China Water Risk Team


Debra Tan 1

Debra Tan, Director

Debra heads the CWR team and has steered the CWR brand from idea to a leader in the water risk conversation globally. Reports she has written for and with financial institutions analyzing the impact of water risks on the Power, Mining, Agricultural and Textiles industries have been considered groundbreaking and instrumental in understanding not just China’s but future global water challenges. One of these led the fashion industry to nominate CWR as a finalist for the Global Leadership Awards in Sustainable Apparel; another is helping to build consensus toward water risk valuation. Debra is a prolific speaker on water risk delivering keynotes, participating in panel discussions at water prize seminars, numerous investor & industry conferences as well as G2G and academic forums. Before venturing into “water”, she worked in finance, spending over a decade as a chartered accountant and investment banker specializing in M&A and strategic advisory. Debra left banking to pursue her interest in photography and also ran and organized philanthropic and luxury holidays for a small but global private members travel network She has lived and worked in Beijing, HK, KL, London, New York and Singapore and spends her spare time exploring glaciers in Asia. See Debra’s articles

Feng Hu

Feng Hu, Water-nomics

Feng leads CWR’s work in water-nomics integrating economic planning with water risk management at both basin and regional levels. His collaborative projects for CWR include the joint policy briefs with China’s Foreign Economic Cooperation Office of the Ministry of Environmental Protection on the water-nomics of the Yangtze River Economic Belt. Given Asia’s need to develop within a tight water-energy-climate nexus, Feng also works to expand the water-nomics conversation beyond China into rest of Asia. He has given talks on the topic and other water issues at international conferences, academic symposiums, corporate trainings and investor forums. Prior to CWR, Feng was a senior auditor in an international certification company where he worked with governments, private developers & NGOs on various climate projects from renewable energy, energy efficiency to waste management as well as dam compliance assessment of large hydropower projects. He has led projects in most of the provinces in China, several African countries, Vietnam and Nepal, and conducted research on urban water ecosystem health assessment using remote sensing to feasibility study of biofuel production from microalgae. Feng holds a MSc degree in Sustainable Resource Management from Technical University of Munich and a BSc degree in Environmental Science from Zhejiang University. See Feng’s articles

DM Portrait Photo 2016

Dawn McGregor, Projects & Network

Dawn leads China Water Risk’s projects in the textile space, as well as conducts research and analyses on broader water risk and its disclosure. She is also responsible CWR’s communications and extensive network. She showcased these skills at World Water Week, where she has twice been lead rapporteur presenting key findings in the closing plenary, as well as contributing to conference’s conclusion papers. She has also delivered keynotes at various industry conferences, corporate events and investor forums in China and around the world. Dawn previously worked in a global investment bank analysing and mitigating non-financial risk in Asia Pacific. This included crisis management, business resiliency and geo-political risk assessment. She now continues her work in risk assessment with a new focus of China and water. Dawn has a background in science with a degree in Biology and Business, which she chose with the view of bridging the scientific world with the corporate & public sector to create synergistic opportunities. Dawn was born and bred in Hong Kong and has lived in France, England as well as Singapore & Beijing. See Dawn’s articles

Yuanchao XU

Yuanchao Xu, Regulatory & Climate 

Yuanchao specializes in sectoral/regional water and climate risk assessment as well as China regulatory risk interpretation. He has contributed to CWR’s water risk valuation work, presenting key valuation methodologies at the PBoC (China’s central bank). He has also written extensively about water regulations in China, representing CWR in the writing of the water risk chapter of the “Green Finance Series – Case Studies on Environmental Risk Analysis of Financial Institutions” led by the Chair of the Green Finance Committee of China. Yuanchao has Erasmus Mundus masters in hydro-informatics and water management. While in Europe, he applied his skills in climate forecasting and water resource modelling to the EUPORIAS project with DHI (Danish Hydraulic Institute) which resulted in a conference paper on seasonal climate forecasting. He went on to develop hyfo, an open-source R programme for climate scientists and modellers to analyse and visualize data as well as gfer for green finance and environmental risk. Yuanchao obtained his bachelors from the China Agricultural University where he specialized in heat energy and power engineering. During his time there, he also patented a testing instrument for hydraulic machinery. He has studied and worked in Beijing, Nice, Newcastle, Copenhagen and Hong Kong. See Yuanchao’s articles.

Hubert Thieriot

Hubert Thieriot, Web & IT

Hubert now only works on web development for CWR, having transitioned away from his role in the water & energy space, which included driving the water risk valuation conversation for the energy sector. Engagement with multiple stakeholders at CWR has led him to explore for-profit solutions in addressing challenges in Environmental Risk Analysis. He now spearheads Environmental Risk Profiler (ERP), an independent online solution to identify, monitor & anticipate environmental risks, with which CWR may work with on a project basis. Previously, Hubert spent several years in Beijing, where he conducted research for the International Institute for Sustainable Development as well as the Chinese Institute of Engineering Development Strategies (CIEDS) on international energy efficiency policies, low-carbon policies and China’s future trends including the circular economy. In a previous life, Hubert researched and lectured on energy in European and Chinese institutions, including Mines ParisTech, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL), and Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He holds various degrees in mechanical engineering, philosophy and public policy.  See Hubert’s articles.

