PAHO/WHO calls for international funding of new Haiti cholera plan

Haitian government reveals $2.2 billion blueprint for water and sanitation investments to eliminate cholera transmission over the next 10 years

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 27 February 2013 (PAHO/WHO) — The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) today called on the international community to provide financing for a new $2.2 billion plan from the Haitian government to eliminate cholera transmission over the next 10 years through major investments in water and sanitation.

Read More

Women for Water Partnership Joins GWC

Global Water Challenge is happy to welcome Women for Water Partnership as a partner. For more information, please click here for more information or visit their website.

Mapping the Way: Experiences with Water Mapping Technologies in Nicaragua

Article By Emma Bones, Graduate Research Assistant
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

“It has become overwhelmingly clear that the main obstacle in the use and maintenance of improved water and sanitation systems is not the quality of technology, but the failure in qualified human resources and in management and organization techniques, including a failure to capture community interest. An appalling 35 to 50 percent of such systems in developing countries became inoperable five years after installation” (USAID 1981).

Why Water Point Mapping (WPM) is Important

The quote above is from 1981, yet high failure rates continue. Why is failure so common for water and sanitation systems in developing countries? Why is operation and maintenance such a huge challenge for many governments and NGOs? And, most importantly, why does this statistic still hold (more or less) true thirty years after it was originally discovered?

These were several of the main questions driving our research team as we traveled to Nicaragua during the summer of 2012 to test some of the newest and most promising water mapping technologies. I was part of a research team from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) that partnered with the Executive Director of Improve International, Susan Davis, and El Porvenir, an NGO based in Managua, Nicaragua to better understand the challenges facing O&M of water systems and to identify the most auspicious technologies to aid in water point monitoring. The Georgia Tech research team included Lily Ponitz (pursuing B.S. in Environmental Engineering), Allie George (pursuing B.S. in Civil Engineering), and myself, Emma Bones (pursuing M.S. in Civil Engineering).

imageMeet the Georgia Tech research team posing next to one of the El Porvenir water points we mapped (from left to right): Emma Bones, Lily Ponitz, and Allie George.

Successes, Failures, and Challenges to WPM

After a careful evaluation of the current options for cellular phone surveying applications, five were selected to be brought with us to Nicaragua for testing. Those technologies were Episurveyor1, OpenXdata, DataTap, DeviceMagic, and FLOW2. We tested the difficulty of setting-up, collecting data, and analyzing data on all five of these applications while in a developing country setting.

We were able to complete water point surveying with four of the five technologies, although we did experience major issues with many of the programs. While we were able to set-up openXdata while in the US, it failed the set-up phase in Nicaragua because of its need for advanced computing knowledge, which is hard for WASH NGOs to access or afford. The next technology that experienced complications was DeviceMagic during the data collection phase; it was discovered that the program would automatically delete water point entries overnight if they had not been uploaded via wifi the day before. The other technology that experienced major issues was Episurveyor during the data analysis phase; when we returned to the main office in Nicaragua at the end of the trip, we discovered that the online form had somehow been deleted. Eventually, we were able to download the data from the phone in a text file and import it into an excel document, but this took an above average knowledge of computer systems.

Lessons Learned and Room for Improvement

The most important result of our research was the development of a comprehensive rubric to compare the technologies tested. Each technology was given a score based on its performance in the categories and subcategories designed based on our field experience. The final scores and categories are listed below. We hope the rubric will help NGOs decide which water mapping technology is best for them and will help the technology developers improve upon their products’ weaknesses.

imageAllie and Lily entering data into the mobile phones at one of the wells we mapped. We were able to map each well in less than 10 minutes with the mobile technology.

Despite the issues that we encountered in our surveying efforts, many of these technologies showed great promise for helping governments and NGOs better understand and communicate the long-term success of their water points. These technologies could be especially helpful in comparing water points world-wide if a specific set of questions could be developed to gauge each water system’s performance. It would be easy to see which NGOs and countries are the highest performers, and with that understanding, their successful methods could be studied and applied to less successful organizations and areas. These water mapping technologies offer great potential in the area of international aid. However, there are still many program bugs to be solved before world-wide adoption will be possible.

