James DALTON, 
IUCN Global Water Programme


World Hydropower Congress  |  14-16 May 2019  |  Paris


Speaker biography

James Dalton is Director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Water Programme. As part of this, he is focussed on working with a wide range of partners and stakeholders to advance water governance and management for people and nature. This includes making science outputs relevant for policy and practice action and improving water management through cross sectoral institutional performance in river basins.

James first joined IUCN in 2009 as the Water Management Advisor. Previous to this, he was based in Fiji at the Pacific Islands applied geoscience commission (SPC-GSD) working as the integrated water resource management adviser. He worked across the Pacific island countries supporting them on water resource development, sanitation and hygiene, risk reduction and ridge to reef watershed management.

In a prior life he was a development consultant for ITAD-Water, a specialised monitoring, evaluation and programme design consultancy based in the UK. For over three years he provided advisory support to consecutive Department for International Development (DFID) senior water advisers and water teams. His previous experience includes working on water user association performance, nuclear safety monitoring, and institutional restructuring.

James is an irrigation engineer and holds degrees in rural development, science and politics, irrigation engineering as well as a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering focussing on groundwater management in the Aral Sea Basin. He has worked on water management for 20 years in over 25 countries worldwide, with extended periods working in the Pacific, Central Asia, East Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

James sits on the governance committee of the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, the Board of the Alliance for Water Stewardship, and as a Technical Advisor to Climate Bonds Initiative. He is currently based at the IUCN Headquarters in Switzerland.