Europe

100 Water Heroes: Karin Ekberg

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Global Sustainability Expert, Managing Director and Sustainability Executive

Karin is the Managing Director and Sustainability Executive of Leadership and Sustainability, a company that “delivers a broad and deep spectrum of Consulting, Empowerment, Sustainable Business Models and Software & Tools in the sustainability area.” Karin has extensive experience in sustainability management, and has worked with a number of leading brands, NGOs and governmental agencies.

Karin also co-led the development of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, a trade organisation that connects the industry and works towards reducing the environmental and social impact of clothing and footwear products. Karin was also integral in the formation of ZDHC, a group striving for Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals in the textile, leather and footwear industries.

Karin’s passion for a sustainable future extends to her belief in the #RunningDry movement, and she has been an active supporter of the campaign since the beginning. From the first call for help, Karin has contributed km’s to the tally every single day, and has spread the movement’s message wherever possible. She has a running total of 83,4km donated to #RunningDry!

Karin is one of our #100WaterHeroes for creating a more sustainable future and for contributing km’s to every single #RunningDry tally.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/karinekbergleadership

Twitter: KarinEkberg10

100 Water Heroes: Søren Hvilshøj

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Global Market Director of Water at Ramboll Group

Søren Hvilshøj is the Global Market Director of Water for Ramboll Group, a consulting engineering firm. With his vast experience in water and environment sectors, Søren has helped the firm implement effective water management systems that “consider the technological choices and economic balance in protecting water quantity and water quality.”

Under Søren’s leadership, Ramboll have been integral in the development of cloudburst mitigation plans in Copenhagen and Frederiksberg. They have also focused on creating more “green and blue spaces,” in the forms of planted areas and streams that work to naturally retain rainwater. Part of this, and the cloudburst mitigation plan, involves “establishing cloudburst roads that quickly and efficiently channel the water out of the city while taking into account traffic flow and urban quality of life.”

Søren’s widespread experience in the water industry includes being on the Executive Board of the Danish Association of Water Supplies, a Committee Member of the Foundation for Development of Technology in the Danish Water Sector and a Board Member in a Danish water supply company. He also lectures at a number of international universities on issues surrounding water management.

Søren is one of our #100WaterHeroes for working with Ramboll Group to design sustainable, effective water management systems that are aligned with local needs.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/soerenhvilshoej

Twitter: s_hvilshoej

100 Water Heroes: Stuart Orr

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Practice Lead, Water at WWF

Stuart Orr works with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the world’s biggest independent conservation organisation. Stuart leads the WWF Freshwater Practice, where he heads major freshwater conservation initiatives.

Stuart is widely considered a global thought leader on water stewardship, and has spent over a decade at WWF “engaging business and finance, and focussing on emerging themes such as the water-food-energy nexus, economic incentives and water-related risk.” In addition to his work his WWF, Stuart has written an an array of both scientific and popular publications.

Prior to Stuart’s involvement with WWF, he obtained an MSc in Environment and Development. He continued on to research agricultural rice systems in West Africa and also gained experience during his time in the private sector.

Stuart has served on a range of prominent advisory panels and boards, including the World Economic Forum’s Water Security Council. He is also on the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Infrastructure & Natural Resources Advisory Steering Committee

Stuart is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his innovative approaches to solving the global water crisis, and for leading WWF’s Freshwater Practice.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/stuart-orr-83175712

Twitter: @Stuart_Orr 

100 Water Heroes: Arturo Vittori

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Founder and President of Warka Water

Arturo Vittori is the Founder and President of Warka Water, an NPO that “focuses on innovative and sustainable solutions to some of humanity’s most enduring problems through the fusion of local knowledge and resources, visionary design, and ancient traditions.” Arturo is an internationally celebrated artist, architect and designer whose projects have provided beautifully innovative solutions to some of society’s most pressing issues.

When asked what prompted the launch of Warka Water, Arturo stated:

"The idea of the project came out from visiting a small village called Dorze in Ethiopia and seeing women and children walking for kilometres and kilometres every day to bring some water home"

Arturo and his team realised that, in order for rural Ethiopians to access water, women and children had to walk for miles, only to reach shallow, contaminated ponds. This new awareness ultimately led to Arturo designing vertical water towers that collect potable water from the air, providing rural populations with an alternative, safe water source.

Arturo is one of our #100WaterHeroes for founding Warka Water and using his skillset to create an alternative solution to lack of water access in rural African communities.

Twitter: @ArturoVittori

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/arturo-vittori-a457351

100 Water Heroes: Alfredo Ferre García

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Managing Director of Hilaturas Ferre

Alfredo Ferre Garcia is the Managing Director of Hilaturas Ferre, a company that turns “textile waste in to the world’s finest quality recycled yarns.” The Ferre Company was founded over 100 years ago and, in 1947, began transforming textile waste into cotton yarn. Ever since, they have been committed to pioneering sustainable materials and processes.

