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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.

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.

Graphic: SWP Promotes Water Security

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.  

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.

Explore the Water Resources Country Profile series

Photo Credit: SWP

SWP Objectives


Mission Support Icon
Mission Support
Provide USAID with expertise to assist with strategy and program planning, technical assistance, capacity building, and program implementation on water security
Field Based Activities Icon
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
CLA Icon
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

Partners

Winrock Logo

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

Tetra Tech Logo

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

IUCN Logo

Worldwide expertise in community mobilization, stakeholder engagement and environment management

SEI logo

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

 

WRI Logo

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

CEO Mandate

Wide expertise in engaging private sector in water stewardship activities

mWater Logo

Innovative mobile data collection tools for WASH and water activities

Photo Credit: Sustainable Water Partnership

Resources

Final Report - Sustainable Water Partnership Final Report - Sustainable Water Partnership
Final Report

USAID's Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is a mechanism that aligns with and integrates key United States Government foreign policy goals, as well as USAID strategic priorities under the Global Water Strategy and Water for the World Act to build…
The Case for Source Water Protection in WASH Systems: Entry Points and Opportunities The Case for Source Water Protection in WASH Systems: Entry Points and Opportunities
Learning Brief

While the business case for investing in source water protection has become increasingly clearer, there are many hurdles that need to be addressed by basin and WASH managers, affected communities and the private sector, and local government…
Integrated Water Security Assessment of the Stung Chinit Basin, Cambodia Integrated Water Security Assessment of the Stung Chinit Basin, Cambodia
Report

This integrated water security assessment includes three sections: a profile of the targeted basin, a water resource assessment, and a water sector governance assessment. Initiated in 2018 under the Sustainable Water Partnership Cambodia Water…
Making Serious Water Security Issues More Fun: Developing an ECO Game for Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Basin Making Serious Water Security Issues More Fun: Developing an ECO Game for Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Basin
Blog

The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is excited to launch the ECO Game: Water Security. Part of Winrock International’s ECO Game Suite, this game is a hands-on water security education and planning tool that helps stakeholders examine the…
Using Big Data Analytics for Transboundary Water Management Using Big Data Analytics for Transboundary Water Management
Blog

Southern Africa has experienced drought-flood cycles for the past decade that strain the ability of any country to properly manage water resources. This dynamic is exacerbated by human drivers such as the heavy reliance of sectors such as mining and…
SWP Leader Discusses Water Data on Podcast SWP Leader Discusses Water Data on Podcast
Blog

Dr. Rodolfo Camacho, the project director/chief of party for the USAID-funded Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP), spoke recently on the Wilson Center’s Water Stories podcast about using data to enhance water security. Implemented by Winrock…
Working Together for Water Security in Cambodia Working Together for Water Security in Cambodia
Blog

Population growth, deforestation, agricultural pollution and climate variability are threatening water security in Cambodia’s Stung Chinit River Watershed. To address these issues, the USAID-funded Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is implementing…
Launch of the Water Allocation Plan for the Lower Mara River Basin Launch of the Water Allocation Plan for the Lower Mara River Basin
Blog

The Lake Victoria Basin Water Board (LVBWB), in coordination with the Ministry of Water of Tanzania, launched a groundbreaking water allocation plan (WAP) in the country’s portion of the Mara River Basin, shared with its northern neighbor, Kenya.…
Key Lessons Learned from SWP Pilot Activities in the Mara River and Stung Chinit Basins Key Lessons Learned from SWP Pilot Activities in the Mara River and Stung Chinit Basins
Blog

SWP publishes Water Security Improvement Case Studies and an updated Water Security Improvement Toolkit 2: Define the Water Security Improvement Space and Assess Water Risks SWP is pleased to present five new case studies that document lessons…
Plan Approved to Address Water Security in Key Cambodian Basin Plan Approved to Address Water Security in Key Cambodian Basin
Blog

Local stakeholders announce effort to improve water security and promote conservation in the Stung Chinit River Basin A committee of stakeholders representing the government, private sector and private citizens recently announced a groundbreaking…
SWP Hosts Closeout Webinar for Pilot Activity in Mara River Basin SWP Hosts Closeout Webinar for Pilot Activity in Mara River Basin
Blog

SWP and partners discuss key achievements and lessons learned from the three-year Sustainable Water for the Mara pilot activity The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) recently held a webinar to detail the achievements and lessons learned during…
SWP Facilitates Transboundary Water Governance Webinar Series SWP Facilitates Transboundary Water Governance Webinar Series
Blog

