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Water. Cities. Solutions

Water Security

W12+ Programs
Promoting and Sustaining Water Security Globally


W12+ Programs address the obstacles to water security by supporting local leaders who are working to solve their community’s water security challenges, and connecting them to global resources and knowledge.

The two main program components of the W12+ Program – the Hubs and the Blueprint – together accomplish the goal of supporting urban communities in need around the globe to achieve water security. W12+ communicates knowledge and solutions to water security issues by convening events such as W12+ Drive Ins, W12+ Exchanges, and W12+ Congresses.


What we do

W12+ currently has Hubs in South Sudan, Egypt, and South Africa on projects related to drinking water quality monitoring and workforce development, reforestation/afforestation, groundwater monitoring, and more. 

In partnership with UNESCO IHP, W12+ has created and launched the W12+ Blueprint, a platform for sharing proven and notable solutions for water security.

Why water?

Sustainable access to clean water is one of the critical elements for achieving an ecological civilization. Without water, life on Earth as we know it would not exist. From the tiniest bacteria to blue whales, all living beings depend on water to survive.

In the 21st century, water scarcity has become one of the most pressing global stresses to life on this planet, and hence one of the biggest challenges to progress toward an ecological civilization. Today 1 in 10 people globally live without basic access to clean water. The United Nations estimates that by 2025 this situation will become even more critical, with two-thirds of the world population under water stress.

Water insecurity is a global challenge that demands global responses. But these challenges are localized and thus require local solutions.


The W12+ Hypothesis:

1) Working with locals on the ground will yield solutions that meet the needs of local people. 

2) By supporting the capacity building of these local organizations, solutions will be discovered and maintained over the long term. 

3) By incubating water solutions that were once believed to be too high risk or too complex, we can pave the way for transformative water projects to be replicated and scaled globally.


W12+ provides:

  • Technical expertise in social and economic elements of water security, as well as innovative approaches to financing water, groundwater, and integrated water resource management. We also work on water as a means for conflict resolution, systems change, locally-led development processes, and more;
  • Services include consulting on particular topics related to topics above, research support, facilitation, convenings;

Both capacity-building hubs and platforms to share solutions, grow networks, and obtain additional knowledge or resources.


More on W12+:

  • Click here for the W12+ specific project website
  • Listen to W12+’s new podcast, The HOW: Challenging Water Solutions 
  • Watch the W12+ Exchange videos on key topics for global water security here
  • W12+ partnered with the Economist Impact to create the new Water Optimisation Index, which ranks global cities according to metrics of sustainability, reliability, and accessibility

For more information, please contact Ellie Leaning at

** Support for W12+ Programs is tax deductible in the USA and in South Africa.

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