Charles J. Vörösmarty, Ph.D.

  • Director, Environmental Sciences Initiative
  • Director, Environmental Crossroads Group
  • Professor of Civil Engineering, The City College of New York

Charles J. Vörösmarty, Ph.D., is the Founding Director of the Environmental Sciences Initiative. Dr. Vörösmarty’s research focuses on the development of computer models and geospatial data sets used in synthesis studies of the interactions among the water cycle, climate, biogeochemistry and anthropogenic activities. His studies are built around local, regional and continental to global-scale modeling of water balance, discharge, constituent fluxes in river systems and the analysis of the impacts of large-scale water engineering on the terrestrial water cycle. His work on human-water interactions includes earth system modeling of the Northeastern United States, development and analysis of databases depicting reservoir construction worldwide and how they generate downstream coastal zone risks, and global threats to human water security and aquatic biodiversity.

Dr. Vörösmarty routinely provides scientific guidance to a variety of U.S. and international water consortia. He is a founding member and current co-Chair of the Global Water System Project that represents the input of several hundred international scientists under the International Council for Science’s Global Environmental Change Programs. He is spearheading efforts to develop global-scale indicators of water stress and is working with chief United Nations delegates who are negotiating the Rio+20 Sustainable Development Goals. He has served on a broad array of national panels, including the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (appointed by Presidents Bush and Obama), the NASA Earth Science Subcommittee, the National Research Council Committee on Hydrologic Science as Chair, a member of the NRC Review Committee on the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the National Science Foundation’s Arctic System Science Program Committee, and the Arctic HYDRA International Polar Year Planning Team. He was a consultant to the 24-agency United Nations World Water Assessment Programme and represented the International Council of Scientific Unions at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development meetings.

Before coming to the ASRC and The City College of New York, Dr. Vörösmarty was a Research Full Professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space at the University of New Hampshire, where he was founder and director of its Water Systems Analysis Group.


C.J. Vörösmarty, B. Stewart-Koster, P.A. Green, E.L. Boone, M. Flörke, Günther Fischer, D.A. Wiberg, S.E. Bunn, A. Bhaduri, P.B. McIntyre, C.Sadoff, H. Liu, and D. Stifel. A Green-Gray Path to Global Water Security and Sustainable Infrastructure. Global Environmental Change, 2021, 70, 102344.

C. Martinez-Espinosa, S. Sauvage, A. Al Bitarb, P.A. Green, C.J. Vörösmarty, J.M. Sanchez-Pereza. Denitrification in Wetlands: A Review Towards a Quantification at Global Scale. Science of the Total Environment, 2020, 754, 142398. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142398.

A. Miara, S.M. Cohen, J. Macknick, C.J. Vörösmarty, F. Corsi, Y. Sun, V.C. Tidwell, R. Newmark, and B.M. Fekete. Climate-Water Adaptation for Future US Electricity Infrastructure. Environmental Science & Technology, 2019, 53, 14029-14040. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.9b03037

C.J. Vörösmarty, V. Rodríguez Osuna, A.D. Cak, A. Bhaduri, S.E. Bunn, F. Corsi, J. Gastelumendi, P. Green, I. Harrison, R. Lawford, P.J. Marcotullio, M. McClain, R. McDonald, P. McIntyre, M. Palmer, R.D. Robarts, A. Szöllösi-Nagy, Z. Tessler, and S. Uhlenbrook. Ecosystem-Based Water Security and the Sustainable Development Goals. Ecohydrology & Hydrobiology, 2018, 18, 317-333. DOI: 10.1016/j.ecohyd.2018.07.004.

C. Vörösmarty, M. Rawlins, L. Hinzman, J. Francis, M. Serreze, A. Liljedahl, K. McDonald, M. Piasecki, and R. Rich. Opportunities and Challenges in Arctic System Synthesis: A Consensus Report from the Arctic Research Community. City University of New York: New York, NY, 2018.
Produced with funding from the National Science Foundation Arctic System Science Program.

A. Miara, C.J. Vörösmarty, J.E. Macknick, V.C. Tidwell, B. Fekete, F. Corsi, and R. Newmark. Thermal Pollution Impacts on Rivers and Power Supply in the Mississippi River Watershed. Environmental Research Letters, 2018, 13, 3, 034033. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/aaac85.

Z.D. Tessler, C.J. Vörösmarty, I. Overeem, and J.P.M. Syvitski. A Model of Water and Sediment Balance as Determinants of Relative Sea Level Rise in Contemporary and Future Deltas. Geomorphology, 2018, 305, 209-220. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.09.040.

C.J. Vörösmarty, V. Rodríguez Osuna, D.A. Koehler, P. Klop, J.D. Spengler, J.J. Buonocore, A.D. Cak, Z.D. Tessler, F. Corsi, P. A. Green, and R. Sánchez. Scientifically Assess Impacts of Sustainable Investments. Science, 2018, 359, 6375, 523-525. DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3895.

