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Global Water Challenge Receives Prestigious Microsoft Grant for Water Point Data Exchange Platform

Published 03-16-18

Submitted by Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF)

 Global Water Challenge (GWC) has been awarded the prestigious Microsoft AI for Earth Azure Awards grant. The grant will provide GWC with training and access to world-class machine learning and GIS technology. GWC received this grant to grow its Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx) – the world’s largest open source water point data library. WPDx enables governments and their partners to better provide water services that will last for generations.

AI for Earth is a Microsoft program aimed at empowering people and organizations to solve global environmental challenges by increasing access to AI tools and educational opportunities while accelerating innovation. Through the program, Microsoft provides selected researchers and organizations access to its cloud and AI computing resources to accelerate, improve and expand work on climate change, agriculture, biodiversity and/or water challenges.

GWC is among the first grant recipients of AI for Earth which was first launched in July 2017. The grant process was a competitive and selective process and was awarded in recognition of the potential of the work and power of AI to accelerate progress in providing universal access to water and sanitation. Recently, Microsoft announced their intent to invest $50 million over 5 years into the program, enabling grant-making and educational trainings possible at a much larger scale.

“Applying Microsoft technologies to the unparalleled wealth of data available through the Water Point Data Exchange can help governments around the world to improve water services for millions of people,” said Brian Banks GWC’s Director of Strategic Initiatives. “The support from AI for Earth will allow governments and their partners to use the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence in a new way.”

The grant will enable Global Water Challenge to provide easily accessible tools that can help governments make evidence-based decisions about where to invest in water infrastructure and how to improve policies. This work builds on recent analytical explorations of data that GWC undertook with the Government of Swaziland to improve water services.

The award comes as Water Point Data Exchange surpasses 450,000 water data records with information on water point type, location, functionality, and a wide array of other information. This data spans more than 45 countries around the world.

Click here view the Water Point Data Exchange library.  

More information about AI for Earth can be found on the website.



Founded in 2006, Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations committed to achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). With leading companies, civil society partners and governments, GWC accelerates the delivery of safe water and sanitation through partnerships that catalyze financial support and drive innovation for sustainable solutions. Through GWC’s innovative public-private partnerships, more than 1 million people have been reached with clean water access. More information about GWC can be found here.

Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF) Logo

Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF)

Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF)

The Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF), established in 1988, is a leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to accelerate sustainable development through partnerships that deliver impact at scale. GETF builds and manages high impact public-private partnerships improving the lives of over 10 million people in 65 countries through water access, sanitation and hygiene, health systems strengthening, entrepreneurship, women’s empowerment, sustainable agriculture and climate resilience. Partnership platforms under GETF’s management include the Replenish Africa Initiative (RAIN), The Coca-Cola Foundation’s signature community water initiative, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA) and Project Last Mile Partnership (PLM) both partnerships between The Coca-Cola Company and USAID. GETF serves as the Secretariat for two high-impact water coalitions – Global Water Challenge and the US Water Partnership.  For more information visit

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