Our organization, the Global Water Alliance (GWA) has its roots in the very existence of the World Water Forum, when our first president, Stan Laskowski, returned from the WWF in Mexico City in 2006. He was deeply impressed with the global dialogue about WASH and especially the need to address mortality rates that were related to water-borne diseases. In those days, as the Philadelphia Global Water Initiative, we adopted the Millennium Development Goal #7, on water and sanitation, as our mandate for organizing different activities. In 2015, now rebranded as Global Water Alliance, we based our mandate on the SDG 6.
We have been to every WWF since, except to Brazil in 2018. Our delegations to these fora included students, faculty members, business leaders and NGO staff. We have participated in debates, have performed student-led short dramas, joined panels and staffed booths. We spoke on women’s issues, school hygiene, and agricultural needs for water. In Dakar, we hope to speak to the issue of community ownership and maintenance of arsenic removal systems as implemented in West Bengal and we would like to address the notion of paradigm shift around water management, seeking to promote a commons perspective and to include a broad, all-inclusive concept of water literacy, that can be used to build the curricula of schools, highlight the capacity requirements of professionals as working in water and sanitation and hygiene.
One of our main activities is the organizing of conferences, annual and sometime specialized. Our 13th Annual Conference was held in Kolkata, India in early January 2020, themed “Achieving Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sustainability Goals for Developing Countries”. Our conference in 2019 was on “Solving US and Global Water Inequities; Sharing solutions from around the world”, where we also included a debate on issues in the USA. Currently we are working on a specialty conference on “Water and Peace, Promoting Security through Equitable Policy, Governance and Technology.” In all these endeavors, we collaborate with universities, partner organizations, government agencies and companies. But especially with young people who volunteer in this work with the hope that they will incorporate the SDGs and especially WASH into their careers, into their civic work, and in their lives as well informed citizens participating in the watery affairs of the local and the global community.
Global Water Alliance
About the GWA :
The GWA is a multidisciplinary network of professionals from academia, governmental agencies, NGO’s and businesses, centered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We focus on education, awareness raising and project-based action, seeking to bring academic rigor to planning and implementation of WASH related programs and outreach. We tend to focus on rural and peri-urban, often poorer, areas in the global WASH market. The prisms of resiliency and anticipating climate change drive our conferences as well as our work in the field. www.globalwateralliance.net.