Who we are

The Universities Partnership for Water Cooperation and Diplomacy (UPWCD) serves as a platform led by knowledge partners in the field of water cooperation and diplomacy. It is a one-stop-shop where such actors can share and access information about relevant activities, co-develop research and education tools and jointly support professional training in this field. 

The main objective of UPWCD is to bring together research and teaching competences from various institutions and disciplines and enhance their respective visibility, impacts and services rendered to key target audiences. While preserving and respecting its Partners’ identities, the Partnership encourages and reinforces connections, collaborations and exchanges among them. It, therefore, aims at leveraging existing competences and bolstering institutional strength while striving to achieve common goals.  

The partnership achieves its main objective by:

  • Enhancing scientific knowledge and capacities in water cooperation and diplomacy;
  • Contributing to the public debate and discourses on shared waters;
  • Introducing rigorous science into related dialogues and deliberation processes.


Who can be a member of the UPWCD?

The Partnership is reffered to as a “Universities’ Partnership” as a tribute to its history, evolving from a number of universities willing to join efforts. It is however established as a multi-institutional, academic, research and non-academic partnership, whose Partners share the partnership’s objectives.


Why should we join the UPWCD?

  • We are stronger together. We can make a bigger impact together. Our respective work can be relayed by a bigger number of actors and can therefore have a ripple effect and reach a larger targeted audience. 
  • We are more efficient together. Quests for experience, job opportunities or occasions for long or short term collaboration can go totally unnoticed while experts, eager partners and professionals can be somewhere waiting to be engaged. Our network can make sure no need remains unattended. 
  • We are more convincing together. Searches for funding are more likely to be solid and successful when they reflect actual readiness to cooperate across disciplines, generations and the whole globe. 
  • The partnership exists and functions through members' actions and commitments; and in return it increases exponentially these same members’ impact, efficacy and reach.

Become a partner


Who is the UPWCD target audience? 

The Partnership aims at rendering services to a wide array of audiences engaged in or concerned with, water cooperation and diplomacy. These include and are not limited to, policy and decision makers, senior, mid-level and junior professionals, students, educators, civil society, the media, donors, and intergovernmental institutions).


Where is the UPWCD physically based? 

The Partnership is wherever its partners are, and the Geneva Water Hub currently hosts its Coordination Unit.


The partnership is composed of 3 categories of partners: 

  • Founding Partners: these are the institutions who founded the network
  • Core Partners: these are institutions leading a cluster of activities 
  • Partners: these are institutions who are actively contributing to the implementation of the network's objectives 
  • Affiliates: these are institutions who choose to be affiliated to the network as a whole without being actual Partners within the network. 

The choice to become a Partner or an Affliate depends on an institution’s desired level of involvement within the Partnership, as well as its work on water cooperation and/or diplomacy. 

Founding Partners

They are the founding members of the Partnership.

Deutsch-Kasachische Universität
The DKU is an international university that trains the best professionals fluent in at least two foreign languages. Its main contribution to the Partnership is built on the work of its Natural Resources Institute. It is based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
IHE Delft is the largest international graduate water education facility in the world. It contributes to the UPWCD mainly through the work of its department on Water Management and Governance. It is based in Delft, the Netherlands.
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati
The IIT Guwahati is the 6th member of the prestigious Indian Institute for Technology fraternity. Its Department on Humanities and Social Sciences is the key correspondent of the UPWCD. It is based in Guwahati, India.
International Water Management Institute
IWMI is a non-profit scientific research organisation focusing on sustainable water use and land resources in developing countries. Its contributions to the Partnership cut across its whole institutional mandate. Its Headquarters are in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Oregon State University
OSU is a State university. It contributes to the Partnership through the work of the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science, on water conflict management and transformation. it is located in Oregon, USA.
Université de Genève
The University of Geneva hosts the coordination unit of the UPWCD. Its main contributions to the Partnership are channelled through the Institute for Environmental Sciences, the Research and Education component of the Geneva Water Hub and the UNESCO Chair on Hydropolitics.
University for Peace
The University for Peace is an international institution of higher education for peace. Its mandate is fulfilled in respect of the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Its contribution to the Partnership builds on the work of the Department of Environment and Development.
University of Zimbabwe
The University of Zimbabwe is a public university based in Harare, Zimbabwe. Its Soil Sciences and Agriculture Engineering Faculty provides the focal contact point with the UPWCD. The University also hosts WaterNet a regional network of university water department, research and training institutes, who is also solicited and engaged in the Parternship’s endeavours.

Core Partners

These are institutions who are actively contributing to the implementation of the network's objectives. They are in the process of being identified.


Partners are knowledge institutions (academic or non academic) who are at the stage of initiating education, research and/or training activities/programmes on water cooperation and diplomacy.

Partnership’s activities and label 

An activity can be labeled as a Partnership activity if: 

  • It contributes to the goals of the Partnership, and
  • It is conducted by at least 2 members of the Partnership, and 
  • It has been approved by the Core Partners.

Core Partners can use the UPWCD label when organizing an activity responding to the above criteria after having informed their peers. 

Partners can use the label of the partnership for activities responding to the above criteria. They will have to inform the Core Partners (through the Coordination Unit) of their intention to do so and get a greenlight from them. 


UNESCO Chair on Ecohydrology and Transboundary Water Management
UNESCO Chair on Ecohydrology and Transboundary Water Management, Sokoine University of Agriculture

Asia and the Pacific

Institute of Governance - Shandong University
International Water Rights Forum Hohai University Hopkins-Nanjing Center
Riphah Institute of Public Policy | NCUK
Tarbiat Modares University
Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Melioration

Arab States

An Najah University

Eastern Europe

Ludovika University of Public Service - Faculty of Water Sciences
Corvinus Centre for Central Asia Research

Latin America and the Caribbean

Centro de Competencias del Agua
COLSON (Colegio de Sonora)
Universidade Federal de Pernambuco

Western Europe and North America

Aalto University
Collaborative Water Resolution LLC
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
King’s College London Water
UC Riverside's School of Public Policy
Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy
University of Haifa
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
University of Northumbria


Affiliates are knowledge institutions (academic or non academic) who (i) are at the stage of initiating education, research and/or training activities/programmes on water cooperation and diplomacy (ii) need support in doing so from the UPWCD and (iii) would like to be affiliated to the Partnership as a whole without having particular connections to any specific/individual partners.

Become our partner

You are invited to express your institution’s interests in, and expectations from, the Partnership by filling in this form. The Coordination Unit will be in touch with you. Your candidature will be submitted to the Core Partners whose endorsement finalizes the integration process.