In many parts of the world, freshwater for people and the environment is a threatened resource. Rapid population growth, climate change and poor management, among other factors, have led to water crises that put people and their livelihoods in danger. Often interlinked, regional water supply shocks can affect people, economies, and nature everywhere. Finding locally relevant solutions will depend on incentives, technology, conservation, markets and trade.

The Global Freshwater Initiative (GFI) is developing strategies that promote the long-term viability of freshwater supplies for people and ecosystems threatened by climate change, shifts in land use, increasing population, decaying infrastructure and groundwater over-pumping. Our investigations of freshwater vulnerability are global in scope but regional in focus. The GFI Fact Sheet provides a brief overview in a pdf.

We work with policymakers, stakeholders, and collaborators throughout the world to:

  • Understand the nature and causes of water crises and their impacts on people, economies and ecosystems
  • Identify planning and policy prescriptions that ensure regional freshwater supplies for human and environmental needs are sustainable and resistant to disruptions
  • Develop innovative, quantitative models that inform improved policies to address regional water supply problems by exploring water markets, infrastructure, technology, taxes, water rights and quotas
  • Train the next generation of water resource experts