The Water Foundation has become, step by step, an organizational focus for committed individuals who, despite differences of background and outlook, are united in the pursuit of a common objective: the realization of the human right of access to water.

The key elements of a dignified life, to which people everywhere are equally entitled, include adequate water supplies, easy access to clean drinking water, the preservation of biological diversity, and sustainable climate protection. For the trustees, directors and team members of the Water Foundation, these requirements are both a vision and a concrete goal.

We are united, moreover, by the conviction that the people in our project countries can only solve their specific water problems for themselves. To do this, they need financial support but also technical expertise and an understanding of the relevant ecological factors.

Executive Board

Henner Lang
Chair of the Executive Board

studied business administration at the Universities of Stuttgart and Würzburg. Taught organization and marketing at the Würzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences, and worked as head of organization for several companies. Active for twelve years in the Protestant Church as a member of his parish church council. Established the Water Foundation, with Ernst Frost, in 2000. As head of the Executive Board, he manages the Foundation’s business, with special responsibility (since 2006) for its activities in Ethiopia.

Dr. Beate Grotehans
Deputy chair of the Executive Board 

studied history and philosophy. Taught at several German universities and worked as project manager for the Siemens Arts Program. In 2009 she was appointed Senior Project Manager at the Siemens Foundation, with responsibility for research projects in the field of development cooperation and social entrepreneurship. Beate has been working for the Water Foundation since 2012.


Robert Balthasar
Chief Financial Officer

studied economics at the University of Munich. Worked in various capacities at IBM and BMW before joining the Siemens Arts Program in 1999. Played a key role in establishing the Siemens Foundation and creating its management structure, and joined its staff in 2009 as head of Administration und Controlling. Worked for four years as a volunteer for the Kunstraum München gallery, and has been involved since 2013 in the worldwide activities of the SOS Children’s Villages.


Kerstin Anker

trained as a paralegal before moving on in 1987 to study law. She worked for many years as a lawyer in a nationally and internationally oriented law firm and is now a member of the legal department of the University Hospital of Munich. Kerstin was a member of the Water Foundation’s Executive Board for many years, and continues to shape the work of the Foundation.

Ernst Frost

trained as a typographer and worked as a designer for various magazines. During his eight-year spell as managing editor of the magazine natur, he organized donation campaigns for nature conservation projects in Germany and an initiative for the re-greening of Sarajevo, which had lost most of its trees during the Bosnian War. From 2000 to 2014 he worked for a news magazine in Munich. In 2000 Ernst Frost co-founded the Water Foundation with Henner Lang.

Prof. Dr. Martin Grambow

is an internationally recognized expert and networker in the field of water management. He is head of the Department of Water Management in the Bavarian regional Ministry for the Environment and Consumer Protection. Since 2001 Martin Grambow has been assisting and advising the Water Foundation on various aspects of its work.

Prof. Dr. Ing. F. Wolfgang Günthert

officially retired in 2014 but continues to work at the Bundeswehr University Munich in the field of sanitary engineering and waste management. Wolfgang Günthert is an internationally renowned water expert who has been supporting the activities of the Water Foundation for many years.

Senait Michiel

is a native of Eritrea. She lives with her family in Königsdorf in southern Bavaria and works in a veterinary clinic. Senait’s knowledge of the culture and outlook of the people in Eritrea makes her an indispensable mediator and adviser on all questions relating to her home country.


Wolf-Dietrich Pfaelzer 

was head of the executive board of the Sabel Private Commercial Colleges Trust in Munich, and became chair of the Board of Trustees of the Water Foundation in 2001. He provides assistance with financial matters and is responsible for collecting the second-hand bicycles supplied by the Water Foundation to children and young people in Eritrea who are involved in the activities of the Green Clubs to promote the sustainable management of water and the environment.


Wolfgang A. Schaal

is the deputy chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and managing director of the tax accountancy firm schaal & kollegen in Geretsried, near Munich. He advises the Water Foundation on legal and commercial matters and is responsible for billing and accounting.


Team members

Annemarie Balthasar

born in 1967, trained as a management assistant in advertising and worked for eleven years as secretary to the management board of HIT International Trading AG. Since 2005 she has been working as a self-employed interim manager for office organization and events with SMEs, and as a management assistant in large companies.

Dr. Stefan Grotehans

holds a doctorate in physics and works for MarkLogic as Director Sales Engineering, with responsibility for marketing cloud solutions. He has been active for over twenty years in the software industry as a manager for leading companies such as Box, Brainloop, Microsoft, IBM and SiliconGraphics. Stefan has been supporting the work of the Water Foundation since 2014.

Dr. Herbert Hruschka

studied process engineering and worked for some time in industry, in the areas of drinking water purification and water treatment for industrial purposes (boiler feed water). He subsequently worked for the Bavarian Water Management Authority and the State Office for Water Management, most recently as head of the department responsible for municipal wastewater treatment. He was temporarily seconded to the Federal Ministry for the Environment in Bonn, working in the department for protection of surface waters and pollutant control. Herbert Hruschka has been supporting the Water Foundation since 2002. He plans and manages the provision of technical facilities for our projects in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Morocco and Romania.

Susann John

studied English, German and Education in Münster, Liverpool (GB) und Buffalo (USA). Worked as press officer, from 1986 to 1998, for the publishers Klett-Cotta (Stuttgart) and Carl Hanser (Munich). After starting a family, Susanne worked as a freelance writer and editor, producing business reports and sustainability reviews for a range of well-known companies,  including Siemens, Carl Zeiss, Kärcher and HSE Darmstadt. She also worked as media relations editor and head of online publishing for the German Youth Institute, Germany’s largest independent social science research institution. In 2018 she was appointed press officer of the Department of Design at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. 


Prof. Dr. Eva Lang

is professor emerita of economic policy at the Bundeswehr University Munich, specializing in socio-ecological economics. She is active in several academic and non-profit organizations, e.g. as a member and former chair of the management board of the Vereinigung für Ökologische Ökonomie (VÖÖ) and as chair of the Network Caring Economy; she is also a former trustee of the BürgerStiftung München. Eva Lang has been advising the Water Foundation since its inception.

Dr. Serafine Lindemann

studied art history, archeology and history and worked as an editor and writer. In 1989 she set up the art platform artcircolo,  which creates and organizes projects in international and experimental art, focusing on the topics of water, cultural identities and processes of social change. In 2009 she co-founded the association pilotraum01. Serafine has been active in the Water Foundation since 2014.

Peter Trautwein

holds a diploma in industrial design and has been working since 1989 in the fields of transportation design, consumer electronics, medical technology, exhibition design and water treatment. With a partner, he manages the design agency ergon3 Design and Quellform GmbH, where he works on the design of water dispensers. As a member of the Water Foundation he has been intensively engaged since January 2012 in the development of fog-collectors, leading to the creation of the CloudFisher. In January 2016 he founded the company Aqualonis GmbH, which markets the CloudFisher worldwide.

Professor Dr. Norbert Vogt

is professor emeritus of geotechnics at the Technical University of Munich. After studying in Braunschweig and Stuttgart, he co-founded an internationally renowned firm of consulting engineers. He is committed to safe, sustainable and cost-efficient construction and the protection of groundwater, and to fostering compliance with German and European standards. 


Prof. Dr. Peter Wilderer

has been active for thirty years in carrying out and supporting research with a holistic and interdisciplinary perspective on sustainable ways of using and preserving drinking water. In 2003 he received the Stockholm Water Prize, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for water.


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