100 Water Heroes: Arturo Vittori


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


100 Water Heroes: Marco Barbieri



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


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