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If/When May 4, 2021

Clean Drinking Water: Water We Doing for People?

Show Contributors: Eleanor Allen, Dr. Russell Ford, Paul Thies


It’s among the most essential components for life on the planet. And while many of us take it for granted, for others it is a daily struggle to obtain. We’re talking about clean water and what needs to be done to ensure that people around the globe have the access they need to sustain themselves. On this episode of If/When, we dive into the topic of clean drinking water with Eleanor Allen, chief executive officer, Water for People, and Dr. Russell Ford, Jacobs Drinking Water Global Solutions Director.

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Episode notes

Eleanor Allen is a world-leading water expert dedicated to helping billions of people access safe and sustainable water and sanitation services needed to save lives, stay healthy, find jobs, and thrive. Eleanor is fiercely passionate about improving the state of the world with respect to water and sanitation. She has dedicated her career to this goal, first as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, then as a consulting engineer (at CH2M/Jacobs and Arcadis), and now as the CEO of Water For People. As a professional civil engineer, Eleanor has lived and worked all over the world. As a business executive with extensive experience in water, she has led large global and regional operations in consulting, project management, program management, business development, and engineering. Eleanor believes societal change can be accelerated through social entrepreneurship and the efforts of organizations like Water For People.

Dr. Russell Ford is currently the Global Director for Drinking Water and Reuse Solutions for Jacobs. He has dedicated his 30+ year career to protecting public health and safety by advancing the field of drinking water treatment. His drinking water industry knowledge is acquired from his utility, consulting and academic experience. His experience covers a wide range of treatment processes design, treatability testing and treatment plant startups.  He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering from Syracuse University and Master and PhD degrees in Environmental Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology. He is an AWWA Fuller Awardee. Dr. Ford is a licensed professional engineer and a board certified environmental engineer.