Global Water Expertise at Patel School

Kala Vairavamoorthy is the founding director of USF’s Patel School of Global Sustainability.



TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2011) – Kala Vairavamoorthy, an internationally-recognized water expert, has spent his career studying water issues related to urban growth, climate change and how a population can benefit from a sustainable water system in the face of future challenges.


As director of the University of South Florida’s Patel School of Global Sustainability, Vairavamoorthy is committed to a school dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching with a focus on improving the quality of human life and supporting fragile ecosystems. Born in Sri Lanka, he has worked on developing programs for UNESCO and the European Union.


Since its official launch, the Patel School of Global Sustainability (PSGS) continues to advance the University of South Florida’s strategic plan in the areas of globally competitive graduate programs, world class interdisciplinary research, and strengthening sustainable and healthy communities locally and globally.


The school actively participates in many prestigious international water events that help put USF on the map. Over the summer, Vairavamoorthy, who has been at USF for about a year, was on the expert committee and a keynote speaker at both Singapore International Water Week and Stockholm World Water Week. PSGS also hosts the Secretariat for the IWA Cities of the Future program with steering committee members hailing from around the globe.


PSGS continues its research in the field of urban water management and has been invited by the World Bank to undertake several activities including the development of a strategic paper for the "Cities of the Future in Africa" program as well as advising the city of Tegucigalpa on innovations in urban water management. PSGS is currently drafting a strategic paper for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on decoupling economic growth from water resource depletion.  


Locally, PSGS conducted the 6th Annual UNESCO-IHE water management course and helped spearhead the Resilient Tampa Bay initiative that aims to reduce Tampa Bay's vulnerability against climate change and extreme events. PSGS will present its research at the Coastal Cities Summit 2012 in St. Petersburg, Fla.