A. Miara, J.E. Macknick, C.J. Vörösmarty, V.C. Tidwell, R. Newmark, and B. Fekete. Climate and Water Resource Change Impacts and Adaptation Potential for US Power Supply. Nature Climate Change, 2017, 7, 793-798. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate3417.

N. Ehsani, C.J. Vörösmarty, B.M. Fekete, and E.Z. Stakhiv. Reservoir Operations under Climate Change: Storage Capacity Options to Mitigate Risk. Journal of Hydrology, 2017, 555, 4325-446. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.09.008.

Y. Wada, M.F.P. Bierkens, A. de Roo, P.A. Dirmeyer, J.S. Famiglietti, N. Hanasaki, M. Konar, J. Liu, H. Müller Schmied, T. Oki, Y. Pokhrel, M. Sivapalan, T.J. Troy, A.I.J.M. van Dijk, T. van Emmerik, M.H.J. Van Huijgevoort, H.A.J. Van Lanen, C.J. Vörösmarty, N. Wanders, and H. Wheater. Human–Water Interface in Hydrological Modelling: Current Status and Future Directions. Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences, 2017, 21, 4169-4193. DOI: 10.5194/hess-21-4169-2017.

J. Richter-Menge, J. E. Overland, and J. T. Mathis, Eds. C.J. Vörösmarty, Co-Author. Arctic Report Card 2016. NOAA.

P. Green, K. Smith, S. Barchiesi, C. Vörösmarty, W. Darwall, D. Allen, J. Dalton, and I. Dopson. Chapter 3.4: Ecosystems. In Transboundary River Basins: Status and Trends. UNEP-DHI and UNEP, United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi, 2016, 87-107.

M. Flörke, P. Green, C. Schneider, and C. Vörösmarty. Chapter 3.2: Water Quantity. In Transboundary River Basins: Status and Trends. UNEP-DHI and UNEP United Nations Environment Programme: Nairobi, 2016, 47-62.

A. Bhaduri, J. Bogardi, A. Siddiqi, H. Voigt, C. Vörösmarty, C. Pahl-Wostl, S.E. Bunn, P. Shrivastava, R. Lawford, S. Foster, H. Kremer, F.G. Renaud, A. Bruns, and V.R. Osuna. Achieving Sustainable Development Goals from a Water PerspectiveFrontiers in Environmental Science2016. DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2016.00064.

I.J. Harrison, P.A. Green, T.A. Farrell, D. Juffe-Bignoli, L. Sáenz, and C.J. Vörösmarty. Protected Areas and Freshwater Provisioning: A Global Assessment of Freshwater Provision, Threats and Management Strategies to Support Human Water SecurityAquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems2016, 26 (Suppl. 1), 103-120. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.2652.

Z.D. Tessler, C.J. Vörösmarty, M. Grossberg, I. Gladkova, and H. Aizenman. A Global Empirical Typology of Anthropogenic Drivers of Environmental Change in DeltasSustainability Science2016, 1-13. DOI: 10.1007/s11625-016-0357-5.

M. Konar, T.P. Evans, M. Levy, C.A. Scott, T.J. Troy, C.J. Vörösmarty, and M. Sivapalan. Water Resources Sustainability in a Globalizing World: Who Uses The Water? Hydrological Processes2016. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10843.

C.J. Vörösmarty, P.A. Davidsson, M.A.K. Muir, R.W. Sandford, editors. Motivating Research on the Science Communications Front: Conveying the Nature and Impacts of Rapid Change in Ice-Dominated Earth Systems to Decision Makers and the Public. 2015. Summary of findings from an NSF-Funded International Workshop hosted by the World Bank.

P.A. Green, C.J. Vörösmarty, I. Harrison, T. Farrell, L. Saenz, and B.M. Fekete. Freshwater Ecosystem Services Supporting Humans: Pivoting from Water Crisis to Water SolutionsGlobal Environmental Change2015, 34, 108-118. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.06.007.

N. Ehsani, B.M. Fekete, C.J. Vörösmarty, and Z.D. Tessler. A Neural Network Based General Reservoir Operation SchemeStochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment2015, 30, 4, 1151-1166. DOI: 10.1007/s00477-015-1147-9.

Z.D. Tessler, C.J. Vörösmarty, M. Grossberg, I. Gladkova, H. Aizenman, J.P.M. Syvitski, and E. Foufoula-Georgiou. Profiling Risk and Sustainability in Coastal Deltas of the WorldScience2015, 349, 6248, 638-643. DOI: 10.1126/science.aab3574.