If you have any more questions about our research or have an interest in us testing and ranking one of your technologies, we encourage you to reach out to us at:

Final Scores of WPM Technologies: imageCategories of Rubric: image

  1. Note that an updated version of Episurveyor called Magpi has been released since we conducted this study 

  2. We only had access to the older version, and as of now, the newest version has still not been released 

The Coca-Cola Company Endorses WASH Sustainability Charter

100th Endorsement Cements Charter as Key Framework for Lasting Services in the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Sector

Washington, D.C, January 16, 2013 - The Coca-Cola Company, one of the world’s largest private sector supporters of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions around the world has signed on to the WASH Sustainability Charter. The first Fortune-500 company to endorse the Charter, The 
Coca-Cola Company’s backing marks the 100th endorsement for the Charter, which outlines key steps for creating lasting WASH services.  

imageEnsuring long-term WASH service provisions is one of the greatest challenges, and most important objectives, facing the international development community. As many as 30-50% of clean drinking water projects fail prematurely, squandering limited resources and devastating communities that rely on these services. In response to this challenge, The Coca-Cola Company joins a diverse group of stakeholders, including donors, NGOs, academic groups, government agencies and others committed to the common principles for lasting services laid out in the Charter

The Coca-Cola Company is endorsing the Charter because we believe that investments in WASH initiatives will and should span generations. Through the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), we have always looked to develop supply chains, means of communication, and a finance stream for communities to be able to sustain the safe water and sanitation systems we help provide, which is one of the biggest challenges facing the water sector,” says Greg Koch, the Director of Global Stewardship in the Corporate Sustainability Office at The Coca-Cola Company. “Signing the Charter strengthens our commitment to enable lasting community ownership and operation of these water access and treatment systems.”

We are particularly pleased that Coca-Cola, as the private sector’s leading champion and funder of WASH programs around the world, has publicly committed to supporting clean water programs meant to be as sustainable as their brand,” said Monica Ellis, CEO of Global Water Challenge, a lead developer of the Charter.

This endorsement has impacts beyond Coca-Cola’s investments in WASH and underscores the company’s broader commitment to sustainable growth across its businesses. “We can’t talk about climate change, green growth or a sustainable tomorrow without addressing water and sanitation issues today,” said Jae So, Manager of The World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program.  ”With 2.5 billion people lacking adequate sanitation, the world is in the midst of a water and sanitation crisis. Global businesses recognize this absolute fact and are putting important actions in place today. We applaud Coca-Cola’s recognition and pursuit of the shared value of water and sanitation by endorsing this Charter.”  

The endorsement marks a key milestone for the Charter, developed in 2011, and comes at a pivotal time for the sustainability of WASH services around the world. Through (where the Charter is hosted), the principles of the Charter are being translated into action through self-assessment tools, a library, a discussion board, and other resources.


About provides a dynamic hub of the WASH sustainability conversation and hosts the WASH Sustainability Process; a three-step assessment process built on the foundation of the WASH Sustainability Charterand designed to improve WASH sustainability globally. In early 2012, representatives from a consortium of organizations (AguaconsultGlobal Water ChallengeIRC and WASH Advocates) came together to build on previous work around sustainability and create This website provides a platform to assess, learn, and share best practices related to WASH. By learning and sharing from each other, we can work together to support services that will last into the future.  For additional information, please visit or contact

About The Coca-Cola Company:

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  Led by Coca-Cola, the world’s most valuable brand, our Company’s portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.  Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day.  With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.  Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world’s top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates.  For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter or visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at

WASHing with Sesame Street Webinar

RSVP deadline extended! 

Global Water Challenge and Sesame Workshop invite you to an hour-long webinar, “WASHing with Sesame Street,” to learn about an innovative opportunity to join a coalition of partners for a targeted WASH multimedia effort. The two organizations will be developing a global campaign to deliver key messages about WASH to millions of parents, children, and caregivers around the world. 

Tuesday, December 11th (10AM – 11AM EST)


To join the webinar, rsvp to Deadline to RSVP has been extended! For more information, click here

1,000,000 people: A Milestone!

imageGWC member, Blue Planet Network is celebrating 1,000,000 lives improved by safe drinking water and sanitation across 1,600 communities in 27 countries. This is because of the remarkable efforts of their members and sustainable programs that are planned, managed and monitored on Blue Planet Network’s technology platform. This is 1,000,000 people who can now lead healthier lives and build stronger futures. This is the true value of working together. Thank you for helping to make this possible!

Scotsman Ice Systems to Donate Percentage of Sales to Women for Water

Vernon Hills, Ill.— October 3, 2012—Scotsman Ice Systems today announced plans to donate a percentage of each healthcare unit sold to the Global Water Challenge’s newly launched Women for Water campaign. The campaign is a global grassroots initiative that is dedicated to launching women-led water ventures, each of which is estimated to provide clean water for 1,000-2,500 people in its first year of operation.

