Water Working Group

This program is no longer active.

A neutral venue for networking, information-sharing, and cross-disciplinary discussion around global water issues.

The Project on Global Water Policy convenes a monthly working group that focuses on international water and sanitation issues. The group's members include representatives from NGOs, corporations, universities, federal agencies, congressional staffers, and advocacy organizations.

The working group occupies a unique space in the DC-based water community: it offers a neutral and non-partisan venue for networking and information-sharing and an opportunity for participants to learn about emerging practices, programs, and policy-debates related to global water challenges and to advance cross-disciplinary discussion and planning related to water projects and partnerships. 

Recent water working groups have focused on the following topics:


Cities of the Future: Establishing Sustainable Water Systems in Emerging Urban Centers

In January, Kala Vairavamoorthy, Executive Director of the Patel School of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida, spoke to the water working group about the challenges that emerging urban centers face in establishing sustainable water systems. After his presentation, Dr. Vairavamoorthy recorded a podcast on the subject.

Water Working Group Meeting

The April meeting featured two speakers: Dr. Darren Saywell, WASH/CLTS Technical Director at Plan International USA, who spoke to the group about the outcomes of the April 20th Sanitation and Water for All Partnership meetings at the World Bank; and Mr. Moussa Seck, Program Coordinator of the USAID Millennium Water and Sanitation Program in Senegal, who spoke to the group about this public-private initiative that seeks to improve sustainable access to water supply and sanitation and promote better hygiene in rural and peri-urban areas of Sengal. After their presentations, Dr. Saywell and Mr. Seck each recorded podcasts.


Managing Water Resources in the South Asia Region

In December, Dr. Winston Yu, Senior Water Resources Specialist at the World Bank and Professorial Lecturer in Energy, Resources and Environment at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, spoke at CSIS about the challenges of managing water resources in the South Asia region. After his presentation, Dr. Yu recorded a podcast on the subject.

USAID's Work on Global Water Challenges

In September, Mr. Chris Holmes, Global Water Coordinator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) spoke at CSIS about USAID's current work on global water challenges and what the agency's outlook is towards other global water issues. After his presentation, Mr. Holmes recorded a podcast on this subject.

Women for Water - Water for All Campaign

In July, Kathy Baczko, Director of Global Partnerships at the WASH Advocacy Initiative, spoke at CSIS about the new Women for Water – Water for All campaign. Ms. Baczko also recorded a podcast on this subject.

Non-Revenue Water

In May, Alan Wyatt, Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist in the International Development Group at RTI International, spoke to the working group about non-revenue water—any water for which a utility company is not paid, due usually to leaks, poor meters, or theft; he also recorded a podcast on the subject.

The Big Thirst

In April, Journalist Charles Fishman, author of The Walmart Effect, discussed his new book The Big Thirst, which looks at the complex role of water in the world’s societies. Mr. Fishman also recorded a podcast on his new book and what initially drew him to investigate water.

Water Safety Plans: A Holistic Approach to Drinking Water Management

In February, Rick Gelting, Team Leader for Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health,  discussed Water Safety Plans (WSPs), a holistic approach to drinking water management developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Climate Change Adaptations for the Water Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean

In January, Fernando Miralles-Wilhelm, a Water and Sanitation Specialist at the Interamerican Development Bank (IADB), discussed the Regional Policy Dialog in Latin America and the Caribbean: Challenges and Opportunities in Climate Change Adaptation for the Water Sector. Dr. Miralles-Wilhelm, who coordinated the regional policy dialog, discussed its purpose and findings in this podcast.


The Role of Universities in the Global Water and Sanitation Sector

In December, Kellogg Schwab of Johns Hopkins University and Cheryl Choge of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University discussed the growing role of universities in the global water and sanitation sector. Kellogg recorded a podcast on this subject, available here.

The Human Resource Challenge in Developing Countries

In October, Darren Saywell, Development Director for the International Water Association (IWA), presented findings of a pilot research project on the human resources gap for water services in developing countries, which was led by IWA and funded by the UK’s Department for International Development.

Monthly Meeting of the Water Working Group

In September, the working group shared updates  on the 2010 World Water Week in Stockholm and the International Water Association’s World Water Congress & Exhibition in Montreal,  reviewed key water-related outcomes from the MDG Summit, and discussed recent developments  related to the  proposed Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act.

WASH Challenges in Post-earthquake Haiti

In August, Jay Graham, an Environmental Health Advisor at USAID, and Paulo Teixeira, Regional Advisor in Urban Health at the Pan American Health Organization, discussed the continuing challenges of providing safe drinking water and sanitation in post-earthquake Haiti.

Strategic Planning Session

In July, the group engaged in a strategic planning session regarding potential future directions for the water working group.