222033 Water Equity through Applied Science and Stakeholder Cooperation

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 1:30 PM - 1:50 PM

Stephanie Ogden, MPP , International Programs, Water For People, Denver, CO
Edgar Fajardo , Water For People-Guatemala, Water For People, Santa Cruz del Quiche, Guatemala
It has been recognized that poor water management, rather than a lack of water resources, is the greatest obstacle to sustainable water access in the developing world. Water for People (WFP) envisions a world in which all people have access to safe drinking water and sanitation through the development of locally sustainable delivery systems. But if water supplies are to be available to poor people in the developing world 50 years on, then Water for People –and the sector as a whole—faces the strategic necessity to incorporate improved water resources management into its programs.

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) shifts the paradigm from a traditional political approach to a focus on coordinated decision-making across sectors and scales. Key to this approach is data: stakeholders negotiate their needs in light of technical information about their common watershed. But ensuring that that data is timely, relevant and transparent poses one of the greatest challenges to the IWRM process itself.

The disparity between the type and timing of information needed to make scientific conclusions and those needed to make management decisions is real. What data are available and allow us to make urgent management decisions, while ensuring that those decisions are grounded in credible science? How can the data-gathering process be adapted to communities with no means of sophisticated scientific observation?

This presentation will explore these questions through a case study now being developed in the Water For People - Rwanda program.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Environmental health sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
• Audience will be able to describe the global crisis in safe water and the challenges of sustainability in addressing that crisis with water and sanitation development. • Audience will be able to explain a critically-important paradigm for ensuring water supply in the developing and, increasingly, the developed world, Integrated Water Resources Management. • Audience will be able to discuss the social justice dynamics of empowering communities toward self-determination with the collection and evaluation of scientific data.

Keywords: International, Water

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract author because I oversee the implementation of integrated water resource management strategies across Water For People's country programs.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.