“Water sanitation is a vital component in our business so working with Women for Water was the right thing to do,” said Rich Gleitsmann, president of Scotsman Ice Systems. “Through our donations, Scotsman hopes to assist in solving of the global water crisis and improve the health and lives of the world’s women and children.”

Starting January 2013, Scotsman Ice Systems plans to submit donations to Women for Water twice per year.

For more information regarding Scotsman Ice Systems, visit

To learn more about Women for Water, visit

About Scotsman Ice Systems
As one of the world’s largest manufacturers of ice systems, with more than 300 models of ice machines, storage bins, and ice and water dispensers, Scotsman is dedicated to developing today’s most innovative ice solutions. In 2012 Scotsman earned the ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year Award and in 2011, Scotsman was the recipient of the ENERGY STAR Award for Excellence in Energy-Efficient Product Design. Offering more than 65 ENERGY STAR-rated models, Scotsman Prodigy® technology reduces energy and water consumption, making a difference for the environment and the bottom line. For more information, visit

WASH Sustainability: Looking Through the GLAAS

Global Water Challenge and WASH Advocates invite you to the next webinar in our WASH Sustainability Webinar Series.

 Tuesday, July 17, 11:00 am-12:00 pm EDT

WASH Sustainability: Looking Through the GLAAS will be an hour-long webinar that brings together leading WASH experts and GLAAS report contributors to discuss the practical implications of the recent report.

The UN-Water Global Analysis and Assessment of Sanitation and Drinking-Water (GLAAS) report monitors the inputs needed to extend and sustain water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems and services.

GLAAS contributors Catarina Fonseca, WASHCost Project Director at the International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC) and Peregrine Swann, Consultant to the GLAAS Team at the World Health Organization (WHO) will discuss what’s behind the numbers of the GLAAS report with specific focus on external support agencies, sustainability, and financing.

This webinar will be moderated by Eddy Perez, Senior Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program.

Please Click Here to RSVP for this event

Detailed information including the webinar link will be sent at a later date.

The GLAAS report is available on the WHO website for review prior to the webinar.

Edward Norton and Water For People Invite You to Donate to Drink

Actor Edward Norton and Water For People have released a video highlighting the world water crisis and inviting people to join their "Donate to Drink" campaign on Crowdrise.

Water For People and their partners are offering incentives for donations:

  • Get a bracelet made in Rwanda when you donate $25 to $99.
  • Get a red stainless steel water bottle generously provided by Marmot Mountain with a donation of $100 or more.
  • Become a fundraiser yourself and raise at least $1,000 and you’ll be entered to win an all-expenses paid trip for two to Rwanda to join a World Water Corps volunteer expedition in 2012! Every $1,000 raised earns you another entry.

A small group of donors has pledged to match the total raised by the campaign, up to $1 million.  Visit the campaign page on Crowdrise to help Water For People reach that goal!

It’s All in the Water – Check Out New Video Highlighting Importance of Safe Water

GWC and its members The Coca-Cola Company and Proctor & Gamble teamed with the WASH Advocacy Initiative to draw attention to the issue of women and water at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).  The group developed a hopeful short film that depicts the importance of safe water, sanitation and hygiene to women, girls and their communities.  The film, It’s All in the Water, was produced with generous financial support from The Coca-Cola Company and the creative talents of advertising giant Ogilvy and Mather.  It was previewed September 20th for a high level audience at a special CGI topic dinner hosted by Proctor & Gamble.

The film is the first piece to be developed in support of the Women for Water campaign being developed by GWC and the WASH Advocacy Initiative that will launch in early 2012.  Women’s leadership around the world will play a key role in the coming years to solve global water and sanitation challenges.  This decade-long, global campaign aims to inspire a movement to increase awareness of and investments in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for communities in need.

The film launch is another step in a series of GWC member investments in women and girls.  In March 2011, GWC member The Coca-Cola Company pledged $6 million to water and sanitation partnerships aimed in part at improving the lives of an estimated 250,000 women and girls on the African continent.  To support increased attendance of girls in school, GWC recently helped launch Support My School, a Coca-Cola and NDTV initiative aimed at improving WASH and other facilities in schools across India.  GWC has also invested in school WASH programs in Africa and Central and Latin America.

The Women for Water campaign will officially launch in March 2012.  To sign up for more information, click here.

blog comments powered by Disqus