Is a University Consortium for Water and Sanitation in the Developing World Sustainable?

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2018 UCOWR/NIWR Annual Water Resources Conference

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Recently, efforts have intensified to form a consortium of higher education institutions to promote water, sanitation, and health (WaSH) in the Developing World. Efforts have included briefings for legislators, legislative staff, government agencies, and non-government organizations on Capitol Hill, surveys of universities and their overseas activities, publications and presentations focused on hydrophilanthropy, organizational meetings to advance cooperation, and development of mission and vision statements. Individually, many universities have overseas programs that institutions provide the capacity to conduct fundamental, community-based infrastructure design for water and sanitation systems; lead educational and capacity building efforts in concert with international partners; provide experiential learning opportunities for US and foreign students; and furnish independent peer review of governmental policies, programs, and projects for clean water. As articulated in the mission statement, “The University Consortium for Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is a group of experienced faculty, staff, administrators and students whose goal is to improve the quality of life; reduce mortality and morbidity; better coordinate multidisciplinary water resource development and protection internationally; spearhead institutional and community-level educational efforts; participate in and support the development of water, sanitation, hygiene, and public health policy/legislation; and increase the efficacy and benefits of both existing and planned water/ sanitation projects.” Faculty and their students who participate in these efforts have often played “a primary role in advancing access to sustainable water resources, improving sanitation/hygiene practices, and informing policy development.” Immediate goals of this group are to better coordinate international projects, to better inform the community and decision makers of university WaSH efforts, and to promote partnerships and support for hydrophilanthropic efforts abroad.


Hydrology | Natural Resources and Conservation