About This Project

This project was made possible by
generous funding from Kenneth E. Behring,
founder of the Global Health and Education Foundation

The Global Health and Education Foundation strives to advance the health and well-being of the world by improving access to clean water, public health and primary care, basic education, and economic development opportunities. The Global Health and Education Foundation’s inaugural operating foundation, WaterLeaders, is dedicated to alleviating the safe drinking water crisis. For more information, please visit www.waterleaders.org.

The “Safe Water is Essential” web site is a production of the National Academy of Sciences’ Koshland Science Museum, in cooperation with the Water Science and Technology Board and the Office of International Programs.

National Academy of Sciences and the National Academies

Since 1863, the nation’s leaders have often turned to the National Academies for advice on the scientific and technological issues that frequently pervade policy decisions. The National Academy of Sciences, an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, is dedicated to furthering science and technology for the general welfare. Visit www.national-academies.org for more information. For information on the Water Science and Technology Board, visit www.dels.nas.edu/wstb. For information on the Office of International Programs, please visit http://www.nap.edu/gateway/pga.

The National Academy of Sciences works with other science academies of the world, through the Interacademy Panel on International Issues (IAP). The Chair of the IAP Water Program, Professor Jose Galizia Tundisi, from the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, has provided input and review for this project.

Marian Koshland Science Museum

The Marian Koshland Science Museum presents the complexities of current science in an engaging and accessible way to the general public through interactive, state-of-the-art exhibits. The museum explores current scientific issues at the core of many of the nation’s public policy decisions, as presented in reports by the National Academies. For more information, please visit www.koshland-science.org.

Scientific Steering Committee

  • Daniel P. Loucks (NAE), Chair, Cornell University
  • Peter H. Gleick (NAS), Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security
  • Simón González, National Autonomous University of Mexico
  • James M. Hughes (IOM), Emory University
  • Robert M. Hirsch, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Kimberly Jones, Howard University
  • R. Rhodes Trussell (NAE), Trussell Technologies
  • Henry J. Vaux, University of California/Berkeley
  • Hamé M.Watt, Independent Consultant, Washington, DC


  • John Boright, Director, Office of International Affairs
  • Ellen De Guzman, Senior Program Associate, Water Science and Technology Board
  • Patrice Legro, Director, Marian Koshland Science Museum
  • Will Logan, Senior Program Officer, Water Science and Technology Board
  • Stephen Parker, Director, Water Science and Technology Board
  • Erika Shugart, Deputy Director, Marian Koshland Science Museum

Translation Reviewers

  • Simón González – Spanish
  • Ismail Serageldin – Arabic
  • Salah Soliman – Arabic
  • Susan Su – Chinese
  • Hamé Watt – French
  • Jun Xia – Chinese

Production and Design

Terra Incognita Productions

  • Michelle Andrews, Producer
  • Mark Baltzegar, Technical Lead/Programmer
  • Tyler Ham, Programmer
  • Angie Marable, Business Director
  • Bart Marable, Creative Director/Designer
  • Angela Pan, Archival Research/Production Assistant
  • Travis Rimel, Designer/Programmer
  • Paula Willard, Producer
  • Laura Blackstone, Cartographic Visualizations
  • Debra Cole, Narrator
  • Sebastien Ettinger, Music Composer
  • Brian Handwerk, Writer
  • David Hobizal, Editor
  • Match Frame Austin, Post Production Company
  • Philip Menchaca, Sound Engineer
  • Digital Domain of Austin, Digital Recording Studio
  • Powerhouse Animation Studios

Translation Provided By

  • ASET International Services

Archival Footage and Photographs Courtesy of

American Geological InstituteAsian Development BankBarefoot College of TiloniaDr. Abul Barkat, Human Development Research Center (HDRC)BBC Motion GalleryMa. Cristina E. BrigoliCDMCenters for Disease Control and PreventionCorbisGetty ImagesDr. Simón GonzálezGotFootage.comDr. Abul Hussam, George Mason UniversityDaniele Lantagne, CDCDr. Abul K. M. Munir, Manob Sakti Unnayan Kendro (MSUK)NASA Visible EarthNational Geographic Digital MotionPhoto Researchers InternationalPhotosharePopulation Services InternationalSODIS Project of Eawag/SandecSONEDEAndy Terrey, City of Phoenix Water Services DepartmentDr. Lonnie G. ThompsonUNDP – Office of CommunicationUNICEFUNICEF India Ruhani KaurWater for PeopleWaterAidWaterPartners InternationalWGBH Media Library and ArchivesWorld BankWorld Health Organization