South Asia, Central Asia; comparative political sociology of water resources and development; technology and agrarian change; boundary work in natural resources management; interdisciplinary social theory.
The impact of privatisation and commercialisation; public and private sector systems of provision; infrastructure development; utilities; role of domestic private sector in basic service delivery, equity impact of institutional and infrastructure reform.
International and domestic law and policy concerning the environment, natural resources, water, sanitation, agriculture, sustainable development, climate change, health; social rights; intellectual property; India.
India, especially Tamil Nadu and adivasi western India; caste and religion, dalit politics, vernacular Christianity, environmental history, common property resources, indigenous irrigation, participatory rural development, aid agencies, anthropology of development
Analysis of water resources in semi-arid regions and the role of global systems in ameliorating local and regional water deficits. Established the concept of Virtual Water. Was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize in 2008 in recognition of his contribution to water science.
Comparative water governance, with focus on China and other Asia; water economies of global cities.
Fellow of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA) and has served as Editor-in-Chief of Water International since 2007. International Advisor, Water Engineering and Policy Centre, the University of Hong Kong; Adjunct Senior Fellow, the East-West Centre, Honolulu.