View of the Rockefeller Bellagio Center from Lake Como.
A discussion-driven conference session.
Accelerating water access for the poor through integrated water services requires substantial formative change to business as usual. Today, agricultural, industrial, potable water, and sanitation sectors all face significant challenges in procuring and preserving adequate supplies of safe water, especially in poor countries. Escalating climate change and population growth will further complicate equitable allocation of this limited resource. Each sector continues to develop independent solutions to water challenges, such as developing infrastructure for irrigation without considering drinking water, for example, but decades of experience show that compartmentalized approaches to water management are grossly ineffective.
Fortunately, integrated water services represent a strategic alternative approach to the silo paradigm. This systems approach derives from a people-centered, problem-driven process that involves integration of governance, planning, finance, and technology to empower more effective management of shared water resources across sectors. Reuse of gray water for irrigation, for example, would allow cities to address water access problems in rural areas. There is no one-size-fits-all multiuse water system, however. Variations in climate, wealth disparities, lack of technology transformation, issues with water safety, and the explosion of unplanned, periurban communities pose global challenges, and there are multiple barriers to shifting the paradigm in the water sector from a single use development context to a multiple use context.
To address these challenges and opportunities, the JHU Global Water Program organized a conference at the Rockefeller Conference center in Bellagio, Italy, attended by leading experts in water and related fields. The goal of this conference was to increase dialogue among thought- and practice-leaders in the water sector, individuals that can work together to realize change. At this discussion-driven, intensive, and intimate conference, experts articulated the main challenges and opportunities for integrated water services and identified ways to facilitate formative change. A forthcoming Bellagio statement will be published in leading academic journals and on the web. This statement will summarize the key findings of this electrifying conference and serve as a call for action, pushing the way forward to solving the global water challenge.
- Ashok Agarwal, Trustee, Indian Institute of Health Management Research
- Margaret Batty, Director of Policy and Campaigns, Water Aid
- Ned Breslin, CEO, Water For People
- Monica Ellis, CEO, Global Environment & Tecnhnology Foundation
- Joseph Jacangelo, Chair, Water Reuse Research Foundation
- Nicholas Jones, Benjamin T. Rome Dean, JHU Whiting School of Engineering
- Michael Klag, Dean, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Robert Lawrence, Professor, Director, JHU Center for a Livable Future (CLF)
- Peter Lochery, Director of Water Team, CARE International
- Luke MacDonald, Program Manager, JHU Global Water Program
- Peter Macy, Vice President, CDM-Africa, CDM International
- Robert Marten, Associate, Rockefeller Foundation
- Dinesh Mehta, Professor Emeritus, CEPT Univerity
- Melissa Opryszko, Water Sanitation and Hygiene Technical Advisor, Support Relief Group , USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
- Paul Reiter, Executive Director, International Water Association (IWA)
- Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Associate Director, Rockefeller Foundation
- Kellogg Schwab, Professor, Director JHU Global Water Program, JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health
- Barbara van Koppen, Principal Researcher, IWMI South Africa
- Gary White, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Water.org
- Winston Yu, Senior Water Reources Specialist, World Bank
Participants from left to right: Gary White, Mike Klag, Nick Jones, Dinesh Mehta, Luke MacDonald, Kellogg Schwab, Peter Lochery, Cristina Rumbaitis del Rio, Peter Macy, Winston Yu, Robert Marten, Barbara van Koppen, Robert Lawrence, Melissa Opryszko, Paul Reiter, Ashok Agarwal, Margaret Batty, Monica Ellis, Ned Breslin, Joe Jacangelo.