GWP Celebrates 25 Years of Implementing Change in the Water Sector

2021 marks 25 years since Global Water Partnership (GWP) was founded with a mission to foster Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and – ultimately – to achieve a water secure world. Throughout 2021, celebrations will take place in the worldwide network of 3,000 Partners, highlighting past successes and setting new goals for future achievements.

The anniversary visual on GWP’s website and social media channels is to be followed up with announcements on events and other celebrations in due course.

In January, the first big event where the anniversary will be highlighted is the Climate Adaptation Summit 2021, where GWP announces the winners of the Water ChangeMaker Awards – a collaborative project announced last year to identify and celebrate teams and organisations that shape water decisions that build climate resilience. The Awards are a testimony to GWP’s successful partnerships worldwide, ranging from local institutions to governmental agencies, all with the same goal: improved water governance.

“GWP’s 25th anniversary is an ideal opportunity to showcase GWP’s success, values, and strengths and to give context to our past and current achievements, and future strategies, in close collaboration with GWP’s global donor and partner network,” said Interim Executive Secretary and CEO, Peter Repinski.

The 25th anniversary coincides with the second year of GWP’s new 2020-2025 Strategy, Mobilising for a Water Secure World. The urgency of this strategy was further highlighted with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which brought the issue of water and sanitation to the forefront of the global agenda.

The pandemic also changed GWP’s operational strategy to some extent – with digital solutions now being a key to success – something that GWP had pioneered earlier through its innovative online Network Meetings. During the 2020 GWP Network Meeting, GWP Chair Howard Bamsey acknowledged not only the challenges, but also the possibilities that now lie ahead for GWP.

“There is no other organisation in the world that has this reach in the water sector – and probably very few in other sectors. We can offer something that the water sector generally lacks, and that is a coherent view and vision of where we want to go. GWP can be a node for coherence, for building coherence in the water sector.”

These words sum up much of what GWP is focusing on at the 25-year mark: strengthening its partnerships, building bridges, and mobilising action throughout the water sector.