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Dustin Garrick

associate professor
University of Waterloo
research fellow
University of Oxford

Rethinking the Economics of Water | Oxford Review of Economic Policy

Rural Water for Thirsty Cities | Environmental Research Letters

Paradox of Irrigation Efficiency | Science

Managing the Cascading Risks of Droughts | Earth's Future

Decentralisation and Drought Adaptation | Int’l Journal of the Commons

Valuing Water for Sustainable Development | Science 

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Dr Dustin E. Garrick (LinkedIn) is an associate professor of global water policy at the University of Waterloo based in the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability and the Water Institute. He is also a research fellow at Green Templeton College at the University of Oxford, where he has been teaching since 2011.


Dr Garrick has expertise in water and environmental governance with a focus on property rights, institutions and markets.  He has twenty years of experience in environmental management with a focus on markets and governance innovations to address resource scarcity and sustainability challenges.  In this work, he is interested in the evolution of conflict and cooperation over water and other shared natural resources in the context of climate change, biodiversity loss and rapid urbanisation. His approach is multi-disciplinary, spanning public policy, geography and institutional economics, and anchored in field-based and comparative research across a network of observatories which track long-term changes in natural resource conflicts and institutional responses.  This work seeks to advance collective action theory and contribute to our understanding of common pool resource governance.   His current research examines the impact of urbanisation on water conflict and cooperation with an emphasis on competition between cities and agriculture for water.  He is also examining the evolution and impact of market-based approaches to govern the commons, with a particular interest in the role of informal water markets and their political economy.

He has extensive expertise at the interface of science, policy and enterprise, serving as an invited speaker at leading universities and expert advisor for the World Bank, OECD, corporations, governments and non-profits. In 2018, the American Association for the Advancement of Science selected Dr. Garrick as a Leshner Fellow of Public Engagement. He also co-founded a global initiative on water markets with the World Bank Water Practice and has served on many international committees, including the Global Water Partnership/OECD task force on Water Security and Sustainable Growth, the Valuing Water Initiative for the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water and the Technical Committee of the Global Water Partnership.  He has been a Fulbright Scholar (2010-11) in Australia and was the 2018 recipient of the Sustainable Water Management Prize from the Botin Foundation in Spain.



Awards & Membership 

Merit Award, Awards for Excellence Scheme - University of Oxford

Philomathia Award - Philomathia Foundation


United Nations, Expert Group on Transboundary Water Allocation


Technical Committee Member - Global Water Partnership 

Leshner Fellow for Public Engagement - American Association for the Advancement of Science

Sustainable Water Management Prize - Fundación Botín

Advisory panel for Valuing Water Initiative - UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water

Water Security and Sustainable Growth task force - OECD/Global Water Partnership


Fulbright Fellowship and U.S. Alumni Award - Australian American Fulbright Association,

The William R. Boggess Award for Best Paper - Journal of American Water Resources Association


Rivers and geopolitics”, BBC3 Radio, 14 May 2019

Why the thinking and planning around drought is often wrong”, Open Canada, 21 April 2016


How could the California drought impact Canada?”, Canadian Television News (CTV), 19 June 2016


A surprising lesson from Australia’s drought: politics matter.” Water Deeply, 3 Sept 2015


What the California drought means for Canadians”, The Globe and Mail, 4 July 2015


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