the SANITATION problem
Estimates note that 32% of the world’s population (2.4 billion people) lacked improved sanitation facilities in 2015. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands of children every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more. Many countries lack the technical knowledge to develop and implement centralized sanitation solutions.
Global Water Stewardship resolves sanitation issues in the developing world by educating people and engineering sustainable centralized solutions that keep waterways clean and communities healthy
the GWS solution
Global Water Stewardship (GWS) has 1,300 members in our host organization that are experts in the planning, engineering, operations and maintenance of sustainable centralized wastewater/ sanitation collection and treatment systems. We utilize university student design competitions for the concept designs and then work with local engineers in the host country to finalize the design and implement the solution.

Through this process we educate individuals on how to design, implement, operate, and maintain centralized wastewater collection and treatment systems. We also develop user fee structures for the ongoing operations and maintenance costs and work with community outreach individuals to get community buy in.
We were established in 2013 by the Central States Water Environment Association (CSWEA), a member association of the Water Environment Federation (WEF). GWS utilizes the tremendous talent of the thousands of CSWEA/WEF water treatment professionals to improve the health and lives of people who lack the resources to do it on their own and to help solve sanitation issues globally. Our volunteers include strong advocates, leaders and innovators in the area of water resource sustainability.

We saw the need and the massive problem and decided that we could make a difference. We feel that sanitation is so vital to the health and prosperity of a community and its individuals. Good sanitation enhances a communities health and leads to reduced mortality and poverty. Sanitation is so important that it is our only priority.

GWS is developing final design engineering documents for Piedras Blancas and Bahia Ballena utilizing the WEF/CSWEA Student Design Competition. In general, the solution approach should be to construct a centralized treatment system with a complete collection system, and have it be a low cost/low maintenance solution that’s viable for the community to sustain and operate. Our professionals will mentor the students to come up with innovative solutions for the project and present their solution at the Design Competition held each Spring at the CSWEA Education Seminar.

GWS selects the design that best solves the sanitation solutions in the community. The winning team works with the CSWEA professionals to finalize design and associated estimates for operation and maintenance. During the next trip to the community, the winning team is invited to work with Global Water Stewardship and the local communities to help implement the final design.

GWS members are looking to develop a long term wastewater solution utilizing our student design competitions with the graduate students from University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, and other student chapters within CSWEA. GWS members were able to speak with school faculties to allow the students to develop a design as part of a course that would receive credits. This will improve student participation considerably, and offer GWS a wider variety of solutions to choose from for implementation.

The 2015 winning design for Piedras Blancas is being turned over to a Costa Rican Engineer to finalize and submit for permitting. The Bahia Ballena problem statement was developed for the 2016 Student Design Competition. GWS is working with the Ministry of Water (AyA), local water authority (ASADA) and local NGOs and municipal leaders to implement our solutions. Use of the Costa Rican labor programs will allow for inexpensive construction. In addition, we are helping to educate the people and children of the communities we are serving about the risks of untreated wastewater and benefits of improved sanitation. Water professionals that have experience running wastewater treatment systems are encouraged to become involved and to help with startup and operations training of the systems.