C.J. Vörösmarty, A.Y. Hoekstra, S.E. Bunn, D. Conway, and J. Gupta. Fresh Water Goes GlobalScience2015, 349, 6247, 478-479. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac6009.

C.J. Vörösmarty, M. Meybeck, and C.L. Pastore. Impair-Then-Repair: A Brief History and Global-Scale Hypothesis Regarding Human-Water Interactions in the AnthropoceneDaedalus2015, 144, 3, 94-109. DOI: 10.1162/DAED_a_00345.

R.L. Hale, N.B. Grimm, C.J. Vörösmarty, and B. Fekete. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fluxes from Watersheds of the Northeast U.S. from 1930-2000: Role of Anthropogenic Nutrient Inputs, Infrastructure, and RunoffGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles2015. DOI: 10.1002/2014GB004909.

A. Miara, C. Tarr, R. Spellman, C.J. Vörösmarty, and J.E. Macknick. The Power of Efficiency: Optimizing Environmental and Social Benefits Through Demand-Side-Management. Energy, 2014, 76, 502-512. DOI: 10.1016/

E.J. Linky, C.J. Vörösmarty, and B. Rosenzweig. Regional Environmental Analytics: Emerging Research Needs to Support RGGI, State, and Local Planning and Regulatory Programs. ABA Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Ecosystems Committee Newsletter, 2014, 17, 3, 18-21.

B. Rosenzweig, C. Vörösmarty, W. Gutowski, and A.L. Steiner. Joining Scientists and Stakeholders in Regional Earth System Modeling. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, 2014, 95, 27, 247-248. DOI: 10.1002/2014EO270005.

C.J. Vörösmarty, C. Pahl-Wostl, S.E. Bunn, and R. Lawford. Global Water, the Anthropocene and the Transformation of a Science. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2013, 5, 539-550. DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.10.005.

C.J. Vörösmarty, C. Pahl-Wostl, and A. Bhaduri. Water in the Anthropocene: New Perspectives for Global Sustainability. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2013, 5, 535-538. DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.11.011.

C. Pahl-Wostl, C. Vörösmarty, A. Bhaduri, J. Bogardi, J. Rockstrom, and J. Alcamo. Towards a Sustainable Water Future: Shaping the Next Decade of Global Water Research. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2013, 5, 6, 708-714. DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.10.012.

J.J. Bogardi, B.M. Fekete, and C.J. Vörösmarty. Planetary Boundaries Revisited: A View Through the ‘Water Lens’. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 2013, 5, 581-589. DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2013.10.006

C.J. Vörösmarty, L. Bravo de Guenni, W.M. Wollheim, B. Pellerin, D. Bjerklie, M. Cardoso, C. D’Almeida, P. Green, and L. Colon. Extreme Rainfall, Vulnerability and Risk: A Continental-Scale Assessment for South America. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, 2013, 371, 20120408. DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2012.0408.

A. Miara and C.J. Vörösmarty. Balancing Thermoelectric Power Production and Thermal Pollution: Power Plant Cooling Specification/Decision-Making Guide. In Thermal Power Plant Cooling: Context and Engineering. C. King, EdASME Press: New York, NY, 2013, 22-27.

R.L. Hale, J.H. Hoover, W.M. Wollheim, and C.J. Vörösmarty. History of Nutrient Inputs to the Northeastern United States, 1930-2000. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 2013, 27, 2, 578-591. DOI: 10.1002/gbc.20049.

A. Miara, C.J. Vörösmarty, R. Stewart, W. Wollheim, and B. Rosenzweig. Riverine Ecosystem Services and the Thermoelectric Sector: Strategic Issues Facing the Northeastern United States. Environmental Research Letters, 2013, 8, 025017. Special Issue on Electricity, Water and Climate. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/025017.

P.H. Gleick, H. Cooley, J.S. Famiglietti, D.P. Lettenmaier, T. Oki, C.J. Vörösmarty, and E.F. Wood. Improving Understanding of the Global Hydrologic Cycle: Observation and Analysis of the Climate System: The Global Water Cycle. In Climate Science for Serving Society: Research, Modeling and Prediction Priorities. G.R. Asrar and J.W. Hurrell, Eds. Spinger: Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2013, 151-184. DOI: 10.1007/978-94-007-6692-1_6.

R.J. Stewart, W.M. Wollheim, A. Miara, C.J. Vörösmarty, B. Fekete, R. Lammers, and B. Rosenzweig. Horizontal Cooling Towers: Riverine Ecosystem Services and the Fate of Thermoelectric Heat in the Contemporary Northeast. Environmental Research Letters, 2013, 8, 025010. DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/025010.

A. Miara and C.J. Vörösmarty. A Dynamic Model to Assess Tradeoffs in Power Production and Riverine Ecosystem Protection. Environmental Science Processes and Impacts, 2013, 15, 1113-1126. DOI: 10.1039/C3EM00196B