urban WASH


With the rapid pace of urbanization in South Asia, there is a critical need to improve not only the current inadequate water supply and sanitation services but also plan and meet future demand. As this demand increases at an accelerated pace, the issues to connect the supply and demand are being mired in various questions related to water availability, water quality, public health and hygiene, and cost-effective water provision and management.  urbanWASH is a recently launched initiative by ISAS designed to showcase various events and speakers focused on addressing the urgent need of urban water and sanitation issues in South Asia. UC Berkeley water specialist Prof. Isha Ray, is the lead faculty of this initiative. 


ISAS won the prestigious Obama-Singh Award for Sustainable Indian Water Infrastructure Project: A Systems Approach (2014-2017): A collaboration between UC Berkeley water experts Isha Ray and Kara Nelson and Centre for Technology Alternatives for Rural Areas (IIT-Bombay). Papers & Articles published/accepted under this collaboration are:

Commentary | Economic & Political Weekly | Accepted 6 October 2017 It has to be done only at night: human waste disposal in Bangalore by C. Sharada Prasad and Isha Ray

Commentary | Economic and Political Weekly | Accepted 28 November 2017: When you start doing this work, it is hard to eat dal”: Life and work in a manual scavenger family by C. Sharada Prasad & Isha Ray

Research Paper | Journal of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Development | Accepted Winter 2017. Towards sustainable urban sanitation: A capacity-building approach to wastewater mapping for small towns in India. By NC Narayanan, Isha Ray, Govind Gopakumar, Poonam Argade

A photo-essay | India Water PortalNovember 19, 2017: Where There are no Sewers -- The Toilet Cleaners of Lucknow by CS Sharada Prasad,  Isha Ray. (Republished by Counter Currents (11/14/2017); The Wire (11/19/2017);  Athena Infonomics (11/21/2017); Youth Ki Awaaz (11/21/2017)). This phopto essay was selected by India Water Portal  -- the largest water & sanitation portal in India, operating out of Rohini Nilkekani's Arghyam Foundation -- as one of their seven "Best of 2017" features.


  • Gender Equality: A View from the Loo. TEDxBerkeley talk by Isha Ray on Feb 16, 2016. Too often, we think of gender equality in terms of associated “hot button” words—education, pay, civil rights. But we neglect an essential part of the female experience—dignity in access to toilets, which has profound implications for achieving gender equality. In this talk, Isha Ray, Co-Director of the Berkeley Water Center, shares the experiences of women worldwide and why we need to revolutionize our understanding of women’s issues.
  • An ISAS Report on safe water related cutting edge research work and projects going on at UC Berkeley.

Key Talks:


Water Resources;

UC Berkeley Safe Water, Sanitation, & Urbanization Projects

Berkeley Water CenterBlum Center Water Initatives Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
and Water Purifiers
Berkeley-Stanford Cities

Information Centers on Water and India

India Water Portal

India Environmental Portal

Independent Research and Projects

California Water Environment

The Pacific Institute: Water and

Water Environment Federation

Sanitation and Water for All

American Water Works Association

IRC International Water and
Sanitation Centre

International Banks and their Water Initiatives

The World Bank & WaterThe World Bank
& Urban Development
The Asian Development
Bank & Water
The Asian Development Bank
& Urban Development

Professors at UC Berkeley working in Urban WASH

Lisa Alvarez-Cohen

John M. Colford

Jason Corburn

Ashok Gadgil

Slawomir Hermanowicz

Arpad Horvath

Matt Kondolf

Kara Nelson

Alison Post

John Radke

Isha Ray

David Sedlak

David Sunding

Sally Thompson

David Zilberman

Water Related Events' Calendar

Water Conferences

E-Source for WASH News and Features