Effectively managing the planet’s water resources is essential to ensuring sustainable and equitable development around the world.

“Integrated management of water resources will be essential for sustainable development and security moving into the future,” said Michael Mortimer, director of the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, based in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.

The center, which provides interdisciplinary graduate education in Virginia Tech’s National Capital Region, was recently accepted as a university member in two internationally recognized networks — the U.S. Water Partnership and the Global Water Partnership. Both partnerships are committed to advancing integrated water resource management practices and technologies globally.

As a member organization in these international coalitions, the center becomes an active partner in working towards a water secure world.

“Effective integrated water resource management demands collaborative leadership, which the center can help build through membership in these two networks,” Mortimer said.

“We look forward to working with our new partners to advance leadership for integrated water resource management around the world, and to providing our students with invaluable direct access and insights into innovative sustainability strategies and partnerships in nations around the globe,” he continued.

“These memberships dovetail perfectly with our existing efforts in the Chesapeake Bay and Mekong River watersheds, and help strengthen our relationships with existing corporate partners including Ford Corporation and Coca-Cola, and nongovernmental partners including World Wildlife Fund, The Nature Conservancy, the Stimson Center, the U.S. Water Alliance, and others,” Mortimer concluded.

The U.S. Water Partnership is a public-private initiative comprised of more than 60 U.S.-based organizations dedicated to mobilizing domestic expertise and resources to creating valuable solutions to address growing water challenges, particularly in developing nations.

With several U.S. Water Partnership member organizations based in the Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia areas, the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability will have a unique opportunity to collaborate with network partners to create opportunities for its students to develop and implement solutions beyond the classroom.

The Global Water Partnership is an international network of 2,770 organizations in more than 167 countries. Through its membership in the partnership, the center is now embedded in a global network of “water ambassadors” providing capacity building and technical assistance to facilitate water sustainability.