Who We Are
The Global Water Alliance started in 2006 as the Philadelphia Global Water Alliance (PGWI). PGWI was started by professionals from different disciplines, after Stan Laskowski came back from the World Water Forum in Mexico City. Using the mandate of the United Nations Millennium Goal #7, these professionals engaged in services overseas, most often in collaboration with others, in Cameroon, India, Kenya, Afghanistan, Haiti, Colombia, among others (see elsewhere about our collaborations). They also engaged in creating awareness among the business and political leaders in Philadelphia and beyond about the global dimensions and intensities of the world water situation and how we are all connected through water; and they engaged in education about Global WASH issues through developing curricula for undergrad and grad courses, developing educational materials for use in high schools and participate in guest lectures and workshop.
Now we, as GWA, work within the visions of the United Nations Water Inter-Agency Collaborative Program, taking our mandate from the Sustainable Development Goals as adopted in 2015 by the U.N. General Assembly, specifically focusing on goal 6. We try to develop a holistic, multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted approach to WASH, understanding the many needs for water, from health and survival to agricultural, commercial and recreational uses, and aware of the secular trends towards commodification of water and water systems (read more here). We provide assistance to others who work on ameliorating the water needs of poor and underserved peoples everywhere, we mentor the next generation of professionals, and we promote a “water footprint mindset” among our youth. Our fieldwork depends on funds available and the collaboration of other entities in our network. While not excluding WASH in cities, our fieldwork tends to be in more rural and peri-urban settings, where scale, population dynamics, and capacity are major variables in project and program development.