CT Low

Dr CT Low, Mapping & Network

Low has extensive inter-disciplinary research experience, which although wide-ranging, focuses on identifying hotspots to facilitate better planning. At CWR, Low uses spatial modelling and statistical analysis as well as remote sensing, cartography, and geo-statistics to map and assess water risks. In addition, he helps manage CWR’s extensive network of contributors and partners. CWR is Low’s first foray outside academia and he hopes to apply his 12 years of scientific know-how toward enhancing the understanding of water risk in Asia, including spatial temporal variabilities of anthropogenic and natural factors on water resources. Previously, Low was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Hong Kong where he devised methodologies to measure and benchmark the quality of urban life in an Asian context. As a certified GIS Professional, he also taught GIS and spatial analysis modules there. Low’s research on urban, human and environmental health is published in 11 prominent international peer-reviewed journals; he has also written a chapter in a book on managing environmental hazards. His PhD thesis on place effect on human well-being was prize-winning. Low is currently the reviewer editor for the journal “Frontiers in Environmental Informatics” and also reviews other international journals such as “Applied Geography”.

Woody 2016 (Square)

Woody Chan, Analyst

Born in Hong Kong, Woody graduated from the University of Cambridge in June 2016 with a BA in Geography. His travels across Eurasia pointed him towards the nexus between environmental risk and global business. In particular, he is concerned with the extent and effects of wastewater discharge in China – the topic of his dissertation. At China Water Risk, Woody undertakes multiple research streams ranging from China’s water-food nexus to green data centres to water stress in the HKH region. Moreover, he assists in the publication of the monthly newsletter and will be responsible for future updating and revamping of China Water Risk’s website and newsletter. Also proficient at GIS mapping, he hopes to embark on a career which helps tackle climate change from a business and financial perspective. See Woody’s articles.

Max Leung

Max Tsz Chun Leung, Analyst

Max makes use of his experience in data visualization, statistical analyses and programming techniques to create insights from water and business/financial related data in China. He also assists in the development of our digital platform. Max’s philosophy is that decision-making should rely upon some sort of quantitative analysis. In the era of Big Data and information overload, his ambition is to become a seasoned data scientist, distilling meaning from “messy” data. Prior to joining, Max was a Research Assistant at the business school of the Open University of Hong Kong. He also previously worked as a Reward Analyst in the Group Human Resources of Dairy Farm. Hailing from Hong Kong, Max holds a Master of Economics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has also passed CFA-Level 1 and FRM Part 1.


Brand Development, Design & Web Support

Unison Creative is a full service design and digital marketing agency based in Hong Kong, working with established and challenger brands all around the world. The team at Unison are champions of strategic planning, sticklers for detail and strong advocates of thinking like the customer when creating integrated brand solutions.

China Water Risk Internship Alumni

Ken Li, Summer Intern (June – August 2016)

Erin Wong, Summer Intern (July – August 2015)

Caleb Yau, Intern (July, 2015)

Inna Lazavera, Satellite Researcher (2014)

Angus Walker, Intern (November – December 2014)

Hannah Short, Summer Intern (July – August 2014)

Hwa Yen, Intern (February – April 2014)

Matthew Cheuk, Summer Intern (August 2013)

James Crofton, Summer Intern (May-June 2013)

John Jacobs, Intern (October-December 2012)

Jeffrey Cheuk, Summer Intern (June-August 2012)

Pierre Sieur, Summer Intern (June-July 2012)

Annabelle Thomson, Summer Intern (May-June 2012)

Selina Chan, Researcher (March 2012)

Luke Wilmot-Sitwell, Intern (Sept-Dec 2011)

Tina Yee, Intern (Jun-Sept 2011)

Emma Mendel, Summer Intern – Graphics (Jun – Aug 2011)

Vasundhara Bahadur, Summer Intern (May – Jul 2011)

Maya Ziswiler, Marketing (May-Jul 2011)

Natalie van Maaren, Development (Jan-Jun 2011)

Jean-Philippe Atse, Sector Analysis & Benchmarking (Sept-Dec 2010)

Marina Tse, Intern (Sept- Dec 2010)


China Water Risk would also like to thank the following for contribution of their time volunteering with us: Angelina Ng, Amanda Yao, Filippo Cecchi, Hugo Plunkett, Charles Williams, Thebes Law 


For a full list of our contributors who range from water experts, academics, journalists and investors to captains of industry …. click here