Global Water Partnership

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Global Water Partnership
GWP Global rgb.jpg
Type Intergovernmental organisation
Focus Water management
Area served
World wide
Key people

Executive Secretary Dr Ania Grobicki
Chair Dr Ursula Schaefer-Preuss

Technical Committee Chair Dr Mohamed Ait-Kadi
Vision and Mission
The Global Water Partnership's vision is for a water secure world. Its mission is to support the sustainable development and management of water resources at all levels.

The Global Water Partnership (GWP) is an international network created to foster an integrated approach to water resources management (IWRM). Its vision is for a water secure world. GWP offers practical advice for sustainably managing water resources.[1] It operates as a network, open to all organisations, including government institutions, agencies of the United Nations, bi- and multi-lateral development banks, professional associations, research institutions, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector.[2]


GWP grew out of decades of dissatisfaction with water management [3] practices and a consensus that a more sustainable approach was needed. Several large international conferences and agreements had particular influence over its formation:

  • The 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Environment
  • The 1977 Mar del Plata Conference,
  • The 1992 Dublin Conference held in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) (Earth Summit) in Rio de Janeiro the same year.[4] One outcome of the Dublin Conference were the ‘Dublin Principles’ [5] that today are the founding pillars of IWRM.
  • Agenda 21 that came out of the UNECD formally integrated the Dublin principles in Chapter 18: Protection of the Quality & Supply of Freshwater Resources: Application of Integrated Approaches to the Development, Management & Use of Water Resources".[6]

The GWP was founded in 1996 with the support of the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).[7][8] Initially functioning as a unit of Sida, GWP became an intergovernmental organisation under international law known as the Global Water Partnership Organisation (GWPO) in 2002. The Secretariat is based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Organisational Structure[edit]

The GWP network has more than 2,800 partners in 167 countries in 13 regions.

The Network currently comprises 13 Regional Water Partnerships and 84 Country Water Partnerships, and includes more than 2,800 institutional Partners located in 169 countries. The 13 regions are: Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Africa, West Africa, the Mediterranean, Central and Eastern Europe, Caribbean, Central America, South America, Central Asia and the Caucasus, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and China.

Although the activities are coordinated and supported from the Secretariat, Regional and Country Partnerships manage and govern themselves, and convene stakeholders to address specific issues. They bring about solutions that are both tailored to local conditions and informed by local experiences and good practices from across the network.

The Global Secretariat supports the Executive Secretary, the Technical Committee and other GWP Committees, and the Regional Water Partnerships in governance, finance, communications, planning, and operational management of programmes and administration. In addition, GWP is supported by its Technical Committee which consists of 12 internationally recognised professionals selected for their experience in different disciplines relating to water resources management.

The GWP Chair is Dr Ursula Schaefer-Preuss, taking up her position in January 2013.[9] The Executive Secretary is Dr Ania Grobicki [10] and the Chair of the GWP Technical Committee is Dr Mohamed Ait-Kadi.[11] Its Patrons are Dr. Ismail Serageldin and Margaret Catley-Carlson. HRH the Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander was a Patron until 30 April 2013 when he became King of the Netherlands.[12]

Vision, Mission and Strategic Goals[edit]

The GWP’s vision is for a water secure world. Its mission is to support the sustainable development and management of water resources at all levels. Its four strategic goals are:

  1. Promote water as a key part of sustainable national development
  2. Address critical development challenges
  3. Reinforce knowledge sharing and communications
  4. Build a more effective network

Operations and Actions[edit]

GWP sees its role as having the technical expertise and convening power to bring together diverse stakeholders who can contribute to the social and political change processes that help bring the vision of a water secure world closer to reality. As such, GWP perceives one of its most important tasks to be Capacity Building and Knowledge Sharing. This is done in an array of ways including through publications, workshops, training courses, meetings, informal exchanges, and through its IWRM Toolbox website.[13] The GWP IWRM Toolbox is a free online database on IWRM with local, national, regional, and global case studies and references. As a platform, it allows practitioners and professionals to discuss and analyse the various elements of the IWRM process, and facilitates the prioritisation of actions aimed at improving water governance and management, as well as engage with a broader community for the solution of water related problems.

GWP also operates with strategic allies through thematic programmes such as the Global Water and Climate Programme, the joint GWP-World Meteorological Organization Associated Programme on Flood Management and the Integrated Drought Management Programme. Key strategic allies include among others: CapNet UNDP, UN-Water and UNEP-DHI Centre.


  1. ^ Falkenmark, Malin and Folke, Carl (September 2000) "How to Bring Ecological Services into Integrated Water Resources Management" Ambio 29(6): pp. 351-352, page 351. The article synopsizes the November 1999 seminar held at the Beijer Institute by the Stockholm University Centre for Research on Natural Resources and the Environment to identify fundamental gaps in the activities and planning of the Global Water Partnership.
  2. ^ Reinicke, Wolfgang H. (1999) "The Other World Wide Web: Global Public Policy Networks" Foreign Policy No. 117 pp. 44-57, page 47
  3. ^ Gleick, Peter H. (August 1998) "Water in Crisis: Paths to Sustainable Water Use" Ecological Applications 8(3): pp. 571-579, page 572
  4. ^ "Earth_Summit". Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  5. ^ "The Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development". 1992-01-31. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Reinicke, Wolfgang H. (1999) "The Other World Wide Web: Global Public Policy Networks" Foreign Policy No. 117 pp. 44-57, page 53
  8. ^ "Environment - Water Partnerships". 2010-05-17. Retrieved 2014-04-12. 
  9. ^ [2][dead link]
  10. ^ [3][dead link]
  11. ^ [4][dead link]
  12. ^ [5][dead link]
  13. ^ "About Global Water Partnership" Global Water Partnership Toolbox

External links[edit]