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.

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


Advancing Water Security: A close-out event from the Sustainable Water Partnership Advancing Water Security: A close-out event from the Sustainable Water Partnership

September 8, 2021 09:00 Washington, D.C. / 16:00 Nairobi / 18:45 Kathmandu / 20:00 Phnom Penh Register now Over the last five years, the Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) has supported USAID in advancing global water security through…
Using the WSI Process to Assess and Plan for Source Water Protection in the Mara River Basin Using the WSI Process to Assess and Plan for Source Water Protection in the Mara River Basin
Case Studies

The Sustainable Water Partnership facilitated a stakeholder-driven collaboration to address water security risks in the Mara River Basin between 2018 and 2020. This case study shows how the Water Security Improvement (WSI) Process can support local…
Collaborating on Big Data Analytics for Transboundary Aquifer Management in South Africa Collaborating on Big Data Analytics for Transboundary Aquifer Management in South Africa
Case Studies

This case study from Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) examines transboundary coordination challenges and approaches through the experience of the Big Data and Transboundary Water Management Collaboration for Southern Africa. SWP coordinated a…
Water Allocation Plan for the Mara River Catchment, Tanzania Water Allocation Plan for the Mara River Catchment, Tanzania

The water allocation plan for the Mara River Catchment in Tanzania, developed through the Sustainable Water Partnership, addresses threats to water security in the catchment by providing guidance about how available water should be distributed to…
Using Scenario Analysis to Assess Water Security in an Uncertain Future Using Scenario Analysis to Assess Water Security in an Uncertain Future
Case Studies

The USAID Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) worked with local stakeholders to improve water security in the Mara River Basin in Kenya and Tanzania and the Stung Chinit River Basin in Cambodia. In both locations, the uncertain future impacts of…

Photo Credit: SWP


Check out blogs by or about the Sustainable Water Partnership.

Villagers reflect on their experience and lessons learned during their integrated activity in Hamtad village, in the Rangun Khola watershed. Photo: Liz Kendall/Winrock International Innovative Cooperative Project Multiplies USAID Water Security Impact in Nepal

This story originally appeared on the SWP website. This year marked the completion of an innovative USAID project aimed at improving cooperation between USAID projects in Nepal around the shared goal of water security. Facilitated by the…
A woman washes clothes in a river in Cambodia. Photo credit: Jeremy Holden Women Leading the Fight for Water Security

Female leaders lend their voices to efforts by the USAID-funded Sustainable Water Partnership to enhance water security in Cambodia This blog was first published on the Sustainable Water Partnership. As in many countries, women in Cambodia are the…
The Marico River in South Africa (pictured above) is a major tributary of the Limpopo River Basin. USAID's RESILIM program worked to build climate resilience in the surrounding catchment. Photo credit: USAID/RESILIM Water Security in an Uncertain Future: Enhancing Water Resources Management and Planning by Reducing Climate- and Weather-Related Risks

This blog was first published in ClimateLinks. Water security is integral to the health and sustainability of our communities and ecosystems. Achieving water security, however, is challenging for several reasons including poor governance, resource…
View Over Masai Mara in Kenya.  Photo credit: Michiel Terellen/USAID East Africa. Source: Safeguarding Water in the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’

Note: This blog originally appeared in ClimateLinks. The Mara River winds for nearly 14 thousand kilometers from the Mau forest in Kenya to Lake Victoria in Tanzania. It supports huge wildlife populations in two key conservation areas (the Masai…
Photo Credit: SWP What is the Water Security Improvement Process?
Improving water security means empowering everyone — water managers and users, businesses, and citizens — to regularly assess and address water risks. By collaborating with communities, we can negotiate project activities which will best reduce…

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 Southern 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.

Contact Us

For more information, contact

Leader Award AOR:

  • Abigail Jones, RFS Center for Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene,
  • Alison Macalady, RFS Center for Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene,

SWP Program Director: 

Photo Credit: Sustainable Water Partnership