18 November 2022

1.3 Key actors in water and climate

Author/Compiled by
Alessandra Giolo (GWPO)
Jergus Semko (GWP CEE)
Reviewed by
Cora Craigmile (cewas)

Executive Summary

In this factsheet we will present you with list of European and International organisations from the climate & water sectors that you might find interesting, along with information on their area of work, their vision and their mission. Having access to this database will hopefully give you some initial ideas on what type of organisation matches your unique skills and professional needs and which one you could picture yourself working for (if working for an organisation is what you want) (see excel).

There are many players that make up the water and climate community and who are working towards a common goal: improving the current and future state of our environment by making it climate resilient and water secure (refer to factsheets 1.1 and 1.2). We understand that it can be daunting at first for young professionals to make sense of these two interconnected sectors and to fully grasp who does what as well as the roles and responsibilities of different actors. We equally understand how important it is for young professionals to network and connect with different stakeholders to kick-start their career and to find the right role for them.  This is why we have dedicated this section to explaining (or rather showing) how the sectors function, with the hope that this will help young professionals be better prepared when job hunting – once readers can better visualise the water & climate work landscape and make more sense of it, they will find it easier to approach job hunting in a more strategic and efficient manner.

Self Assessment

Factsheet Block Body
  • Do I know the main actors in the water and climate sectors operating at a European level? 
  • Do these organizations follow my vision?
  • How much professional growth and networking exposure will I get if I start my career in one of those organizations?
  • What initiatives and projects have emerged/could emerge from the work of the organization?
  • How can I personally contribute to the work of those organizations?
  • Which organization is most compatible with my qualities?

Key actors

Factsheet Block Body

As already mentioned, there are many organizations working in the water and climate sectors and it can sometimes be overwhelming for a young professional to understand who is doing what. 

To narrow things down a little and make it easier for our readers we have come up with a list of some of the most influential and impactful water and climate related organizations that we believe any aspiring water or climate professional should know about. Young professionals can use this information to identify possible pathways within the water and climate job sectors and to tailor their early careers and job-hunting strategy according to their own vision, skills, credentials and ambitions. By having a comprehensive list of relevant organisations and being able to keep up to date with their current projects, vacancies and initiatives, young professionals can better understand the market and make informed decisions when applying for jobs.

The list can also serve as a cheat sheet to expand one’s existing network when searching for potential project partners or to identify potential connections.


1) charitywater https://www.charitywater.org/about

2) Clean Water fund https://www.cleanwaterfund.org/about/about-clean-water-fund

3) Global Water Leaders  http://www.globalwaterleaders.org/#!about-us/c1yyl

4) The Global Water Partnership


5) The International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka https://www.iwmi.cgiar.org/

6) The Nature Conservancy https://www.nature.org/en-us/

7) Stockholm International Water Institute https://www.siwi.org/about/

8) The United Nations (UN-Water) https://www.unwater.org/

9) The Water Project https://thewaterproject.org/about_us

10) The World Bank https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/water/overview

11) World Resources Institute https://www.wri.org/about/mission-values

12) World Water Council https://www.worldwatercouncil.org/en/about-us

13) World Wildlife Fund https://www.worldwildlife.org/

14) Water.org https://water.org/

15) International River Foundation


16) Wetlands International


17) International Network of Basin Organizations


18) Alliance for Water Stewardship


19) International Water Association (IWA) https://iwa-network.org/

20) Climate Action Network https://climatenetwork.org/


1) National University of Water Management and Nature Resources Use


2) National Institute of Hydrology and Water Management-Romania


3) General Directorate of Water Management

4) Department of Land and Water Resources Management


5) Department of Land and Water Resources Management


6) International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River


7) European Centre for River Restoration


8) International Association for Water Services in the Danube Basin




10) International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine


What is water governance?

Water governance refers to the political, social, economic and administrative systems in place that influence water’s use and management. Essentially, who gets what water, when and how, and who has the right to water and related services, and their benefits.

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