In 2006, they named their system of textile waste collection and recycling The Recover Upcycled Textile System which is now led by a team of experts in the textiles, fashion and sustainability fields. From its conception, The Ferre Company has held the belief that upcycling is the most effective way to sustainably transform the fashion industry. In 2017 alone, Recover saved over 43.1 billion litres of water through their upcycling initiatives.

Under the leadership of the third generation of Ferres, The Ferre Company is a key player in the sustainable and recycled textile sector. Alfredo speaks on their collaborations with important fashion stakeholders, and how using their approach has already saved massive amounts of water:

"The impact of water, electricity and chemical savings reaches very high values. Two years ago we worked with H&M and in less than five months, which was what it took us to manufacture 300 tons of clothing, they saved two million liters of water".

Alfredo is one of our #100WaterHeroes for leading Hilatura Fer and Recover in their goal to transform the fashion industry by upcycling textile waste into valuable products.

100 Water Heroes: Marco Barbieri

Photographer

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Marco Barbieri is an Italian photographer, based in London, who travels the globe capturing places “where religion and politics play an important role in people lives.” In 2016, Marco travelled to Uzbekistan to explore the disappearing Aral Sea, saying, “it is a journey to that missing sea: It is about water, power and deceptive appearances.”

Along Marco’s photographic expedition to Uzbekistan, he visited an old harbour town that now sits over 200km away from the water. What remains of the Aral Sea is “toxic to animal life,” and, because such a large body of water is disappearing, the region’s climate has been undoubtedly affected, with “temperatures similar to Siberia in the winter and scorching heat in the summers.”

Marco documented his journey through Uzbekistan with a photographic series entitled Water in the Desert, a collection of hauntingly beautiful stills that provide a snapshot into the country’s ever-worsening water crisis.

Using his creative platform to tell Uzbekistan’s story, Marco has poignantly highlighted issues surrounding the disappearing Aral Sea, making him one of our #100WaterHeroes.

Twitter: @_m_barbieri

Instagram: _m_barbieri

Website: https://www.mbarbieri.com/

100 Water Heroes: Dr. Stefan Uhlenbrook

by Kelvin Trautman

by Kelvin Trautman

Coordinator and Director of UNESCO, UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP)

Dr. Stefan Uhlenbrook has, since 2015, been the Coordinator of the UNESCO World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) and the Director of the UNESCO Programme Office on Global Water Assessment in Perugia, Italy. Stefan’s fields of expertise include “water assessments, sustainability, hydrological process research and water resources management with focus on developing solutions for pressing water challenges.”

The WWAP is responsible for producing an annual UN-Water report that unpacks the current “state, use and management of the world’s freshwater resources,” aiming to inform policy-makers on how to manage water resources in the most economically, socially and environmentally sustainable ways. Stefan, as highlighted by his work with the WWAP, is deeply committed to the UN’s SDGs, having also coordinated the UN-Water SDG 6 Synthesis Report on Water and Sanitation 2018.

Prior to his work with the WWAP, Stefan obtained his PhD in 1999 and has lectured in universities throughout his career. He also worked at the UNESCO Institute for Water Education.

Stefan is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of his expertise in the water management sector, and his dedication to achieving SDG6

Stefan Twitter: @SUhlenbrook 

WWAP Twitter: @UNWWAP

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/stefan-uhlenbrook-50680010

100 Water Heroes: Carlos Cosín

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Founder and CEO of Almar Water Solutions

Carlos Cosín, founder and CEO of Almar Water Solutions, and launched the company primarily as a way to “tap into the renewable powered desalination market.” In addition to developing water desalination technology, Almar Water Solutions provides specialist involvement in the financing, design and operation of water infrastructure development.

Carlos has significant experience in the water industry and, for over 20 years, has used his skill-set to develop desalination, wastewater and recycling projects throughout the world. Carlos’ mission with Almar Water Solutions have “a clear focus on environmental and social responsibility,” that complement government-led water initiatives.

Before leading Almar Water Solutions, Carlos attained a degree in Agricultural Engineering. He continued on to work for Veolia Water Systems for seven years, following which he joined Abengoa Water between 2005 and 2016. Carlos is a significant figure in the water desalination industry, and has contributed widely to its development in recent years.

Carlos Cosín is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of his extensive knowledge surrounding water desalination, and his passion for finding a sustainable solution to the global water crisis.

