Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP)

In close collaboration with USAID missions and government counterparts, SWP provides integrated and sustainable solutions to the water risks facing communities internationally.


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Water is the source of all life, central to human growth and survival. For thousands of years, people have settled near rivers, lakes and streams not only to drink and cook and wash, but also because water is essential for trade, agriculture and development. Water is power. When civilizations develop ways to harness, preserve and allocate water, they thrive. When they do not, when water supplies are low, contaminated or poorly managed, societies are threatened. 

The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) looks at water through the lens of water security: the adaptive capacity to safeguard the sustainable availability of, access to, and safe use of an adequate, reliable and resilient quantity and quality of water for health, livelihoods, ecosystems and productive economies.

Funded by USAID and implemented by Winrock International, SWP provides sophisticated solutions to the water problems facing international communities. Closely collaborating with USAID missions and government counterparts, we customize activities to meet each community’s unique water needs. Our participatory, holistic approach to water resource management aims to strengthen water security, improve public health and livelihoods, alleviate poverty, encourage economic growth and promote political stability.  

Graphic: SWP Promotes Water Security

SWP is supported by a team of globally recognized partners, providing our beneficiaries with access to a wealth of technical expertise and field experience. With $13 million in funding from USAID, our five-year activity is currently implementing pilot projects in Cambodia, Nepal, South Africa and Kenya/Tanzania, and has already completed a project in Pakistan. We’re targeting 14 countries in Africa, Latin America, and Asia for our work – but we’re open to expansion in the coming years.

Through our innovative, all-inclusive approach, we will improve water security around the world, changing the lives of millions in the process. We hope you’ll join us.

Photo Credit: SWP


Photo Credit: SWP

SWP Objectives

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Mission Support
Provide USAID with expertise to assist with strategy and program planning, technical assistance, capacity building, and program implementation on water security
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Field-Based Activities
Design and implement field-based activities that demonstrate the process and scope of water security assessment, planning and implementation for increased resilience to water risks
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Leverage and Sustainability
Develop and formalize partnership arrangements to contribute to implementation and sustainability of water programming
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Collaboration, Learning and Adapting (CLA)
Develop and refine tools, provide thought leadership, and support knowledge management and communication on water security best practices and lessons learned

Photo Credit: SWP


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USAID implementation experience, technical expertise in Multiple Use Systems, agriculture and irrigation, hydropower, climate change, land use and sustainable ecosystems, gender equity

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USAID implementation experience, technical expertise in all water engineering and water management areas, climate change and natural resources management, presence in water priority countries


Worldwide expertise in community mobilization, stakeholder engagement and environment management

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World-class research organization, with specific expertise in basin-level water risk analysis, modeling and decision support through WEAP platform


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Long term experience in data aggregation and visualization, notably through the Aqueduct platform/website

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Wide expertise in engaging private sector in water stewardship activities

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Innovative mobile data collection tools for WASH and water activities

Photo Credit: Sustainable Water Partnership



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Photo Credit: SWP


Tonle Sap Basin Activity (Cambodia)

In summer 2017, SWP commenced a stakeholder-driven water security improvement process in Cambodia. The four-year process will identify and support the implementation of key actions that build resilience to the growing risks facing Cambodia’s water resources and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services. Focusing on the Stung Chinit river watershed, which flows into the Tonle Sap basin, the SWP team will improve water security by:

  • Bringing together key Cambodian stakeholders in a participatory water security improvement process;
  • Identifying and prioritizing key water security risks and vulnerabilities with cutting-edge assessment tools adapted to the Cambodian and Mekong River Basin context;
  • Analyzing potential impacts, outcomes and trade-offs on water availability and quality across different water management options and development trajectories, based on the specific expectations articulated by each stakeholder group;
  • Identifying and implementing specific, prioritized water security measures that build resilience to priority risks and that remain robust in a range of possible scenarios; and
  • Developing a learning agenda to inform and enhance water security programming in Cambodia and around the world through proof of concept, evidence generation, structured learning, and wide dissemination of knowledge gained.
Cambodia Map

Mara River Basin Activity (Kenya/Tanzania)

Winding nearly 14,000 kilometers, the Mara River is a vital source of life in Kenya and Tanzania. Launched in early 2018, the three-year Sustainable Water for the Mara (SWM) activity is supporting national, sub-national, and regional governmental and non-governmental stakeholders in the Mara River Basin to safeguard access to adequate quantities of acceptable quality water for sustaining livelihoods, human well-being, socioeconomic development, and the protection of ecosystem services. Led by Winrock International and Tetra Tech, with technical expertise provided by SEI and IHE-Delft Institute for Water Education, the three-year activity is:

  • Providing science, tools and capacity building to improve water decision-making at transboundary, national and sub-catchment levels;
  • Developing a basin-wide water allocation plan;
  • Improving on-the-ground water security in at least two priority sub-catchments, including Nyangores in Ken­ya’s Bomet County and the Mara Wetlands in Mara Region, Tanzania; and
  • Strengthening national, sub-national and regional water resource management and governance capacities and skills.
Kenya and Tanzania map

Integrated Water Management Activity (Nepal)

In spring 2018, SWP started assisting USAID/Nepal in a strategic activity meant to improve the coordination and integration of USAID/Nepal’s Feed the Future, Environment and Resilience activities. SWP will support USAID/Nepal and SEED implementing partners working in the Rangun Khola and Lower Karnali watersheds to develop and implement integrated plans to improve water security and strategically use results and learning to inform programming around more effective water resources management. This activity will provide four key deliverables:

  • Integration Plans for Lower Karnali and Rangun Khola Watershed;
  • A Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Plan for each watershed;
  • Organization and facilitation of quarterly planning/review sessions; and 
  • Semi-annual and annual progress reports.
Nepal Map

Big Data and Transboundary Water Collaboration in Southern Africa

In the spring of 2018, SWP started facilitating a partnership process involving USAID along with the South African Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS). This partnership is meant to support research teams comprised of domain experts and data scientists in addressing key research questions related to the management of water resources that are shared by two or more Southern African countries, with a particular interest on the interaction between groundwater and surface water.  This process will involve supporting a series of research projects, providing training opportunities in big data, and providing opportunities for experts to network and work together. 

The goals of these activities are to:

  • Enhance current understanding of shared groundwater resources;
  • Improve transboundary ground water management and collaboration;
  • Provide big data skills development, capacity building and networking opportunities for Southern African researchers and their students.
Map of South Africa


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Activity (Pakistan)

Beginning in the spring of 2017, SWP began a strategic water security assessment of agricultural water management in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province of Pakistan that culminated in an Agricultural Water Governance Workshop for key stakeholders at both the central and provincial level. Before the workshop, SWP produced a preliminary report that included:

  • A summary of KP Province’s main water security issues, with a focus on agricultural water management;
  • An inventory and analysis of water user groups and the roles they play – or may play – in mitigating water risks today and in the future; and
  • A rapid institutional capacity assessment of the organizations that have prominent roles and responsibilities in agricultural water management for the province.

The preliminary report included a range of recommendations for addressing water vulnerabilities and risks (stresses and shocks) associated with agricultural water management. Recommendations related to institutional strengthening, improved operations of existing or planned infrastructure, new or improved gray or green infrastructure, and public education and social/behavioral change.

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For more information, contact

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SWP Program Director: 

Photo Credit: Sustainable Water Partnership