In 1972 Archibald MacLeish wrote: “What is more important in a library than anything else — is the fact that it exists.”

One of the cornerstones of working for change is to have the knowledge of how to change for the better. In the water and sanitation sector the problem is not that we don’t know enough, but that that the knowledge is difficult to find and understand. When studying environmental science at Stockholm University a couple of years ago, one of my teachers 1 told me that if we just took the knowledge about environmental impact, engineering and sustainable solutions, which we have already have and implemented it, then we would come a long way towards the goal of creating a sustainable society.

When looking at the issues we face in the water and sanitation sector, a shortage of knowledge is not the problem, but rather the problem is having enough people have access to this knowledge and being able to interpret it, use it in a local context and improve the knowledge. Which is where the Akvopedia comes in.

We have started populating the Akvopedia with information about water and sanitation solutions that are inexpensive, easy to implement and sustainable. The first set of information comes from the booklets Smart Water Solutions, Smart Sanitation Solutions and Smart Water Harvesting Solutions. They are the core of our water and sanitation portals. But there is a lot more information which needs to become available on the Akvopedia. Here is where we need your help.

If you could pick one or two publications, documents, videos or reports that you think should be on the Akvopedia, what would you pick?

Please send us your suggestions and ideas, either by email to Merel Hoogmoed, or by posting the suggestions in the Akvo Forum’s Akvopedia discussion. If you mail us then we will help you post your reply in the forum (unless you ask us not to). You can of course also sign up for an Akvopedia account and start putting information into the system.

Thomas Bjelkeman is the founder of Akvo.


  1. I can’t remember for certain anymore, but it probably was Magnus Breitholtz or Britta Eklund.