The world’s oldest international sports federation, World Rowing, or FISA, has a long and storied relationship with water. Water is the arena for rowers, and, each precise pull and push of the paddle connects the rower to water in a unique and intimate way.
Those at World Rowing understand the value of fresh water—a basic need for all life that supports not only the food we eat and beverages we drink, but our businesses and industries, too. And healthy freshwater ecosystems keep a myriad of land and aquatic species healthy and thriving. That’s why WWF and World Rowing have teamed up to help secure water for people and nature.
Since 2011, World Rowing and WWF have worked together to use rowing to educate and raise awareness and funds about freshwater. We’re engaging athletes, fans and others that support rowing to learn more and help keep freshwater ecosystems healthy. Our partnership strives to make an impact on the ground. Our planet faces complex water challenges influenced by pollution, industry, agriculture, flooding, damming, hydropower, and drinking water scarcity. The Kafue Flats in Zambia faces them all. For this reason, we are creating an extraordinary multi-purpose facility on the Kafue for world-class water management research and the sport of rowing: The Kafue River & Rowing Center. WWF researchers are focused on spreading awareness of shared water risks through a study on the economy in the Kafue Flats and its dependency on water. Their work is used to develop a collective action dialogue with industry and government stakeholders about how to reduce shared water risks. Research done at the Center is also shared with the public, and Zambia gets to benefit from also having a place to develop and practice the sport of rowing.