The UGWA is a multi-stakeholder collaboration between academic institutions and private sector partners around the world under the vision of UNITAR.  Its goal is to provide education and training opportunities on issues related to the global water sustainability crisis, and to provide a platform for water researchers, resources managers, and policy experts to share their work.  By training the next generation of water specialists, the UGWA hopes to improve general knowledge and understanding of the various ways that global water systems are under threat. We believe that forging international cooperation, and connecting people to build community networks is necessary to meeting the challenges associated with water access and sanitation for global populations.

Access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene is essential to human health and is a basic human right, but the global demand for water is outpacing reliable supply, and considering current population growth rates, billions of people will soon lack access to these services.  Further, many sources of fresh water are predicted to become scarcer under global climate change, and sources of industrial pollution are both numerous and widespread. In order to address these serious concerns, immediate action must be taken to avoid the looming global water crisis.

United Nations Sustainable Goal 6 is meant to address many of these challenges by establishing targets that ensure universal and equitable access to clean drinking water for all, providing access to sanitation and hygiene for all, and by improving global water quality by addressing sources of pollution.  Further, there are goals meant to improve water resource management and enhance water-use efficiency across all sectors.  Such initiatives will only be possible via both engagement of local communities, and broad international cooperation.  By providing access to training and educational resources, the UGWA will play a vital role in achieving these targets.

The UGWA is focused on growing its network of partners around the world including researchers and university academics, government and non-governmental associations, private industry, knowledge keepers, and local and regional water managers.  We have built a platform that facilitates the exchange of contacts and information among these groups, and we are constantly in dialogue with our partners to identify new opportunities to offer courses on relevant water-related topics.  As our trainees enter the world, we hope to expand our networks through their efforts, and we are always looking for new groups with whom we can partner.  If you are interested in partnering with us, please contact us with a brief description of your interests at globalwateracademy@unitar.org

The UGWA will offer a hybrid way of learning that combines in-person and online activities that will expose students to a diverse array of topics on water-related issues.  By late 2024, the UGWA will offer a Flagship online course based on the targets of UN Sustainable Development Goal 6, and will further add a series of newly developed mini-courses on cutting-edge topics developed by top researchers in their fields.  Course certification will be provided at different stages of achievement, and when certain milestones are met.

One of our goals is to develop programs that incorporate a two-eyed seeing approach that builds on the strengths of both Indigenous and Western ways of knowing.  Incorporating multiple perspectives in this way will allow us to measure and monitor global impacts on water in a more comprehensive manner, and will encourage co-creation among multiple stakeholders in the development of policy.  

Finally, the UGWA will facilitate conversations and partnerships among our various partners, allowing people in our growing community to teach one another about local and regional practices with the hope of spreading the most successful water management approaches around the world. 

Because clean water and access to sanitation and hygiene are important to all people, we hope to provide access to training for a wide range of groups.  

Our target audiences include:

  • Public officials at national, regional, and local levels 
  • Local communities and community leaders
  • Acadamia
  • Business and trade associations
  • Environmental NGOs and journalists
  • UN Entities
  • Consumer associations and influencers
  • Philanthropists

If you have any questions about the UGWA, about becoming a partner or member, or about sponsorship opportunities please visit the ‘contact us’ page of our website and fill out the provided form.  We are always looking for new opportunities to offer courses that will be of interest or use to all of the communities we reach, so if there are any particular needs that you can identify for education on a water-related issue, we welcome you to contact us.