Water: Accessibility and Equality
Water is the source of every human life on Earth. In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council recognized access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a human right. However, three billion people do not have access to running water within a kilometer of where they live and 750 million people - about 1 in 9 - lack access to safe water. More than 2.5 billion people - about 1 in 3 - don’t have access to improved sanitation. It’s easy to see why access to water would improve the health of individuals and communities, food security, education, and economies. With so many challenges related to water, the career opportunities in this industry are growing and diversifying.
- World Health Organization (WHO) - Their primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system while working with governments, partners, foundations, civil society organizations, and the private sector.
- World Water Council - Their mission is to promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, to facilitate the efficient conservation, protection, development, planning, management and use of water in all its dimensions on an environmentally sustainable basis for the benefit of all life on earth.
- UN Water - The United Nations inter-agency coordination mechanism for all freshwater and sanitation-related matters who’s main purpose is to complement and add value to existing programs and projects by facilitating synergies and joint efforts, so as to maximize system-wide coordinated action.
- Gender and Water Alliance (GWA) - The mission of GWA is to promote women’s and men’s equitable access to and management of safe and adequate water, for domestic supply, sanitation, food security, and environmental sustainability.
Cal Poly Programs and Courses
- NR 321 Water Systems Technology, Issues, and Impacts
- Environmental Chemistry: Water Pollution
- NR/CRP 408 Water Resource Law and Policy
- Center for Coastal Marine Sciences (CCMS)
- PowerSave Campus Program
- Engineers Without Borders - USA Cal Poly - The student chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo was founded in 2005 by a core group of students dedicated to making a global impact. Cal Poly’s EWB chapter has successfully implemented projects across the globe, impacting the lives of thousands.
- Global Water Partnership Professional Network
- SamSamWater Foundation - Focuses on rural water supply and sanitation.
- Water Network
- International Water Association - an organization that brings together people from across the water profession to deliver equitable and sustainable water solutions for our world.
- Soil and Water Conservation Society - a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that serves as an advocate for conservation professionals and for science-based conservation practice, programs, and policy.
- Water Environment Federation (WEF) - a not-for-profit technical and educational organization whose mission is to connect water professionals; enrich the expertise of water professionals; increase the awareness of the impact and value of water, and provide a platform for water sector innovation.
- Charity: Water
- Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology
- Clean Water & Green Infrastructure
- The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
Example Job Titles
- Policy Analyst
- Public Relations
- Public Affairs Specialist
- Government Relations Specialist
- Conservation scientists
- Environmental scientists
- Agricultural Engineer
- Environmental Engineer
- Urban and Regional Planner