The US Government has released its first global water strategy in an effort to coordinate its response to floods, droughts, disease and other water-related issues posing international, political and economic challenges.
Ordered by US Congress in 2014, the strategy
outlines four primary goals, including increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation, improving water management, protecting watersheds from pollution, and preventing water conflict across political boundaries.
Representative Ted Poe told Circle of Blue
that he is pleased to see the US Government prioritising water as a global security concern.
“The Global Water Strategy represents an important US commitment to solving some of the most severe water crises in the world,” he said.
“Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene not only prevents disease but also improves the safety and security of women and children across the world. It is encouraging to see the US Government recognising water as the global security crises that it is.”
While the US has funded international water infrastructure initiatives to support reform in various countries, the new strategy aims to align US agency responses to increasing social and economic pressures resulting water scarcity, floods, and pollution.
CEO Jon Oldfield said the strategy comes in light of the US government's need to stay ahead of water-related challenges and threats to international security.
“The government should do more to identify and prevent WASH-related infectious diseases. Where’s the next Zika? Where’s the next cholera outbreak? We should get ahead instead of playing catch up,” Oldfield said.
The strategy also identifies 13 high-priority countries and regions that will be first to receive US funding, including many in sub-Saharan Africa.
Afghanistan and Haiti are also prioritised, as well as Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.