Ramaswamy R Iyer was formerly Secretary Water Resources in the Government of India, and in that capacity he was the initiator and principal draftsman of India's first National Water Policy in 1987. After his retirement from the Government, he was Research Professor at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, where he worked on water-related issues, and in particular on cooperation on river waters by India, Nepal and Bangladesh (1990-99). He continues in CPR in an honorary capacity.
He was a member of two high-level committees set up by the Government of India to review the environmental and displacement/rehabilitation aspects of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Project (1993 - 95) and the Tehri Hydro-Electric Project (1996-97), and was a Member of the National Commission on Integrated Water Resources Development Plan (1997-99). He has also been a member of many other Government Committees and Commissions from time to time.
He is a member of the Programme Steering Committee for the Rajasthan State Partnership Programme with the European Commission (from 2006 onwards); and a member of the Government of India’s National Council on the Artificial Re-Charge of Groundwater.
From time to time, he has done consultancy assignments for the World Bank, the World Commission on Dams (WCD), the International Water Management Institute, Colombo, UNDP, New Delhi, the European Commission, and others.
He is currently (from August 2007) a Member of the UNSGAB High Level Expert Panel on Water and Disaster, an adjunct to the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.
Currently working on putting together and editing a book titled `Water and the Laws in India’ under the auspices of CPR..
Contributor of papers / chapters to many books edited by others.
Numerous articles, papers, etc, on water resource policy, public administration, governance, and economic, political, social and cultural issues.