The London Water Research Group was not so much launched as emerged. It grew out of research focused on the Middle East and North Africa. The journey started with a conventional focus on the idea that limited water resources determined limited options and increased conflict. Explaining the absence of armed conflict over hyper-scarce water resources led to a long-standing interest in embedded water, also known as ‘virtual water’.
During the second half of the 1990s, ten graduate researchers deepened understanding of water security, financing water resource development and the challenges of sharing transboundary waters. Since 2000s, the research and publication focus has intensified on water resource security with an emphasis on the role of the water/food/trade nexus. In addition, the Group has had a major international impact on the analysis of international transboundary water resources.