Sylvia Lee Waxes Wishfully on World Water

Sylvia Lee Waxes Wishfully on World Water

Sylvia Lee, Water Manager at the Skoll Global Threats Fund, sees hope at the end of the tap.

It’s totally daunting, for sure…and if it was easy we would have done it before, but I cannot accept the fact that we would give up on this.

“Water is connected to our whole global economy—everything we eat, we touch, we wear, has water embedded in it,” says Sylvia Lee, Water Manager at Skoll Global Threats Fund. Lee has been connected to water—or a lack thereof—since she was a child living in Hong Kong. “During drought time we would have to line up with all the buckets we had in our house to go get water,” says Lee, who has previously worked as a Water Resources Specialist for the World Bank. While the world’s water problems have only worsened since her youth—these days, 884 million people lack access to safe water supplies and three and a half million people die each year from water-related diseases—she remains hopeful. “Good things are happening in pockets,” says Lee. She points to Singapore as a country that others would be wise to mirror in terms of water management. “How do you actually scale it in other places, that is the big question,” says Lee. “But how do you adapt it to other countries?”


TakePart travelled to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, to pick the brains of the world’s biggest thinkers. These Innovators in Action are changing the face of the future with bold new ideas and profound enthusiasm. Motivated by personal experience and fueled by the hope that things can get better, these innovators—each of them true social entrepreneurs—are improving our world, one brilliant business idea at a time.

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