Mohammed Haque, Director, is the District Manager for Lakes Region Sanitary District and has been involved managing public utilities for 19 years. He also serves as the Executive Director of the Central States Water Environment Association and on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Association of Wastewater Agencies. Mohammed helped form the Global Water Stewardship out of a realization that the talented professionals and students in CSWEA could help solve the 2.4 billion people lacking sanitation problem worldwide.
Amanda Heller, Chair, is an Environmental Engineer with Baxter & Woodman, Inc. She works in wastewater and water resources design. Amanda is conscious of the effects wastewater can have on the environment and its exponential effect on nature and quality of life. She is serving her second term as Chair and has been an integral member of GWS since its beginnings.
Maureen Durkin, Vice Chair, is a Managing Civil Engineer at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). She works in the Engineering Department supporting collection system maintenance efforts. Previously, Maureen was responsible for issuing permits for sewer construction and stormwater detention under the MWRD’s Sewer Permit Ordinance. In addition, she administered the MWRD’s infiltration and inflow control program. Maureen takes part in planning, design and construction of improvement projects.
Matt Streicher, Treasurer, recently accepted a new position as Assistant Director/Civil Engineer for the Glenbard Wastewater Authority after serving as the District Engineer for the Wheaton Sanitary District for 8 years. He has a passion for wastewater treatment so that the environment can be preserved while also maintaining proper public health. Matt has been on board with GWS since its inception, and has had roles in several committees.
Elizabeth (Liz) Bohne, Marketing Chair, is a Biological Engineer at Trotter and Associates, Inc, working on water and wastewater projects. Liz is currently pursuing her Masters in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois. She is very passionate about international development and public health and has worked on water and sanitation projects in small communities in both Latin America and Africa. She has experience in community outreach, fundraising, and sustainable project implementation.
Mike Holland, Fundraising Chair, is the District Engineer for the DeKalb Sanitary District. He is excited to be able to use his expertise in the wastewater industry to give back to those in need. Mike was previously the Student Design Chair and has had significant involvement in GWS since its inception.
Alan Phelps, Student Design Chair, is an engineer with Baxter & Woodman working on water distribution system and storm and sanitary collection system improvements. He assists with wastewater pretreatment programs and wastewater process design. Having a strong field background working on water and sanitation improvements in developing communities through several organizations, he has continued to assist in examining the feasibility of GWS projects.
Alex Knicker, Social Media Chair, is an Environmental Project Engineer with Baxter & Woodman, Inc. and works in water and wastewater design. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Alex understands the importance of sanitation infrastructure and cares greatly about maintaining a healthy environment and bringing sustainable solutions to areas in need.
Paige Peters, Research & Development Chair, is a Graduate Research Assistant at Marquette University working on her Masters in Civil Engineering, focused on water and wastewater treatment. She has been committed to development work initiatives for the past 9 years, and is dedicated to the cause of providing adequate sanitation for those lacking access in order to improve their quality of life.
Manuel de los Santos, QA/QC Chair, is the Product Manager for Biological Processes at Aqua-Aerobic Systems Inc. He has over 15 years of wastewater treatment design experience and work experience in Latin America. With this knowledge of wastewater treatment and his ability to communicate fluently in Spanish, he is instrumental in providing education to the local communities, as well as work with the local organizations and engineers in Spanish speaking countries, where GWS is currently focusing its efforts.

This committee works to gather funds from various sources and/or activities to cover the costs GWS incurs throughout the year. These costs include travel expenses to communities served, project startup expenses like surveying, professional services, education, and project construction costs.

Grants: Research and respond to various grant applications that the GWS is applicable for.
Large Events: Organize and run large donation events to help raise funds for GWS.
Donations & Corporate Sponsors: Contact and reach out to past, present, and potential donors and corporate sponsors.

Project Management and QA/QC

This group assists the winning student design team with final quality control. Members review the submitted solution to ensure the design is functional and feasible. The Project Manager is also responsible for organization and gathering of equipment capital, operational, and maintenance costs. He or she delegates review work to several other GWS committee members and ensures the student team understands any required design changes. At this time, there is one Project Manager leading both the Piedras Blancas and Bahia Ballena project, but there is potential for additional Project Managers as GWS continues to expand.

Research & Development

This committee leads the charge on discovering new wastewater treatment technologies while making contacts within the industry. Members work to research ongoing advancements in order to provide the most up-to-date, low cost, low maintenance, sustainable systems to the communities GWS serves. The committee reaches out to manufacturers for equipment and material information, as well as for possible discounts or donations for each specific project. GWS is always looking for passionate professionals to assist on this committee.

Marketing /Public Relations

The Marketing Committee is responsible for promoting the mission, goals, and achievements of the Global Water Stewardship. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to; creating t-shirts, banners, pamphlets, brochures, and leave-behind items, preparing marketing and business plans, advertising events, and sharing GWS progress through social media. This group works closely with the Fundraising Committee to promote GWS during public events. Be sure to check out the GWS Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts!


Committee Meetings
Check the calendar for the date and time of committee meetings, and email chair@globalwaterstewardship.org if you'd like to get involved.

CSWEA 89th Annual Meeting
From generous donations of attendees, GWS was able to raise over $4,000 by means of a raffle and silent auction. GWS also presented on the current global sanitation issue and the steps GWS is taking to solve it. A new Board of Directors was voted in, and we met many new, enthusaistic members wanting to hear more about our cause! We look forward to next year's meeting.

Upcoming: Summer Costa Rica Trip
GWS members and design competition student winners will travel to Costa Rica from August 13-20th, 2016. They will visit Piedras Blancas, Bahia Ballena, and Dominical to assess current project status, meet with community members, and gather data and information for the 2016-2017 Student Design Competition. Look for updates on GWS' social media!

You can help GWS today by donating directly to our cause.
Corporate Sponsors: $1,000+ Donation
Friends of GWS: up to $1,000 Donation

Select “Central States Water Pollution Control Association” as your donation choice and Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases.

Thank You to our Sponsors:
Our Helping Hands
GWS has made numerous valuable contacts in both Costa Rica and the United States that have made it possible for GWS to connect with locals in project communities and gather information to begin each unique design process. Without the contributions of these organizations, GWS would not be where it is today.