Olli Varis

Professor, D.Sc. (Tech)

e: firstname.lastname@aalto.fi

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Main research interest:

  • Global and international water issues
  • Environmental and social impact assessment
  • Lake and river research
  • Water and development


Ongoing projects:


Selected publications:

Barton, D. N., Kuikka, S., Varis, O., Uusitalo, L., Henriksen, H. J., Borsuk, M., de la Hera, A., Farmani, R., Johnson, S., & Linnell, J. D. C. 2012. Bayesian networks in environmental and resource management. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 8(3): 418-429. doi: 10.1002/ieam.1327

Keskinen, M. & Varis, O. 2012. Institutional cooperation at a basin level: For what, by whom? Lessons learned from Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake. Natural Resources Forum 36(1): 50-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-8947.2012.01445.x

Keskinen, M., Kummu, M., Käkönen, M., and Varis, O. 2012. [Synopsis] Mekong at the crossroads: next steps for impact assessment of large dams. Ambio 41(3): 319-324. doi:10.1007/s13280-012-0261-x

Liljeström, I., Kummu, M. and Varis, O. 2012. Nutrient balance assessment in the Mekong Basin: Nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in a catchment scale. International Journal of Water Resources Development 28(2): 373-391. doi:10.1080/07900627.2012.668649

Stucki, V.,  Wegerich, K., Rahaman, M. M. & Varis, O.  2012. Water and Security in Central Asia: Solving a Rubik’s Cube. International Journal of Water Resources Development 28(3): 395-397. doi: 10.1080/07900627.2012.684301

Varis, O. and Kummu, M. 2012. The major Central Asian river basins: an assessment of vulnerability. International Journal of Water Resources Development 28(3): 433-452. doi:10.1080/07900627.2012.684309

Varis, O., Kummu, M. and Salmivaara, A. 2012. Ten Major River Basins in Monsoon Asia-Pacific: An assessment of vulnerability. Applied Geography 32(2): 441-454. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2011.05.003

Varis O., Rahaman, M.M. & Kajander, T. 2012. Fully Connected Bayesian Belief Networks: The Modelling Procedure with a Case Study of the Ganges River Basin, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 8(3): 491-502. doi:10.1002/ieam.222.

Kummu, M. and Varis, O. 2011. The World by latitudes: a global analysis of human population, development level and environment across the north-south axis over the past half century. Applied geography 31(2): 495-507. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.10.009

Kummu, M., de Moel, H., Ward, P.J. and Varis, O. 2011. How close do we live to water? A global analysis of population distance to freshwater bodies. PLoS ONE 6(6): e20578. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0020578 [pdf]

Keskinen, M., Chinvanno, S., Kummu, M., Nuorteva, P., Snidvongs, A., Varis, O. and Västilä, K. 2010. Climate change and water resources in the Lower Mekong River Basin: putting adaptation into the context. Journal of Water and Climate Change 1(2): 103-117. doi:10.2166/wcc.2010.009

Kummu, M., Lu, X.X., Wang, J.J., and Varis, O. 2010. Basin-wide sediment trapping efficiency of emerging reservoirs along the Mekong. Geomoporphology, 119: 181-197. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2010.03.018

Kummu, M., Ward, P.J., de Moel, H., and Varis, O. 2010. Is physical water scarcity a new phenomenon? Global assessment of water shortage over the last two millennia. Environmental Research Letters 5: 034006. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/5/3/034006 [pdf]

Nuorteva, P., Keskinen, M. and Varis, O. 2010. Water, livelihoods and climate change adaptation in the Tonle Sap Lake area, Cambodia: learning from the past to understand the future, Journal of Water and Climate Change, 1(1): 87-101. doi: 10.2166/wcc.2010.010 [pdf]

Varis, O. 2009. Megacities attract: Urban Challenge for Water Management. Harvard International Review. Jun 2009.

Varis, O. and Abu-Zeid, K. 2009. Socio-Economic and Environmental Aspects of Water Management in the 21st Century: Trends, Challenges and Prospects for the MENA Region. International Journal of Water Resources Development 25(3): 507-522. doi: 10.1080/07900620902972679

Rahaman, M.M. & Varis, O. 2008. Mexico World Water Forum’s Ministerial Declaration 2006: A Dramatic Policy Shift?, International Journal of Water Resources Development 24(1): 177-196. doi: 10.1080/07900620701754054

Varis, O. 2008. Poverty, Economic Growth, Deprivation, and Water: The Cases of Cambodia and Vietnam. Ambio, 37(3): 225-231. [pdf]

Varis, O., Keskinen, M. and Kummu, M. 2008. Mekong at the crossroads. Ambio, 37(3): 146-149. [pdf]

Varis, O., Rahaman, M.M. & Stucki, V. 2008. The Rocky Road from Integrated Plans to Implementation: Lessons Learned from Mekong and Senegal River Basins, International Journal of Water Resources Development, Vol. 24, No. 1, pp. 103-121.
doi: 10.1080/07900620701723307

Keskinen, M., Käkönen, M., Prom, T. and Varis, O. 2007. The Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia: water-related conflicts with abundance of water. The Economics of Peace and Security Journal, 2(2): 49-59.

Kummu, M. and Varis, O. 2007. Sediment-related impacts due to upstream reservoir trapping, the Lower Mekong River. Geomorphology, 85(3-4): 275-293. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2006.03.024

Varis, O. 2007. Urban futures and footprints – Current directions. Water International 32: 589. doi: 10.1080/02508060.2007.9709690

Varis, O. 2007. Water Demands for Bioenergy Production. Water Resources Development, 23(3), 519–535. doi: 10.1080/07900620701486004

Varis, O. 2007. Right to Water: The Millennium Development Goals and Water in the MENA Region. International Journal of Water Resources Development 23(2): 243-266. doi: 10.1080/07900620601182992