In politics there are winners and losers, but when it comes to water, there cannot be any losers.
When Alexandra Campbell-Ferrari '09 came to Bucknell, she planned to improve her golf game with the school's Division I team. But she soon found herself distracted by a role in student government, writing for The Bucknellian and a burgeoning interest in political science. She quit the golf team her first semester, but her passion for good government has proven much more durable, leading her through law school and into her current role as executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Water Security and Cooperation (CWSC). This recently launched nonprofit aims to be, in Campbell-Ferrari's words, "the go-to organization for water security" for governments - local, federal and international.
The CWSC's focus is on improving water law for all stakeholders. "We examine the role and impact of legal institutions and frameworks on the management of water to determine whether the laws are achieving their purpose and objectives. We work to make sure that the law is providing a long-term vision for water management that engages all stakeholders."
Since co-founding the CWSC in 2015, Campell-Ferrari has led projects such as building a database of African water laws and creating a collaborative drought-resistance initiative between the United States and Spain (where she'd been a Fulbright scholar in 2014). She wrote a study on the legal feasibility of financing water infrastructure repair through customer utility bills. Campell-Ferrari also works to raise awareness about water security. Last year, Campbell-Ferrari twice addressed the subject for a Bucknell audience, first for a talk in March, and later for a panel on Water Law and Security as part of the 11th Annual Susquehanna River Symposium in November.
"At the end of the day, Republicans and Democrats alike have to drink water," Campbell-Ferrari says. "The priorities they both have depend on accessible water. There's a significant need for impartial voices who aren't involved in advocating on a specific side of a dispute but can say, 'Here are the issues that are before you.' In politics there are winners and losers, but when it comes to water, there cannot be any losers."