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Jan Adamowski

Associate Professor
Liliane and David M. Stewart Scholar in Water Resources
Director - Integrated Water Resources Management Program
Associate Director – Brace Centre for Water Resources Management


T: 514-398-7786  |  jan [dot] adamowski [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) |  Macdonald-Stewart Building, MS1-026


Post-Doctoral Associate - Hydrology and Water Management (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)

Ph.D. - Hydrological Engineering (Warsaw Technical University, Poland)

M.B.A.  -  International Business (Warsaw Technical University Business School, Poland; London Business School, UK; École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris (HEC Paris), France; Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Bergen, Norway)

M.Phil. - Engineering for Sustainable Development (University of Cambridge, UK; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)

B.Eng. - Civil Engineering (Royal Military College of Canada)

Short Bio

Professor Adamowski is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at McGill University. He is also the Director of McGill's Integrated Water Resources Management Program, Associate Director of the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management, Associate Member of the McGill School of Environment, and Associate Member of the Trottier Institute for Sustainability in Engineering and Design (TISED) at McGill. Prof. Adamowski is registered as a professional engineer (P.Eng.) in the province of Ontario, and currently serves on numerous international committees (e.g. International Commission on Water Resource Systems of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences), as well as on the Editorial Boards of numerous international journals (e.g. Journal of Sustainable Water Resources Management; Journal of Modeling Earth Systems and Environment; Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE): Engineering Sustainability). His research and teaching interests are in the areas of statistical hydrology and water resources engineering and management, with a particular focus on modeling of environmental and water resources processes. Prof. Adamowski has published over 120 research papers in refereed journals and 50 papers in refereed conference proceedings, as well as two books, several chapters in books, and several monographs.  He has also given over 50 research talks at academic conferences (including over 10 Keynote Talks at conferences).  Throughout the course of his research career, he has conducted research with his students in over 30 countries. Prof. Adamowski is currently the supervisor of three Postdoctoral Fellows, nine PhD students, and four MSc thesis students at McGill. As part of his duties as the Director of McGill’s Master of Science in Integrated Water Resources Management Program, he supervises around 30 IWRM Master of Science students each year.

Prof. Adamowski came to McGill University in 2009 after working as a Post Doctoral Associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA. He completed his graduate studies in the US and Europe at several universities (Cambridge, MIT, London Business School, HEC Paris, NHH Bergen, and Warsaw Technical University) and his undergraduate degree in Canada at the Royal Military College of Canada. Prior to pursuing his graduate studies, he worked as a Lecturer in Tokyo, Japan for one year. During and after his undergraduate studies, he served in the Canadian Armed Forces (Reserves) for over six years, first as an Infantry Soldier in the Canadian Army, then as an Officer Cadet at the Royal Military College of Canada, and finally as an Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy. Dr. Adamowski grew up in Ottawa, Canada, and attended Rockcliffe Park Public School and Lisgar Collegiate Institute.

Awards and Recognitions

2015 - Award for Teaching Excellence, Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University

2015 - New Holland Young Researcher Award, American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers

2015 - Accelerator Supplement Award, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Discovery Grant

2012 - Appointed as the Liliane and David M. Stewart Scholar in Water Resources

Active Affiliations

  • Editorial Board - Journal of Sustainable Water Resources Management (Springer).
  • Editorial Board - Journal of Modeling Earth Systems and Environment (Springer).
  • Editorial Board - Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE): Engineering Sustainability.
  • Editorial Board - International Journal of Water Sciences.
  • Editorial Board - Journal of Sustainable Development.
  • Editorial Board - Journal of Water and Land Development.

Research Interests

  • Hydrological and watershed modeling:

▫ Hydrological forecasting (e.g., water demand, floods, , drought, water quality, etc.) using wavelet transforms, ensemble approaches, and machine learning and artificial intelligence methods
▫ System dynamics modeling (coupling stakeholder built system dynamics models with physically based models)
▫ Watershed analysis using GIS and remote sensing
▫ Hydro-meteorological trend detection and estimation (e.g., streamflow, precipitation, temperature, total dissolved solids, etc.), and linking of dominant periodicities with climate indices (e.g. PDO, NAO, ENSO)
▫ Record extension methods (e.g. ROLC, MOVE) for short gauged water resources variables

  • Integrated, collaborative and adaptive water resources management:

▫ Adaptive management
▫ Stakeholder engagement processes
▫ Ecosystem services
▫ Change agents and windows of opportunity
▫ Environmental flows

  • Other interests:

▫ Erosion maps, land use/land cover classification maps
▫ Influence of solar cycle on streamflow
▫ Influence of climate change on engineering design
▫ Urban heat island effect on water resources
▫ Two dimensional flow under radial and sluice gates using the natural element method
▫ Groundwater contaminant transport modeling
▫ Rainwater havesting systems; dew water collection systems
▫ Soil failure patterns

  • Research project locations:

Professor Adamowski has conducted research projects in the following countries: Canada (Quebec, Ontario, Arctic, British Columbia, Alberta etc...); USA; Mexico; Germany; Cyprus; Poland; Italy; Egypt; Jordan; Israel; Iran; India; Nepal; Cameroon; Guatemala; Brazil; Spain; China; Ethiopia; Australia; Hungary; Japan; Tanzania; Nigeria; Pakistan; Kyrgyzstan; Mongolia; Algeria; UK; Saudia Arabia; and Cuba.

