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We are advertising RA position(s) for a DPRC funded project titled Understanding Water Rights in the Indus River Basin: Perils and Possibilities for a Smart Water Grid.

The selected candidate(s) will work with our research group in electrical & systems engineering to evaluate the potential of some new automation/instrumentation technologies for managing large scale irrigation canal networks. Ideal candidates should have strong analytical & communication skills; a solid foundation in public policy or development economics; and a keen interest in solving fundamental related to Pakistan's economy and society. Some science/engineering background will be desirable but not necessary. Graduate students or associates of HSSL are specially encouraged to apply. Exceptional applicants from outside of LUMS may also be considered.

The duration of the project is March 1-June 30, 2011. Duties will include regular meetings/interactions, field trips, data collection and report writing. Both full-time and half-time positions (20 hrs/week) are a possibility. Salary will be in keeping with that of LUMS students and staff of comparable qualification.

To apply, please send the following to cyphynets [at] gmail.com with the subject : RA Position in Smart Water Grids

a. CV. b. A writing sample related to public policy, economics or law. c. Names of three references.

Project Overview

Title: Understanding Water Rights in the Indus River Basin: Perils and Possibilities for a Smart Water Grid.

Theme: Challenges in Poverty, Education and Dynamics of Water

Funded by Development Policy Research Center (DPRC), LUMS

PI: Dr Abubakr Muhammad

Executive Summary.

The aim of the project is to understand the connections between new technologies and traditional methods in enforcing water rights at various levels in the Indus river basin. The proposed paper will serve as a reference for the scientific and engineering community to understand the existing irrigation canal infrastructure, historical contexts of its evolution from colonial times to recent reforms, institutional control mechanisms and concrete estimates of the (extremely low) distribution inefficiencies.

Particular foci of this project will be on the colonial institution of wara’bandi, PIDA reforms of the past decade and a translation of these mechanisms into the language of systems engineering. This will help develop a framework to investigate the feasibility of any future changes to governing mechanism. Candidates of such new systems engineering approaches include downstream canal command and intelligent instrumentation & metering.

The proposed work will serve as a bridge between technologists, who are usually eager to introduce new control mechanisms without understanding the economic, social and human impact of radically new technologies; and social scientists & economists that are often skeptical about new technological solutions due to lack of accessible information about them. The project will provide a critical connection for interdisciplinary efforts on water related research at LUMS. It will complement and enable the PI’s current research on water resources engineering to focus on the needs of the society and gauge its true potential in ensuring equitable water rights in the country’s water scarce environment.

The output will be a detailed technical report. Methodology involves reading of existing literature, interviews with experts on water and field trips to concerned stakeholders.

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