Twitter: @CarlosCosinF 

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/carloscosin

100 Water Heroes: Angela Morelli & Tom Gabriel Johansen

Founders of InfoDesignLab

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Today’s #100WaterHeroes are co-founders of InfoDesignLab, Angela Morelli (CEO) and Tom Gabriel Johansen (COO). Angela and Tom are information designers who co-founded InfoDesignLab after recognising “how vital it is to design information in a way that strikes the right note in the mind of the viewer.”

Prior to her work with InfoDesignLab, Angela attained her MA specialising in Information Design. She was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2012, and is currently an ambassador for virtual water and water footprint research.

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Tom has over 15 years of experience in the data-journalism and design fields. With his extensive experience and skill, Tom is described as “innovative and powerful in the service of understanding.”

On the topic of virtual water, InfoDesignLab created a platform whereby users are able to visualise the virtual water hidden in their food - The Water We Eat. The experience is immersive and visually exciting, all the while raising awareness of the invisible water that exists in everything we consume.

Angela and Tom are today’s #100WaterHeroes because of their commitment to turning water science into meaningful narratives, beautiful visions and understandable messages.

Angela’s Twitter: @angelamorelli 

Tom’s Twitter: @tomhal99

The Water We Eat

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Oslo, Norway

100 Water Heroes: Saran Kaba Jones

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Founder and CEO of FACE Africa

Saran Kaba Jones is the Founder and CEO of FACE Africa, “a community development organization working to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa.” With particular focus on assisting those in rural Liberia, FACE Africa has raised over $500,000 for WASH initiatives, benefitting more than 25,000 Liberian people.

In their role as a community development organization, FACE Africa seeks to raise awareness surrounding WASH issues, “through advocacy, grassroots awareness campaigns, policy development and community engagement.”

Prior to her work with FACE Africa, Saran worked on the Singapore Economic Development Board and Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute. Saran is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and, in 2016, was named in TIME Magazine’s Next Generation Leader. Saran has also been noted by Guardian UK as one of Africa's 25 Top Women Achievers, and her water-related work with FACE Africa has garnered widespread international media attention.

Saran is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her work with FACE Africa, and her commitment to bettering the standards of water, sanitation and hygiene in sub-Saharan Africa.

Saran Twitter: @sarankjones

FACE Africa Twitter: @faceafrica

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/sarankjones

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Boston, USA | Liberia


100 Water Heroes: Elodie Brelot & Bernard Chocat

Director of GRAIE & Founder and Honourary President of GRAIE

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Today’s #100WaterHeroes are GRAIE’s Director, Elodie Brelot, and their Founder and Honourary President, Bernard Chocat. GRAIE is a French NPO, who describe themselves as “a group of research, technical coordination and water information that has been mobilising and bringing together stakeholders in the fields of water management, aquatic environments and urban planning.”

GRAIE’s four key themes include:

Urban Water // Water and Public Health // Aquatic Environments // Urban Drainage

Under Elodie’s leadership, GRAIE was particularly influential in their endorsement of the IWA Principles for Water-Wise Cities, “which encourage collaborative action, underpinned by a shared vision, so that local governments, urban professionals, and individuals actively engage in addressing and finding solutions for managing all waters of the city.”

Following completion of a thesis in Urban Hydrology, Elodie became Director of GRAIE in 1994, where she works towards connecting both scientists and professionals in the water management sector.

by Kelvin Trautman

by Kelvin Trautman

Our second #100WaterHero for today is Bernard Chocat who, in addition to being founder and honourary president of GRAIE, is also a skilled professor at Lyon’s National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), and specialises in urban water. It was an honour to have Bernard run with me along some of the Beaujolais marathon route, and to hear him speak about some of the region’s water management issues.

Elodie Brelot and Bernard Chocat are today’s #100WaterHeroes because of their work with GRAIE, and their commitment to connecting scientists and professionals in the water management sector.

Twitter: @ asso_graie

Elodie Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/elodie-brelot-17728320

GRAIE Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/graie

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Lyon, France

100 Water Heroes: Kathleen Dominique

Environmental Economist, OECD

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Our fifth Water Hero, Kathleen Dominique, is a policy analyst at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), where she heads work surrounding water financing. She currently serves as project manager of the Roundtable on Financing Water, a platform that “draws upon political leadership and technical expertise, with the ambition of facilitating increased financing of investments that contribute to water security and sustainable growth.”

The OECD have a strong alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and look to find “innovative and effective approaches to water management.” Kathleen has been integral to the OECD’s environmental and water sustainability teams, and has lead work relating to water resources allocation, groundwater allocation, and water and climate change adaptation.

Prior her work with the OECD, Kathleen was involved in climate change at the Institute of Sustainable Development and International Relations.

Kathleen is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her dedication to environmental sustainability, and her impactful work with the OECD on water management issues.

Twitter: @KDominique_H2O

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/kathleen-dominique-719b815

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Paris, France