About Us

The Global Water Institute (GWI) at Ohio State is a collaboration engine that delivers sustainable systems solutions for complex water issues.


Our mission is to provide sustainable systems solutions for communities facing water resource challenges. Sustainable systems solutions are ones that are economically viable, environmentally sound, socially acceptable, user-driven, and technically maintainable.


GWI values truly new, fresh, off-the-wall, disruptive approaches to solving the big, messy problems affecting people all over the world.

We take it for granted that solutions need to:

  • Work across sectors (government, industry, civil society, academics)
  • Take a systems view (environment, economic, culture and more)
  • Be multi-disciplinary (geologists, doctors, entrepreneurs, social workers)
  • Capture, generate and connect data well (this is the 21st century after all!)
  • Integrate the best ideas and tools (not just ours)

Why Water?

The world is facing major water challenges that intersect with food, energy, and health. Ohio State is tackling these issues because:

  • they affect literally billions of people on the planet
  • we have something to offer
  • it’s our job (we’re a land-grant university)

What We Do

The GWI integrates research, education and extension to tackle specific water resource issues with global applications. We use the same approach for our three current focus areas:

  • Sustainable Village Water Systems: Improving sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene access in developing countries
  • C(ity) to Sea (in development): New approaches for resilient coastal communities