WOTR established the WOTR Centre for Resilience Studies (W-CReS) with a focus on Research-in-Use. W-CReS closely engages with stakeholders from across various sectors so that insights and good practices derived from ground experience contribute towards shaping effective policies and efficient program implementation.

W-CReS aims to bridge the gaps between science, policy and practice through rigorous trans-disciplinary applied research, policy engagement and capacity building leading to behavioural change.

The studies and research undertaken at W-CReS aims to promote adaptive responses and mitigate the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, water resources, agriculture, food and nutrition, health, livelihoods, gender, governance and local institutions. This is imperative in a country like India, whose nature-based and agriculture sector as well as water resources are expected to be severely affected by climate change in the years to come.


  • Undertake collaborative, multi-stakeholder and rigorous trans-disciplinary research to bring ground realities into the science and policy discourse.
  • Development and testing of knowledge based tools for planning, implementation and monitoring.
  • Dissemination of insights and knowledge generated through seminars, publications, networking, information, press releases, pamphlets and articles.
  • Multi-Stakeholder Engagement with Government, scientific institutions, opinion and decision makers to shape the policy framework and influence programmatic interventions.
  • Build skills and capacities of stakeholders across thematic areas, geographical scale and at multiple levels.

At W-CReS, we have 30 researchers, spanning an diverse variety of disciplines including economics, anthropology, social work, development studies, hydrology, medical sciences, climate science, engineering, water and agricultural sciences. The studies undertaken at W-CReS span a diverse range of subjects as well from climate change and ecosystem based adaptation to food and nutrition security, and watershed development. These dynamic researchers are headed by the Director of W-CReS, Dr. Marcella D’Souza.


As of September, 2019, W-CReS is engaged in the following major applied research projects:

Generating knowledge to build drought resilience in a changing climate

In order to arrive at low/no regret solutions in a climate changing situation, knowledge generated through on-ground, participatory and trans-disciplinary applied action research involving local communities, technical and developmental agencies, can uncover drivers of vulnerability, foster consensus on solution pathways and generate the will and resources to address the problem.

This project undertakes integrated studies related to drought management; groundwater management; climate-resilient agriculture, with a view to shaping enabling policies and practices and provides trainings with a view to drought proofing.

Soil Protection and Rehabilitation for Food Security in India

This project address the factors hindering the wide applications and sustainable and effective promotion of improved soil, water and vegetation management practices. The objective is to take measures regarding soil protection, rehabilitation, and fertility management. Target groups are small scale farmers, with a particular focus on women farmers, experts and decision makers in ministries, institutes, private sector associations and municipal bodies.

Ecosystem based Adaptation

This project proposes Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) as an approach that can both contribute to reducing vulnerabilities at local level and help governments comply with their global commitments under the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030. The project´s objective is to contribute to an enabling policy environment that recognizes and implements EbA on a broader scale in Guatemala and India. The project aims to elaborate roadmaps, prioritise EbA measures and identify avenues for integrating EbA solutions into policy and practice. Read more

Economics of Land Degradation:

The Role of Integrated Watershed Development in Reducing Land Degradation and Economic Valuation of Watershed Interventions under the Risk of Climate Extremes

The study aims to measure the economic valuation of the interventions based on benefit flows to the community even after almost five years of withdrawal of WOTR from the project villages. The study will mainly focus on the agricultural ecosystem services which is one of the major livelihoods in the area. The study would help to evaluate the efficacy of biophysical measures undertaken in the project to avoid, halt or reverse land degradation.

Some of the other ongoing projects are:

  • Ensuring Food and Nutrition Security through promotion of local agro biodiversity in semi-arid region: an action research project
  • Understanding the connect between hydrological characteristics and socio-economic aspects of Farm Pond owners and non-Farm Pond owners within the zone of Influence in Sangamner Region
  • Promoting protection and solidarity for climate migrants and displaced communities in South Asia
  • Combating Heat Stress in South ASIA – A Cross-CAIRAA Effort


Featured Publication

1) Community Driven Vulnerability Evaluation – Programme Designer

WOTR has developed a tool called “CoDriVE – PD” which stands for Community Driven Vulnerability Evaluation – Programme Designer

CoDriVE-PD is a recombinant tool developed by converging key aspects of three well known international research methodologies and is built on the “5 Livelihood Capitals Framework”. It adopts a systems thinking approach which uncovers interrelationships and interdependencies between them, and generates a quantitative vulnerability code that grades their vulnerability to climate impacts; enabling both communities, planners and practitioners to prioritise and plan for adaptive measures and interventions.

See the full list of publications here

Featured Video

Engaging Multi-Stakeholders: A Strategic Approach for Improving the Water Governance

Water is a sensitive and complex subject and groundwater resource is largely seen as ‘private’ property. To address these issues, it is necessary to bring together diverse stakeholders from water sector at different levels to debate, discuss, understand the different aspects of water management, build healthy dialogue among them and act accordingly. Stakeholder engagement process designed and executed by WOTR address these issues in a systematic way. Click here

Featured Blog

Water stewardship to be ‘climate smart’ – Lessons from Maharashtra by Eshwer Kale, Marcella D’Souza and Arpan Golechha

In times of uncertain monsoon rains and climate change, India’s dependence on groundwater for drinking and agricultural needs is growing. This blog describes a model of water governance which involved transforming villages in semi-arid areas of Maharashtra from over-exploitation to judicious use of water. Click here

Contact Details

For more information contact:

Write to us at Watershed Organisation Trust, (WOTR) 2nd Floor, “The Forum” Padmavati Corner Pune Satara Road Pune – 411009