Storage to stabilize water resource availability is necessary to increase water, food and energy security, reduce hazards, and adapt to climate change. Regulation of water resources using dams and reservoirs played a major role in socioeconomic development during the 20th Century, but practices of the time often led to undesired environmental and social impacts. Thousands more dams and reservoirs are planned for construction in the next decades, mainly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and there is a threat that many of the unwanted impacts experienced in the last century will be repeated in this new wave of dam construction, perhaps with even more severe consequences.

S-MultiStor is a three years initiative to investigate and demonstrate improved approaches to sustainable multi-purpose storage, aiming to make a measurable impact on sustainable development. The initiative is global in scope but includes concentrated activates in the Zambezi Basin of southern Africa, the Magdalena Basin of Colombia, and the Irrawaddy Basin of Myanmar. It creates a common research and innovation platform where researchers, planners, resource managers, and other decision-makers collaborate in the co-design and co-development of research and innovation activities.