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Team Highlight – Neil Grigg

Neil Grigg is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University. His focus on global water and infrastructure issues makes him a great addition to USPCASW. Neil took the time to share with us a little more about him and also a little more about Colorado State University and why they are part of the project.

Q: What other projects are you currently working on?

For myself, I am involved with projects ranging from management of buried pipe infrastructure to water governance in Peru.  Others involved at CSU also have a wide range of projects from water efficiency to restoration of irrigated agricultural lands.

Q: What is CSU’s history working in Pakistan?

It starts with Colorado State’s original mission, to help settlers with practical knowledge about water for western conditions, similar to Pakistan’s.   Over the years, Colorado State water faculty were leaders in the federal government’s most important water projects. When Maurice L. Albertson arrived in 1947 he was able to travel to Asia and see first-hand the post war poverty and devastation and he was especially active in promoting Pakistan projects. The international water programs began in the mid-1950s, when the university helped develop graduate-level water programs at the University of Peshawar for irrigation systems and on-farm water management.

Colorado State faculty were advisors for the link canals that are part of the Indus Project. During the 1960s, Colorado State performed model studies for the evolving Mangla and Tarbela dams in the Indus.

Colorado State was especially active in Pakistan irrigation research, and operated a number of projects for the Agency for International Development. One of these, the Water Management Synthesis Project, was directed by Wayne Clyma and produced many reports about irrigation technology and management during the late 1970s and into the 1980s.

Over the years Colorado State has hosted many delegations from Pakistan through its International School for Water Resources, and Pakistani students have been active in student affairs at the university.


Q: Why is continuing to pursue work in Pakistan important?

We think that as an emerging major nation in South Asia, Pakistan’s relationships with its neighbors will be very important for peace in the region. Its some 200-million people are very much in need of modernized water systems covering all of their needs.


Q: What is your experience doing this type of work?

I’ve been involved with diverse international water projects such as this one but the major experience lies with a number of us.


Q: What excites you about USPCASW and what drew you to the project?

We are committed to supporting the USAID mission in Pakistan and around the world and want to continue to engage globally in applying university-developed knowledge to the betterment of people and the environment.


Q: What challenges do you see with this project?

When managed well, projects such as these work well as long as the initial startup and funding continue. If there are any management problems effectiveness drops off quickly, and it is always a challenge to sustain the reforms introduced.


Q: What’s your favorite water place?

The Alabama River.


Q: Anything else?

Not right now.