I am an engineer and project manager with over 2 decades of experience in water resources planning and engineering, hydrologic and hydraulic systems modeling, water delivery system design and construction, and stakeholder education and capacity building. I have extensive expertise in the development and application of decision support systems for both long-term water resource planning and management as well as daily operations of reservoirs to meet multiple management objectives. My work focuses on facilitating stakeholder involvement in managing water resources by providing technical support with current modeling tools, facilitating community organization and promoting dialogue between water users for seeking solutions to complex water management problems. With experience ranging from large-scale water management to small scale community construction projects in both urban and remote environments, I provide a bridge between the policy and the practical aspects of water management.
Mr. Wheeler has been working extensively on the Colorado River since 2000. Starting with the Colorado River Interim Surplus Guidelines, he played a central role by developing the tools necessary to bring stakeholders together throughout the basin to understand and interpret proposed policies. He also worked alongside the Bureau of Reclamation and a variety of stakeholders to facilitate the required modeling for the development of the Secretarial Implementation Agreement, Multi-Species Conservation Program, and the Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and the Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead. In 2012, he led the technical modeling efforts during the negotiations for Minute 319 of the treaty between the United States and Mexico over sharing the Colorado River during times of shortages and surplus conditions, and a pilot restoration effort for the delta. Most recently, he has supported the Future’s of the Colorado program at Utah State University. Over the last 20 years, he has consulted for federal, state, academic, private and non-profit entities that all have interests in the management of the Colorado River.
Mr. Wheeler currently supports the ongoing development of the Eastern Nile Region through model development, stakeholder training, and exploring alternatives for cooperation and coordination of river infrastructure. He collaborates closely with research institutions in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt. He is a Fellow of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, leading the Nile-related research for the Transboundary Resource Management Program.
Wheeler, K., Kuhn, E., Bruckerhoff, L., Udall, B., Wang, J., Gilbert, L., . . . Schmidt, J. C. (2021). Alternative Management Paradigms for the Future of the Colorado and Green Rivers. The Future of the Colorado River Project.
de Boer, T., Paltan, H., Sternberg, T., & Wheeler, K. (2021). Evaluating Vulnerability of Central Asian Water Resources under Uncertain Climate and Development Conditions: The Case of the Ili-Balkhash Basin. Water, 13(5), 615. doi:10.3390/w13050615
Wheeler, K., Jeuland, M., Hall, J. W., Zagona, E., & Whittington, D. (2020). Understanding and managing new risks on the Nile with the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Nature Communications, 11(1), 5222. doi:10.1038/s41467-020-19089-x
Wheeler, K., Caplan, R. (2020), How Natural Resource (Mis-)management in the Nile River Basin May Threaten Stability, Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, online only https://gjia.georgetown.edu/2020/05/20/natural-resource-mis-management-in-nile-river-basin-may-threaten-stability/
Basheer, M., Wheeler, K., Elagib, N. A., Etichia, M., Zagona, E. A., Abdo, G. M., & Harou, J. J. (2020). Filling Africa’s Largest Hydropower Dam Should Consider Engineering Realities. One Earth, 3(3), 277-281. doi:10.1016/j.oneear.2020.08.015
Mordos, M. A., Sharfi, E. S. A., Mohammed, B. A., & Wheeler, K. (2020). Hydrological Impacts of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on River Nile Hydrology Within Sudan. Hydrology, 8(3), 41.
Salehabadi, H., Tarboton, D., Kuhn, E., Udall, B., Wheeler, K., Rosenberg, D., . . . Schmidt, J. C. (2020). The Future Hydrology of the Colorado River Basin. The Future of the Colorado River Project.
Wang, J., Wheeler, K., Rosenberg, D., & Schmidt, J. C. (2020). Managing the Colorado River for an Uncertain Future. The Future of the Colorado River Project.
Wheeler, K. (2019). Transboundary Governance of the Colorado River. In E. Choudhury & S. Islam (eds.), Complexity of Transboundary Water Conflicts: Enabling Conditions for Negotiating Contingent Resolutions. London: Antham Press.
Hall, J. W., Borgomeo, E., Mortazavi-Naeini, M., & Wheeler, K. (2019). Water Resource System Modelling and Decision Analysis. In Water Science, Policy, and Management (pp. 257-273).
Wheeler, K., Rosenberg, D., & Schmidt, J. C. (2019). Water Resource Modeling of the Colorado River: Present and Future Strategies. The Future of the Colorado River Project.
Wheeler K. (2018) Managing risks while filling the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. In: Yihdego Z, Rieu-Clarke A, Cascão AE (eds.), The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and the Nile Basin: Implications for Transboundary Water Cooperation. Abingdon: Routledge.
Wheeler, K. G., Hall, J. W., Abdo, G. M., Dadson, S. J., Kasprzyk, J. R., Smith, R., & Zagona, E. A. (2018). Exploring Cooperative Transboundary River Management Strategies for the Eastern Nile Basin. Water Resources Research, 54(11), 9224-9254. doi:doi:10.1029/2017WR022149
Wheeler, K. G., Robinson, C. J., & Bark, R. H. (2018). Modelling to bridge many boundaries: the Colorado and Murray-Darling River basins. Regional Environmental Change, 18(6), 1607-1619. doi:10.1007/s10113-018-1304-z
Basheer, M., Wheeler, K. G., Ribbe, L., Majdalawi, M., Abdo, G., & Zagona, E. A. (2018). Quantifying and evaluating the impacts of cooperation in transboundary river basins on the Water-Energy-Food nexus: The Blue Nile Basin. Science of The Total Environment, 630, 1309-1323. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.02.249
Wheeler, K. G., Basheer, M., Mekonnen, Z. T., Eltoum, S. O., Mersha, A., Abdo, G. M., Zagona, E. A., Hall, J. W., & Dadson, S. J. (2016). Cooperative filling approaches for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Water International, 41(4), 611-634. doi:10.1080/02508060.2016.1177698
Grafton, R. Q., McLindin, M., Hussey, K., .. Wheeler, K. (2016). Responding to Global Challenges in Food, Energy, Environment and Water: Risks and Options Assessment for Decision-Making. Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, 3(2), 275-299. doi:doi:10.1002/app5.128
Wheeler, K. G., Pitt, J., Magee, T. M., & Luecke, D. F. (2007). Alternatives for restoring the Colorado river delta. Natural Resources Journal, 47, 917. doi:http://www.jstor.org/stable/24889540