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Access to Clean Water

According to the United Nations, 2.1 billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services. Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, energy and food production, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself. Water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between the society and the environment.  And every country is affected (consider the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, USA). Water has been declared a universal human right.  Now there are many organizations and initiatives underway around the world to address the clean water problem.  How can the project management profession contribute to these efforts?


General Information

United Nations - Global Issues - Water - The United Nations has long been addressing the global crisis caused by insufficient water supply to satisfy basic human needs and growing demands on the world’s water resources to meet human, commercial and agricultural needs. Learn more about the global water crisis at http://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/water/

7 Reasons We're Facing a Global Water Crisis - Article by Leah Schleifer in August 2017 published by World Resources Institute.  Droughts in Somalia. Water rationing in Rome. Flooding in Jakarta and Harvey-battered Houston. It doesn't take a hydrologist to realize that there is a growing global water crisis. Each August, water experts, industry innovators, and researchers gather in Stockholm for World Water Week to tackle the planet's most pressing water issues. What are they up against this year? Here's a quick rundown on the growing global water crisis. Read article here.



Initiatives, Programs, Projects


Freshwater Project InternationalAn international initiative to provide clean water, safe sanitation & hygiene facilities to people in villages, schools and health centers in Malawi, Africa. This group’s approach is unique in that they focus on one country and partner with communities to create projects that have a high level of impact and sustainability. The JOY of FRESHWATER means that people in Malawi can enjoy good health, attend school, provide for their families and improve their life quality. Learn more at https://www.freshwaterintl.org/

The Water Project -The Water Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization unlocking human potential by providing reliable water projects to communities in sub-Saharan Africa who suffer  needlessly from a lack of access to clean water and proper sanitation. For ten years, we have been helping communities gain access to clean, safe water by providing training, expertise and financial support for water project construction through our staff and implementing partners. Learn and contribute at https://thewaterproject.org/




African Water Facility (AWF) - An initiative led by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to mobilise resources to finance water resources development activities in Africa. It is hosted and managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The AWF provides grants and expert technical assistance to implement innovative water projects and raise investment for water projects throughout Africa. Over its past decade of operation, the AWF developed a portfolio of grants covering 104 projects in 52 countries including Africa’s most vulnerable states. For more, click here or here.


Papers, Reports, Studies

The United Nations 2019 World Water Development Report: Leaving No One Behind. The report published by Unesco on its website in March 2019, studies various factors leading to discrimination. As the sixth in a series of annual, thematic reports, the 2019 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report examines how improved water resource management and access to water supply and sanitation services can help address the causes and alleviate the impacts of poverty and social inequity. It provides insights and guidance in helping identify ‘who’ is being left behind, and describes how existing frameworks and mandates, such as the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and human rights-based approaches, can help ‘reach the furthest first’ through improved water management. Full report available at https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000367306 (Gogate)




Articles, Blogs, Expert Opinions




Educational Multi-Media Lectures, Presentations, Videos




Other Resources



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This section of the library created January 2018



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