Global Water for Sustainability (GLOWS)

GLOWS, which is part of the School of Environment, Arts and Society, was founded in 2006 and funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to address the world’s growing water crisis. Dr. Shimelis Setegn is a Program Executive Officer and Climate Change and GIS specialist in GLOWS and holds a joint appointment in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work.

GLOWS provides people in different world countries with clean drinking water, health and hygiene training, develop new techniques to store water, promote and preserve biodiversity of basins, develop agriculture techniques, as well as promote capacity building. GLOWS has also established an on-the-ground method of water management, which has helped address and solve the needs of those being served.


Women and children collecting water in Burkina Faso, one of the sites of the West Africa Water for Sustainability program (WA-WASH)

Last year, GLOWS formed an interdisciplinary collaboration with the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work (RSCPHSW) to further promote public health education within the current projects. In addition, master students can now complete their practicum requirement in one of the current GLOWS projects abroad or working in the BBC-based headquarters on various center activities.

At GLOWS, Dr. Setegn manages the water resources and climate change related technical and programmatic aspects of the USAID funded West Africa Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Program. Moreover he supports the GIS, climate change, water resources, environmental and watershed modeling components of GLOWS research and development projects. Currently Dr. Setegn is teaching a new course, PHC 6920 – “GIS for Environmental Public Health,” in the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work (RSCPHSW).

shiDr. Shimelis Setegn earned his Ph.D. in Land and Water Recourses Engineering, M.Sc. in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering and B.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering. His areas of research include climate and land use change impact studies on water resources, the environment and public health, ecohydrology, spatially distributed hydrologic modeling, water-energy nexus, spatial analysis, GIS and remote sensing applications to understand the interaction of different socio-economic, demographic, ecological, climatic and environmental drivers. Dr. Setegn has more than nineteen years of teaching, research and development experiences in Africa, United States, Caribbean, Europe, Mexico, Central and South America. His efforts in different international projects have led to several peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters in leading journals and books and invitation to give scientific presentations at international conferences and symposiums.


Read about Dr. Setegn and GLOWS’s recent mentoring trip to Honduras:


Elizabeth Anderson, Suzanna Rose, Melissa Lutrell, Purnima Madhivanan, Marlene Bastien and Maria Donoso served as panelists at World Water Day 2013 held at FIU.

Author: Cecile Houry

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