Van de Giesen is one of the founders of TAHMO, the network of low-cost hydro-meteorological monitoring stations set up in sub-Saharan Africa. Food production and harvest predictions would profit from improved understanding of water availability over space and time.
His work in Ghana capacitates local researchers and provides highly relevant information to local people. The GLOWA-Volta Project that he conceptualised and started, produced a total of 88 PhD graduates, of which nearly two-thirds were from West Africa.
Nick van de Giesen is also steering committee chairman of the Delft Global Initiative.
The Henry Darcy Medal is named after the 19th century French hydrologist Henry Philibert Gaspard Darcy.