Current Research

  • Novel approaches in statistical analysis and coupled social-physical systems  modeling for integrated and adaptive water resources management in the face of increasing uncertainty
  • Development of new methods to investigate and predict urban heat island effects on water resources using remote sensing and GIS
  • A new tool for unraveling the effects of climate on demand of urban water supply systems using new statistical analysis techniques (‘Water Demand Climate Correction Tool’)
  • A new framework for nonlinear input variable selection coupled with ensemble-wavelet-machine learning methods with uncertainty assessments for urban water demand forecasting
  • Development of state-of-the-art artificial intelligence river flood forecasting models
  • Framing environmental flows as providers of ecosystem services: Implications for policy implementation
  • Agriculture, water and climate change in Canadian watersheds: Transforming societal institutions to collaborative adaptive systems to increase social-ecological resilience
  • Understanding game-based approaches for improving sustainable water governance
  • Development of a new approach based on infrared spectroscopy for black plastic sorting in the recycling industry


BREE 420 Eng for Sustainability 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

BREE 510 Watershed Systems Management 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

BREE 630 IWRM Internship 13 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

BREE 631 IWRM Project 6 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

BREE 655 IWRM Research Visits 3 Credits
    Offered in the:
  • Fall
  • Winter
  • Summer

Online Certification in Integrated and Adaptive Water Resources Planning, Management and Governance


View a list of current publications

Recent Talks/Conferences

  • IEEE Conference on Computational Intelligence and Big Data Management Macau, China.
  • EGU Water-Food-Energy River and Society in the Tropics Conference. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Annual Hydrological Congress. Warsaw, Poland.
  • 14th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications. Miami, USA.
  • Beijing University of Science and Technology Workshop on Water Resources Management. Beijing, China.
  • ASABE Annual International Meeting. New Orleans, USA.
  • 3rd International Conference on Water Economics, Statistics, and Finance. Marbella, Spain.
  • Brazilian Symposium on Water Resources. Rio Grande do Sol, Brazil.
  • 6th IAHS -EGU International Symposium on Integrated Water Resources Management. Bologna, Italy.
  • IDRC Workshop on Malnutrition in Guatemala. Institute of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment. Guatemala City, Guatemala.
  • Hydrological Modeling Symposium. University of Basilicata, Italy.
  • 11th ICID International Drainage Workshop. Cairo, Egypt.
  • ASABE Annual International Meeting. Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
  • Northeast Agricultural/Biological Engineering Conference. Altoona, PA, USA.
  • Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge, UK.
  • Canadian Water Resources Associate Joint Scientific Conference. Saskatoon, Canada.
  • International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality: Reducing Effects of Agriculture. The Hague, Netherlands.
  • Conference on Methods and Technologies for Environmental Monitoring and Modelling: Hydrological and Hydraulic Risk. Matera, Italy.
  • Polish Institute of Meterology and Water Management / Polish Academy of Sciences Conference on Current Issues in Hydrology. Warsaw, Poland.
  • World Congress on Engineering and Technology. Xi'an, China.
  • ASABE Annual International Meeting. Dallas, Texas, USA.
  • 8th Watershed Management Conference. Lorestan, Iran.
  • ASABE Annual International Meeting. Louisville, Kentucky, USA.
  • Third International Conference on Climate Change. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  • Northeast Agricultural/Biological Engineering Conference. Geneva, NY, USA.
  • 20th Canadian Hydrotechnical Conference of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers. Ottawa, Canada.
  • American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. San Francisco, CA, USA.
  • CSWCRTI Workshop on Adaptive and Sustainable Solutions for Water Integrity, Safety, Security and Supply. Chandigargh, India.
  • 13th Biennial Jerusalem Conference in Environmental Studies. Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.
  • Canada-Mexico Industry-Science Workshop for Innovation in Water Sustainability Technologies. Mitacs Canada and Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada. Chihuahua, Mexico.

Research Grants

Research Team




Master of Science in IWRM (Non-thesis)

Online Certification in Water Resources Management

Other (Military Service, Personal Interests/Pastimes)