Quentin Grafton is in Glasgow, Scotland, catching up with two prominent academics within the water space, Professor Cecilia Tortajada and Professor Asit Biswas. Professor Tortajada is from the School of Social and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Glasgow, she is a member of the OECD Initiative on Water Governance and has twice received the Research Excellence Award from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. Professor Biswas, a ‘Distinguished Visiting Professor,’ also from the University of Glasgow, has served as a senior public official in Canada, where he received the “Person of the Year” award from the Canadian Prime Minister. Cecilia and Asit discuss the challenges of international and domestic institutions and why inefficient practices still prevail despite not delivering results. They highlight the importance of pragmatism over dogma, separating clashing mandates within institutions to create a system of checks and balances, creating models to fit reality rather than fitting reality into the ‘model’ and for policy makers in offices to experience the reality of the field for themselves.


This podcast was edited by Michael Migali and executive produced by Quentin Grafton, Convenor of the Water Justice Hub at the Australian National University. This episode’s hosts are Quentin Grafton and Safa Fanaian. Music by Serge Pavkin.