Anjuli Jain Figueroa

Graduate Student

I am a second year graduate student currently working towards a Master’s degree in Technology and Policy. I conduct research with Professor Eltahir and Professor McLaughlin in Water Resource Management.

I grew up in Costa Rica and moved to Michigan, where I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I worked briefly in environmental engineering consulting and then moved to Cambridge to work towards my Master’s degree at MIT. I joined the Eltahir Research Group in 2011.

My research project focuses on a case of managing a transboundary river. More than 200 rivers cross at least one political border. Managing these resources will require coupling the physical sciences, economics and political states of the region to reach beneficial scenarios for all the parties. As a case study, I focus on the Upper Blue Nile. Starting at Lake Tana in Ethiopia, the Blue Nile contributes ~60% of the annual flow to the Nile river. Ethiopia has announced its intentions to develop hydropower and potential irrigation projects. This worries downstream countries like Egypt, which are totally dependent on the Nile for their water needs. The main driving question is whether there is a potential a win-win situation for water allocation among these nations.

In my spare time, I like to play soccer, read novels, play guitar and paint.