Newsletter Archives

Announcing New Executive Director

The World Water Center is pleased to announce the appointment of Anne Deane as its new Executive Director. Joining the WWC staff on August 5, 2010, Anne brings with her a passion for safe water and its ties to global health.

In her role as executive director, Anne is responsible for furthering the organization’s mission and building a constituency for safe water issues. Anne’s interest for safe water started in her sophomore year at Duke University when she read Tracey Kidder’s “Mountains Beyond Mountains.” While at Duke, she completed a research paper on point-of-use water technology where the premiss of it touched on the necessity to approach safe water from a socio-cultural perspective.

Her international travels to rural communities exposed her to the complexity of the issues related to the water crisis. Welcome, Anne.

Safe Water: A Human Right

On July 28, 2010, the United Nations General assembly recognized access to clean water and sanitation as a basic human right. The UN’s act of adding access to clean water as a protected human right, resonates as a concrete step towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The World Water Center expects that by recognizing this right, the UN will increase their role in seeking out safe water solutions for humans and the environment. As one of the first organizations to declare safe water as an inalienable right to the world, the World Water Center applauds the UN’s announcement to help in safeguarding water.

We hope that the UN’s resolution, which calls for financial and capacity building endeavors, will encourage countries and organizations to link together in a collaborative effort to make the world’s most precious resource safe and clean.

Exciting Technologies: Soccer + Water

The World Water Center is excited to announce that the 2010 Full Cup Award goes to Pitch:Africa.

Here at the WWC, we love individuals who seek creative, community based solutions to help solve the world’s water crisis.

As demonstrated by its unique design, Pitch:Africa represents some of WWC’s core characteristics: Social responsibility and fresh solutions. In many rural communities, lack of rainfall or water is not the problem, rather it is the lack of infrastructure to collect and access safe water. Designs like Pitch:Africa offer fun solutions to the water crisis. 

This past July, the Annenberg Foundation, based in Los Angeles, unveiled a new type of soccer stadium, one that allows teams to play the game while also collecting and purifying water.

Designed by David Turnbull and Jane Harrison, architects at Atopia Research, the Pitch:Africa soccer field showcases an innovative solution for safe water.

The design centers on using abandoned cargo containers and transforming them into cisterns, which would capture, filter and store water. With the ability to seat up to 800 spectators, the 64 by 80 foot structure collects rainwater that falls on the playing field and seats. By installing a soccer field or baseball pitch above the cisterns, Pitch: Africa acts as both a community gathering point and a safe water system.

The World Water Center congratulations all those who contributed to the Pitch:Africa design!

Two Questions for Pakistan

This past July and August Pakistan suffered from the worst recorded floods in history. Estimates average that around 160,000 sq. km of land - ⅕ of Pakistan - and 20 million lives have been affected by the monsoon floods. (BBC News, 16 Aug. 2010) The damage brought by the rains extends so far down the infrastructure ladder as to deprive millions from a basic human right and need: Access to safe water.

The intensity of the floods created the width of the Indus River to expand as much 18 miles in the Taunsa Barrage region. (BBC News, 12 Aug. 2010) The 30 km flood radius compromises all connected water systems. There are two challenges that this region faces: (1) How to deliver safe drinking water for all those in immediate need and (2) How to develop a feasible plan to rebuild new water infrastructure?

As of Wednesday, August 25, UNICEF reported that 3.5 million Pakistanis have access to only contaminated water. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 26 Aug. 2010) Relief efforts have rehabilitated some water systems, giving 1.8 million people access to safe water. Efforts have also delivered safe water to 750,000 people, however the number of people desperate for safe water grows daily. (Kaiser Family Foundation)

The expansion of the flood waters into southern Pakistan forced ten of thousands of people to evacuate their homes on Thursday, August 26. (Kaiser Family Foundation) Towns across the region are doubling in population due to the influx of refugees from nearby villages. Doctors without Borders reported that barriers allowing access to potable water has become even more of a challenge with the rising populations. They noted the town of Dera Murad Jamali as an example, where the population has risen from 50,000 to 100,000 since the floods. (Kaiser Family Foundation) Compounding this, the Pakistani  people are also suffering from water related health issues.

Lack of access to safe water carries with it additional health ramifications, such as Diarrhea, Cholera, Malaria, skin diseases and acute respiratory infections. (Kaiser Family Foundation)

All of these health issues can be attributed to either lack of safe water or exposure to contaminated water. It is vital to find both short and long term solutions to deliver safe water to the Pakistani people.

What are your thoughts on the water crisis in Pakistan? Please feel free to email your ideas to

Data References:

“Pakistan Floods: Maps and graphics.” BBC News: South Asia. 16 Aug. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2010.

“Pakistan President Zardari tries to east flood anger.” BBC News: South Asia. 12 Aug. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2010.

“At Least 3.5M Pakistanis Have No Access To Clean Water, Raising Risk for Waterborne Diseases.” Kaiser Family Foundation: Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. 26 Aug. 2010. Web. 13 Sept. 2010.

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