Dr Sabine Stuart-Hill

Tel: +27 33 260 5460

Email: Dr Sabine Stuart-Hill


Centre for Water Resources Research

University of KwaZulu-Natal


Private Bag X01



Hydrology Lecturer


Mrs Stuart-Hill is presently working as a lecturer at UKZN with her area of expertise being adaptive water management and water governance of South Africa. A specific focus of her PhD research is mainstreaming climate change and adaptation in to decision making processes. Furthermore, she is involved in the Governance Think Tank of the Water Research Commission, is member of the WISA Management and Institutional Affairs Division committee championing the governance theme and since March 2013 member of the Interim Steering Committee for the re-establishment of the South African Country Water Partnership.
Participatory processes are a strong focus of her research and besides designing, organising and facilitating workshops, involvements with the Catchment Management Fora of the Msunduzi and the Upper Mgeni in KwaZulu-Natal are a given. Being on the Reference Group for the establishment of the Catchment Management Agency for KwaZulu-Natal has opened a window of opportunity to bring science directly into the water policy and management field.
It needs to be noted that before joining the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Sabine worked as a professional in diverse capacities that have influenced her critical thinking and facilitating abilities: After 2 years at an Engineering Office for Environmental Management in Cologne, she joined the German IRMA-Secretariat. IRMA was a European funded programme on preventive flood management jointly designed by the EU member states France, Luxembourg, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, and with a special status Switzerland. She monitored evaluated the 35 transnational German projects and negotiated for them on the European level. The project activities ranged from research to infrastructural measures to management strategies, including public participation where possible. Based on her broad knowledge of national and international environmental law she was assigned as an expert member to several working groups of the International Commission for the Protection of the River Rhine, consulting the International Commission for the Protection of the River Elbe and as a member of the ‘European expert group on flood management of the United Nations, Economic Council of Europe’.



  • MSc Degree in Geography (Diplom-Geografin) with her majors being Soil Sciences and Meteorology, Rheinische Friedrich- Wilhelms University, Bonn, Germany. (Sep 1997).

Current Research Projects

  • Water Research Commission Project: Developing water related climate change adaptation options to support implementation of policy and strategies for Water for Growth and Development. Project Leader and Principal Investigator; 2010 – 2013.
  • Water Research Commission Project: Planning for adaptation: Applying scientific climate change projections to local social realities. Advisor; 2012 – 2015.


Selected Recent Publications

  • STUART-HILL, S.I., HERRFAHRDT-PÄHLE, E., and PAHL-WOSTL, C. (in review). Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change: Preparing decision making in the water sector. International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management.
  • STUART-HILL, S.I., BULCOCK, L.M. and SCHULZE, R.E. (in review). Understanding Water’s Link to Societal Vulnerability to Identify Climate Change Hotspots in South Africa. Water SA.
  • ZIERVOGEL, G., NEW, M., ARCHER VAN GARDEREN, E., MIDGLEY, G., HAMANN, R., TAYLOR, A., STUART-HILL, S., WARBURTON, M. and J. MYERS (in review) Climate change impacts and adaptation in South Africa: current approaches and future challenges. WIRES.
  • STUART-HILL, S.I. and R.E. SCHULZE (Eds.) (2012) An Evaluation of the Sensitivity of Socio-Economic Activities to Climate Change in Climatically Divergent South African Catchments. Water Research Commission, Pretoria, RSA, WRC Report No. 1843/1/12, ISBN 978-1-4312-0267-6, pp 195.
  • STUART-HILL, S.I., SCHULZE, R.E. and J. COLVIN (2012) Handbook on Adaptive Management Strategies and Options for the Water Sector in South Africa under Climate Change. WRC Report No. 1843/2/12, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • HERRFAHRDT-PÄHLE, E. and S.I. STUART-HILL (2010) African developments: Adapting to climate change – A governance challenge. Briefing Paper 16, German Development Institute. Bonn, Germany.
  • STUART-HILL, S.I. and R.E. SCHULZE (2010) Does South Africa’s water law and policy allow for climate change adaptation? Climate and Development 2: 128–144. doi:10.3763/cdev.2010.0035