Yu, Winston

Sustainable Development, South Asia Region, World Bank
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
hydrology/hydrogeology; water resource engineering; flood management; climate change; irrigation
Sustainable Development, South Asia Region, World Bank
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated January 31, 2023
Winston Yu is a Senior Water Resources Specialist in the South Asia Region.  He has extensive experience working on technical and institutional problems in the water sector and has carried out a number of investment projects and research in a variety of developing countries (e.g. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and China).  His special interests include river basin management, hydrologic modeling, flood forecasting and management, groundwater hydrogeology, international rivers, and adaptation to climate change.  Before joining the Bank he was a researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) examining policy strategies for managing water resources under climate change conditions.  He also served as a Science and Technology Officer at the US Department of State working on water issues in the Middle East.  He is currently also an Adjunct Professor at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches a course on international water issues in development.  He received a Ph.D. and M.S. from Harvard University.
Citations 48 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Thumbnail Image
    An Introduction to the IBMR : A Hydro-Economic Model for Climate Change Impact Assessment in Pakistan’s Indus River Basin
    (Taylor and Francis, 2013-09-06) Yang, Yi-Chen E. ; Brown, Casey M. ; Yu, Winston H. ; Savitsky, Andre
    The Indus Basin Model Revised (IBMR) is a hydro-agro-economic optimization model for agricultural investment planning across Pakistan’s Indus Basin provinces. This study describes IBMR-2012, an update and modification of the model that reflects the current agro-economic conditions in Pakistan for the purpose of evaluating the impact of climate change on water allocation and food security. Results of hydro-climatic parameter sensitivity and basin-wide and provincial-level climate change impacts on crop productions are presented. The study finds that compared to Punjab, Sindh faces both significantly larger climate change impacts on agriculture and higher uncertainty regarding climate change impacts in the future.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Water Resources Management in the Ganges Basin: A Comparison of Three Strategies for Conjunctive Use of Groundwater and Surface Water
    (Springer, 2014-03) Khan, Mahfuzur R. ; Voss, Clifford I. ; Yu, Winston ; Michael, Holly A.
    The most difficult water resources management challenge in the Ganges Basin is the imbalance between water demand and seasonal availability. More than 80 % of the annual flow in the Ganges River occurs during the 4-month monsoon, resulting in widespread flooding. During the rest of the year, irrigation, navigation, and ecosystems suffer because of water scarcity. Storage of monsoonal flow for utilization during the dry season is one approach to mitigating these problems. Three conjunctive use management strategies involving subsurface water storage are evaluated in this study: Ganges Water Machine (GWM), Pumping Along Canals (PAC), and Distributed Pumping and Recharge (DPR). Numerical models are used to determine the efficacy of these strategies. Results for the Indian State of Uttar Pradesh (UP) indicate that these strategies create seasonal subsurface storage from 6 to 37 % of the yearly average monsoonal flow in the Ganges exiting UP over the considered range of conditions. This has clear implications for flood reduction, and each strategy has the potential to provide irrigation water and to reduce soil waterlogging. However, GWM and PAC require significant public investment in infrastructure and management, as well as major shifts in existing water use practices; these also involve spatially-concentrated pumping, which may induce land subsidence. DPR also requires investment and management, but the distributed pumping is less costly and can be more easily implemented via adaptation of existing water use practices in the basin.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Climate Change and Agriculture in South Asia: Alternative Trade Policy Options
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012) Laborde, David ; Lakatos, Csilla ; Nelson, Gerald ; Robertson, Richard ; Thomas, Marcelle ; Yu, Winston ; Jansen, Hans G.P.
    There is increasing evidence suggesting that climate change will negatively impact agricultural production in South Asia. Decreased domestic production may make South Asian countries more dependent on imports. The extent to which South Asia will need to increase its imports as a result of climate change will presumably depend on the degree to which the latter will affect domestic output. The effects of climate change on agriculture may well differ substantially for individual South Asian countries and indeed for regions within a given country which can be approximated by food production units. This calls for an analysis of climate change effects on trade flows under alternative trade policy regimes both for agriculture and non-agricultural sectors. The specific objectives of the paper include the following: analyze the extent to which agricultural production in South Asia and elsewhere in the world may be affected by different scenarios regarding climate change; analyze the extent to which changes in domestic production in South Asia resulting from climate change will lead to increased demand for imports by South Asian countries; analyze the effects of increased import demand in South Asia and changing exportable surpluses elsewhere on world market prices of major agricultural commodities consumed in South Asia; to the extent that South Asian governments allow transmission of changes in world market prices to domestic prices, analyze the potential welfare effects of changes in the latter; analyze if, and to what extent, worldwide trade liberalization and implementation of South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) will dampen the effects of climate change on domestic agricultural prices in South Asia. In this context, the report is organized as follows: chapter one gives introduction. Chapter two describes the methodology used - with particular attention to how different models and modeling techniques are linked to produce an as accurate as possible assessment based on state-of-the-art knowledge. Chapter three provides an up-to-date analysis of trade flows and policies, and production patterns for key food products in South Asia to explain the context in which climate change is taking place. Chapter four describes the climate change scenarios and illustrates their consequences for crop yields at a global level and for South Asia - and in particular shows the vulnerability of the region to these changes. Baseline design, simulations, and results are discussed in chapter five. The final chapter six provides a short summary, discusses the limitations of the analysis, and derives suggestions and guidelines for future research.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Indus Basin of Pakistan : Impacts of Climate Risks on Water and Agriculture
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013-05) Yu, Winston ; Yang, Yi-Chen ; Savitsky, Andre ; Alford, Donald ; Brown, Casey ; Wescoat, James ; Debowicz, Dario ; Robinson, Sherman
    This study, Indus basin of Pakistan: the impacts of climate risks on water and agriculture was undertaken at a pivotal time in the region. The weak summer monsoon in 2009 created drought conditions throughout the country. This followed an already tenuous situation for many rural households faced with high fuel and fertilizer costs and the impacts of rising global food prices. Then catastrophic monsoon flooding in 2010 affected over 20 million people, devastating their housing, infrastructure, and crops. Damages from this single flood event were estimated at US dollar 10 billion, half of which were losses in the agriculture sector. Notwithstanding the debate as to whether these observed extremes are evidence of climate change, an investigation is needed regarding the extent to which the country is resilient to these shocks. It is thus timely, if not critical, to focus on climate risks for water, agriculture, and food security in the Indus basin of Pakistan.
  • Thumbnail Image
    Toward Integrated Water Resources Management in Armenia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2015) Yu, Winston ; Cestti, Rita A. ; Lee, Ju Young
    The proper management of water resources plays a key role in the socioeconomic development of Armenia. On average, Armenia has sufficient water resources. Taking into account all available water resources in the country, Armenia has sufficient resources to supply approximately 3,100 cubic meters per capita per year well above the typically cited Falkenmark water stress indicator of 1,700 cubic meters per capita per year. These water resources are not evenly divided in space and time with significant seasonal and annual variability in river runoff. In order to address temporal variations in river runoff, the country has built 87 dams with a total capacity of 1.4 billion cubic meters. Most of these dams are single purpose, mainly for irrigation. Armenia also has considerable groundwater resources, which play an important role in the overall water balance. About 96 percent of the water used for drinking purposes and about 40 percent of water abstracted in the country comes from groundwater. Irrigation remains the largest consumptive user.