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US Government Supports Private-Public Water Solutions Worldwide




26 March 2012 | Water shortages threaten to undermine economic growth and spark conflicts around the world, and agriculture uses 70% of the world’s water.  In response, the US State Department is spearheading the development of a global alliance of governments, corporations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) aimed at harnessing new technologies for water management around the globe.

Dubbed the US Water Partnership (USWP), the new effort was unveiled last week on World Water Day, the same day that the US State department released an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Global Water Security.  That report projects increased instability and state failure across North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, with a ten-year window of opportunity to avert disaster.

The Participants

The initial participants from the private and NGO sectors include Africare, the Coca-Cola Company, Procter & Gamble, the Nature Conservancy, Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Motor Company, Skoll Global Threats Fund, the Water Institute at the University of North Carolina, World Resources Institute, Global Environment & Technology Foundation, Global Water Challenge, and Clean Water America Alliance.

The US governmental agencies participating include the US International Boundary and Water Commission, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the US Agency for International Development, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Department of the Interior.

Challenges and Solutions

The ICA report does not project the emergence of “water wars” within the next decade, but does warn of increased shortages, mass migrations, and humanitarian challenges.

It identifies several technologies such as drip irrigation and no-till farming that reduce the amount of water needed to grow crops, and it also assumes those technologies will improve in the future.

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