About Water-K2P


The mission of the Water Pathogen Knowledge to Practice (Water-K2P) project is to provide tools that allow access to pathogen data on viruses, protozoa and bacteria to support sanitation safety planning. This will allow incremental improvements over existing approaches and better controls over health outcomes.

The tools and components include:

  • The Pathogen Flows and Mapping Tool: which allows prediction of areas with high emissions of pathogens to surface waters and evaluate the potential impact of changes in population growth and changes in access to improved sanitation facilities and increased conveyance and treatment of wastewater and fecal sludge.
  • The Treatment Plant Sketcher Tool: which allows for design of various wastewater treatment systems and predicts removal of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and helminths.
  • Case Studies: which provide examples of the use of the tools and specific key scenarios.
  • GWPP-K2P Data Base: which includes the data use from the GWWP to support the tools.

The data sets and the analytical tools will be open and accessible in accordance with the needs of the global, national, and local users and in accordance with the FAIR data principles: that is, the data will be Findable (described with metadata, registered and indexed in open, searchable resources), Accessible (retrievable using standardized protocols that are open, free, and universally implementable), Inter-Operable (in formats that utilize shared vocabularies), and Re-useable (sufficiently well-described to be linked or integrated with other data sources).

The Water Pathogen Knowledge to Practice (Water-K2P) project is supported by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Project leaders

The team is developing tools that can help to improve evidence-based decision making and to better inform safe sanitation and water safety planning by stakeholders at different levels.

Project leaders include:

Joan B. Rose-Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Michigan State University
Rose C. Kaggwa-National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Kampala - Uganda
Nynke Hofstra- Water Systems and Global Change Group, Wageningen University
Heather Murphy- Division of Environmental Health, College of Public Health, Temple University
Matthew E. Verbyla-Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, San Diego State University
Venthic building the online Water-K2P online platform (www.venthic.com)

K2P Graph

Contact Information of Project Leaders
Dr. Joan B. Rose
Homer Nowlin Chair in Water Research
Dept of Fisheries and Wildlife
480 Wilson Road
Natural Resources Building, Room 13
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: +1 517 432 4412
Rose Kaggwa
Dr. Rose C. Kaggwa
Director Business and Scientific Services
National Water and Sewerage Corporation

Plot 3 Nakasero
Kampala, Uganda
Phone: +0800 200 977
Nynke Hofstra
Dr Nynke Hofstra
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences
Wageningen University & Research
Droevedaalsesteeg 3
6708PB Wageningen
Phone: +1 31317485121
Heather Murphy
Dr. Heather Murphy
Assistant Professor

Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Temple University

Ritter Annex 907
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: +1 215 204 4766
Matthew Verbyla
Dr. Matthew E. Verbyla
Assistant Professor

Dept of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
San Diego State University

Engineering Building, 4th Floor
Room 403K
San Diego, CA 92182
Phone: +1 619 594 0711
Innocent Tumwebaze
Dr. Innocent K. Tumwebaze
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Temple University
Ritter Annex 907
1301 Cecil B. Moore Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19122
Phone: +1 215 204 4766
Email: innocent.tumwebaze@temple.edu


The book “Sanitation and Disease: Health Aspects of Excreta and Wastewater Management” (Feachem et al. 1983) currently remains the key reference point for the development of quantitative guidance for sanitation practices including defining safe and unsafe activities, evaluation of low technology treatment and disposal options and for addressing adequate controls for protection of health. Since its publication, it has played a key role in the prevention of incidence and mortality associated with water-related diseases, by documenting a synthesis of existing scientific knowledge on the occurrence and persistence of pathogens in primarily the water environment. However, the dramatic increase of relevant knowledge and data over the past 30 years calls for an update of the book’s content.

The Global Water Pathogen Project (GWPP) is a joint effort through Michigan State University and the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which includes an updated online version of Feachem et al.
In May 2014, a one-day workshop was held by Dr. Joan B. Rose (Michigan State University) and Dr. Blanca Jimenez Cisneros (UNESCO) which laid the ground work for building a knowledge community to develop the GWPP (www.waterpathogens.org). With support from IT and data-sharing expert Venthic, the book is now being disseminated as an open-access online resource with a collaboration network of 201 contributors from six different continents (www.waterpathogens.org ).

By leveraging the open access knowledge resources generated by the Global Water Pathogen Project (GWPP) this information is now being translated into user friendly IT tools to help improve data accessibility, and knowledge translation around pathogens in excreta and sewage. Specifically, team members are developing apps and visualization tools that can help to improve evidence-based decision making and to better inform safe sanitation and water safety planning by stakeholders at different levels. This project is known as the Water Knowledge to Practice Project (Water-K2P), and it is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The K2P project can contribute to the implementation of SDG 6 on water and sanitation by the following efforts:

  • Providing data for risk assessment on pathogen concentrations in sewage, fecal sludge, and reduction by various technologies along the sanitation service chain (Target 6.1);
  • Providing information on small and large systems for excreta and wastewater treatment (Target 6.2);
  • Evaluating available sanitation technologies to achieve the needed reduction of pathogens to protect other water resources and public health (Target 6.3);
  • Providing information on water quality diagnostics (source tracking markers), which can be used to address concentrations and produce water quality targeted agreements (Target 6.5);
  • Providing lectures, courses, and programs for capacity building (training and awareness raising) and water science and technology education (Targets 6a and 6b).