Launch of Global Urban Water Security Network

Friday, March 22nd, Oakland, California – A Global Network has been launched on World Water Day to push for achieving safe, affordable and fair access to secure water systems in urban centers worldwide. United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6 calls for all people to have access safe water by 2030. Yet in 2015, nearly a third of the world’s population lacked safely managed drinking water supplies and 61 percent were without safely managed sanitation services.

Today, on World Water Day, UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures and nine partner organizations, including the Pacific Institute, have launched The Global Urban Water Security Network, a knowledge sharing network working to achieve equitable, accessible and secure water systems in urban centers across the world.

The network will enable utilities, governments, and NGOs to access support and knowledge as well as learn from the experiences of other cities and develop new ways to plan and manage urban water systems.

Network partners have identified specific challenges within the industry that need urgent action, such as:

  • How can water restrictions be managed effectively and equitably?
  • How do we ensure financial sustainability of water utilities during drought?
  • How can we design and implement a rapid water conservation response to drought?
  • How can we collaborate across sectors in identifying and understanding water source options?

Members of the network have been at the forefront of responding to drought and developing action plans to avoid and reduce the worst impacts of drought in Australia, California, Sao Paulo, The Philippines, Spain, and the UK.

The network is seeking collaborations with utilities, NGOs, governments, businesses, and researchers to develop responses to these questions so we can be as prepared as possible for challenges now and in the future.

UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures Director Professor Stuart White says: “Water scarcity and severe drought is a global problem, with cities, towns and their basins around the world facing epic challenges. The Global Water Security Network will bring people and organizations together to ensure we confront these issues and build resilience to climate change. If we don’t act now we will see catastrophic consequences for societies, economies, the environment and human wellbeing.”

Global Water Security Network Partners:
Anglian Water 
Canal de Isabel II 
Climate-KIC Australia
Pacific Institute
UTS Institute for Sustainable Futures
The Alliance for Water Efficiency
Water UK 


The Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) is an interdisciplinary research and consulting organisation at the University of Technology Sydney setting global benchmarks since 1997 in helping governments, organisations, businesses and communities achieve change towards sustainable futures. We utilise a unique combination of skills and perspectives to offer long term sustainable solutions that protect and enhance the environment, human wellbeing and social equity. More information available here.

The Pacific Institute envisions a world in which society, the economy, and the environment have the water they need to thrive now and in the future. In pursuit of this vision, the Institute creates and advances solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges, such as unsustainable water management and use; climate change; environmental degradation; food, fiber, and energy production for a growing population; and basic lack of access to freshwater and sanitation. Since 1987, the Pacific Institute has cut across traditional areas of study and actively collaborated with a diverse set of stakeholders, including policymakers, scientists, corporate leaders, international organizations such as the United Nations, advocacy groups, and local communities. This interdisciplinary and nonpartisan approach helps bring diverse interests together to forge effective real-world solutions.