Experts from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature train on transboundary water governance, with a focus on Southern Africa. The Sustainable Water Partnership and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global…
Reuters Article Highlights SWP's Work to Protect Springs in Kenya Reuters Article Highlights SWP's Work to Protect Springs in Kenya
Blog

SWP has partnered with the government of Kenya to protect springs that feed into the Mara River Basin, enhancing access to drinking water and boosting biodiversity A recent Reuters article has highlighted SWP’s collaboration with water resources…
Improved Farming Through Irrigation Training Improved Farming Through Irrigation Training
Blog

A hands-on irrigation training game teaches farmers in Cambodia how their irrigation scheme works, and how to follow a water distribution schedule to make sure all have access to water. An innovative game about irrigation infrastructure is helping…
Exploring Big Data Solutions for Southern Africa Exploring Big Data Solutions for Southern Africa
Blog

In its role as coordinator of the Big Data Analytics and Transboundary Water Collaboration, the Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) facilitates the integration of a group of public, private and nonprofit organizations researching the use of big data…
A Road Map to Greater Water Security A Road Map to Greater Water Security
Blog

How SWP is facilitating a water allocation plan in Tanzania One of the USAID-funded Sustainable Water Partnership’s (SWP) most exciting initiatives is its role facilitating water allocation plans in the Mara River Basin. The Mara, which supports a…
AI Pilot to Address Transboundary Water Challenges in Southern Africa AI Pilot to Address Transboundary Water Challenges in Southern Africa
Blog

Dr. Clara Bocchino of SWP and Tapiwa Chiwewe of IBM Research-Africa detail how tools based on artificial intelligence techniques such as machine learning are being put to use to improve the management of transboundary water. Worldwide, more than…
Hidden Forces: The Role of Water in Economic Prosperity Hidden Forces: The Role of Water in Economic Prosperity
Blog

A recent Wilson Center panel co-hosted by SWP explored the role of water in economic development and prosperity. “If you woke up one morning and found the taps in your house were dry, the first thing many of us here would do is pick up our phone…
SADC Groundwater Conference: Collaboration is Key to Southern African Sustainability Goals SADC Groundwater Conference: Collaboration is Key to Southern African Sustainability Goals
Blog

Achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals for Southern Africa by 2030 will require cooperation and sharing of groundwater data by all countries involved. Experts from Southern Africa and beyond gathered recently in Johannesburg,…
Why Stakeholders Matter Why Stakeholders Matter
Blog

Effectively engaging water users and decision-makers is crucial to the long-term sustainability of any water security intervention. Freshwater is a precious and scarce resource that is increasingly threatened by over-abstraction, poor management…

Photo Credit: SWP

Blog

Check out blogs by or about the Sustainable Water Partnership.

Making Serious Water Security Issues More Fun: Developing an ECO Game for Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Basin Making Serious Water Security Issues More Fun: Developing an ECO Game for Cambodia’s Stung Chinit Basin
Blog

The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is excited to launch the ECO Game: Water Security. Part of Winrock International’s ECO Game Suite, this game is a hands-on water security education and planning tool that helps stakeholders examine the…
Using Big Data Analytics for Transboundary Water Management Using Big Data Analytics for Transboundary Water Management
Blog

Southern Africa has experienced drought-flood cycles for the past decade that strain the ability of any country to properly manage water resources. This dynamic is exacerbated by human drivers such as the heavy reliance of sectors such as mining and…
SWP Leader Discusses Water Data on Podcast SWP Leader Discusses Water Data on Podcast
Blog

Dr. Rodolfo Camacho, the project director/chief of party for the USAID-funded Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP), spoke recently on the Wilson Center’s Water Stories podcast about using data to enhance water security. Implemented by Winrock…
Working Together for Water Security in Cambodia Working Together for Water Security in Cambodia
Blog

Population growth, deforestation, agricultural pollution and climate variability are threatening water security in Cambodia’s Stung Chinit River Watershed. To address these issues, the USAID-funded Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) is implementing…
Launch of the Water Allocation Plan for the Lower Mara River Basin Launch of the Water Allocation Plan for the Lower Mara River Basin
Blog

The Lake Victoria Basin Water Board (LVBWB), in coordination with the Ministry of Water of Tanzania, launched a groundbreaking water allocation plan (WAP) in the country’s portion of the Mara River Basin, shared with its northern neighbor, Kenya.…

Photo Credit: SWP

Countries

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.

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.

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.

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.

PAST ACTIVITIES

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 SWPWater@winrock.org

Photo Credit: Sustainable Water Partnership