Water Policy Program

More than 800 million people lack access to safe water. As populations grow and the climate changes, competition for this valuable resource is increasing.

The Water Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions is an interdisciplinary effort focused on advancing global access to safe water and sanitation in more sustainable ways.

With researchers based in both North Carolina and Washington, D.C., the program is in the midst of U.S. activities in the water sector and aptly positioned to strengthen knowledge sharing and provoke collaboration among public and private decision makers across the sector to improve policies and practices pertaining to safe water and sanitation.

Internationally, work focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa where, through partnerships with Duke units and external stakeholders, researchers address pressing water management and water quality issues. In Ethiopia, efforts are centered on monitoring programs and providing guidance to improve Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects. In the Rift Valley, work is underway to combat the high-fluoride levels in drinking water—responsible for dental and skeletal diseases—and further analyze how people could best respond to changes in the regions climate.

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Focus Areas Include: water quality; tools and strategies for improved water utility infrastructure; water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives; adaptive water governance; and water resource management and policy.