The Water Research Institute (IRSA), an operative body of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), was established in 1968. Main activities of the Institute are to provide Parliament and the State Administration, as well as the water management agencies and national industries, with know-how and innovative technologies and tools for the rational utilization and protection of water resources. The ongoing research program is designed to provide decision-making methods and tools for the management of surface and groundwater resources under present and climate change conditions. CNR-IRSA deeply investigated the behavior of surface and groundwater resources in condition of scarcity taking into account the potential conflicts among water users and other institutional and economic actors. CNR-IRSA has been involved in several EU research projects dealing with drought risk analysis and management. Research activities concerning the development and implementation of drought and flood risk reduction policies have been carried out at national and international level. Most of these activities were aiming to enhance the involvement of stakeholders in the decision-making process, and to integrate social risk perception in risk management. CNR-IRSA is member of the expert group on Water Scarcity & Drought, formed within the EU CIS. Moreover, IRSA is partner of the WssTP (Water supply and sanitation Technology Platform) and participates to the "Hydro Climatic Extremes" pilot. CNR-IRSA participated in several European projects devoted to climate change (CHESS), implementation of WFD (HarmonIT, HarmoniRiB, EuroHarp, TempoQSim) and land use management (AgriBMP-Water). Within the 6FP CNR-IRSA was deeply involved in research projects focused on drought management. IRSA coordinated AquaStress-IP focusing on mitigation measures of water stress through new approaches to integrated management, technical, economic and institutional instruments. CNR-IRSA was also involved in NeWater, aiming to define innovative approaches for the adaptive water management under conditions of complexity and uncertainty. CNR-IRSA was involved in CIRCE project which aimed at predicting and quantifying physical impacts of climate change in the Mediterranean area, and evaluating the consequences of climate change for the society and the economy of the populations located in the Mediterranean area. Currently, CNR-IRSA is involved in EDUCEN project aiming at facilitating the flow of knowledge and information during the different phases of emergency management.