About the Center for International Water and Sustainability

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Globally, 844 million (1 in 9 people) still lack access to safe water and 2.3 billion live without access to improved sanitation, with 1 in 3 people living without access to a toilet (WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme 2017). The World Economic Forum in January 2015 cited the water crisis as the number one global risk based on impact to society (as a measure of devastation).  One million people perish annually due to WASH related diseases and every 90 seconds a child dies of a water-related disease (World Health Organization 2012, Global costs and benefits of drinking water supply and sanitation interventions to reach the MDG target and universal coverage).


The overall vision of CIWAS is to grow DRI’s capacity to provide both information and technical capacity to government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and funders working to identify and solve problems related to human health and management of environmental resources, especially water. Offering efficient and sustainable WASH and environmental solutions can be accomplished through the effective use of technology, using the latest methods and equipment, raising public awareness of WASH issues, and the transfer of knowledge and information through professional development training and capacity building.


CIWAS’ four main objectives support DRI’s goals of addressing gaps in knowledge, research, and human resource capacity related to WASH and water resource management that persist in developing nations, and to support attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 6, universal access to safe water and sanitation:

  1. Undertake capacity building activities on WASH and environmental management issues focused specifically on challenges in the developing world.

  2. Engage in interdisciplinary, applied environmental research focused on addressing WASH and environmental issues specific to developing countries.

  3. Develop and disseminate relevant information to enhance human development and environmental science in developing countries.

  4. Provide consulting services to funders, governments and international NGOs on the technical aspects of WASH interventions and environmental resource management.

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