona, 1981


Robert Varady is research professor of environmental policy and past director at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at The University of Arizona. He is also a research professor of arid lands studies, and adjunct professor of hydrology and atmospheric sciences. Varady obtained his Ph.D. in 1981 in modern history from The University of Arizona, and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from the City College of New York and the Polytechnic Institute of NYU, respectively. At the Udall Center since 1989, Varady has examined environmental and water-management governance and policy in arid regions—with a cross-border emphasis. He has studied transboundary water security and aquifer governance and has been a consultant to UNESCO and FAO the GEF-FAO global groundwater governance project. Varady has more than 200 publications on environmental history and policy and is past president of the International Water History Association (IWHA).

Selected Citations: 

Merideth, R., and R. G. Varady. 2016. Gilbert Fowler White. In Oxford Bibliographies in Environmental Science, Ed. Ellen Wohl. New York: Oxford University Press. 22pp.

Ocampo-Melgar, A., S. Vicuña, J. Gironás-León, R. G. Varady, and C. A. Scott. 2016. Scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders plan for climate change:  A promising approach in Chile’s Maipo basin. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development 58, 5 (Sept.-Oct.): 24-37.

Wilder, M. O., I. Aguilar-Barajas; N. Pineda-Pablos, R. G. Varady, S. M. Megdal, J. McEvoy, R. Merideth, A. A. Zúñiga-Terán, and C. A. Scott. 2016. Desalination and water security in the US–Mexico border region: assessing the social, environmental and political impacts. Water International 41, 5: 756-75.

Sugg, Z., R. G. Varady, A. K. Gerlak, and R. de Grenade. 2015. Transboundary groundwater governance in the Guarani Aquifer System: Reflections from a survey of global and regional experts. Water International 40, 3: 377–400.

Varady, R. G., F. van Weert, S. B. Megdal, A. Gerlak, C. Abdalla Iskandar, and L. House-Peters, with major editing by E. D. McGovern. 2013.  GEF-FAO Groundwater Governance Project: A Global Framework for Country Action. Thematic Paper No. 5: Groundwater Policy and Governance. Rome (April 2013): Global Environment Facility-FAO. 47 pp. Online

Varady, R. G., A. K. Gerlak, and E. D. McGovern. 2014. Hydrosolidarity and its place in international water diplomacy. In Hydro Diplomacy: Sharing Water Across Borders, ed. by G. Pangare. Bangkok: IUCN. pp. 23-31.

Megdal, S. B., A. K. Gerlak, R. G. Varady, and L.-Y. Huang. 2015. Groundwater governance in the United States: Common priorities and challenges. Groundwater 52, 1: 1-8.

Scott, C. A., F. J. Meza, R. G. Varady, H. Tiessen, J. McEvoy, G. M. Garfin, L. M. Farfán, M. Wilder, N. Pineda Pablos. 2013. Water security and adaptive management in the arid Americas. Annals of the Assoc. of Amer. Geographers 103, 2: 280-289. Online

Varady, R. G., C. A. Scott, M. Wilder, B. Morehouse, N. Pineda, and G. M. Garfin. 2013. Transboundary adaptive management to reduce climate-change vulnerability in the Western U.S.-Mexico border region. Special issue, “Rethinking Integrated Assessments and Management Projects in the Americas,” Environmental Science and Policy 26 (Feb.): 102–112, ed. by G. Garfin. P. Romero-Lankao, and R. G. Varady. Online

Garfin, G. M., P. Romero-Lankao, R. G. Varady. 2013. Editorial: Rethinking integrated assessments and management projects in the Americas. Special issue of Environmental Science and Policy 26 (Feb.): 1-5, ed. by G. Garfin. P. Romero-Lankao, and R. G. Varady. Online

Scott, C. A., R. G. Varady, F. Meza, E. Montaña, G. B. de Raga, B. Luckman, and C. Martius. 2012. Science-policy dialogues for water security: Addressing vulnerability and adaptation to global change in the Arid Americas. Environment (May-June 2012) 54, 3: 30-42.

Gerlak, A., R. G. Varady, O. Petit, and A. Haverland. 2011. Hydrosolidarity and beyond: Can ethics and equity find a place in today’s water resource management? Water International 36, 3 (May): 251–265. (2013 Honorable mention, best paper award, Routledge Pub. and International Water Resources Assoc..)

Wilder, M., C. A. Scott, N. Pineda Pablos, R. G. Varady, G. M. Garfin, and J. McEvoy. 2010. Adapting across boundaries: Climate change, social learning, and resilience in the U.S.-Mexico border region. Annals of the Association of American Geographers (special issue on climate change) 100, 4: 917-28.

Research Themes: 
Governance, Law, and Policy
Water resource management
Arid lands
Water law and policy

Related Events

No Events