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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Water Issues

Date: 02/13/2013 Description: What is the world's most precious resource? - State Dept Image

Water sustains life; it’s in the food we eat, the electricity that powers our homes, and in crops that we grow.

Water allows our economy to thrive, our children to grow up healthy, and can build peace and cooperation between neighbors.

For all these reasons, Water is a fundamental cornerstone to maintaining global peace, security and prosperity.

By 2025, as much as two-thirds of the world’s population could be living under water-stressed conditions where water becomes an impediment to health, peace, and socio-economic development. Statistics like this one make water one of the largest challenges of the 21st century, a foreign policy priority, and an area in which the U.S. Department of State is actively engaged. Our strategy is founded in the belief that many countries are already, or will experience water problems, including; shortages, poor water quality, or floods, all of which increase the risk of famine, instability and state failure, and regional tensions. Water problems will also damage eco-systems, become an impediment to developing countries and generally hinder the global economy.

Water is a key cross-cutting issue, integrated across our diplomatic and development efforts. The United States' goal is to increase water security, ensuring that water is available when and where it is needed in a reliable and sustainable manner. We work to achieve this goal by increasing access to drinking water and sanitation, improving water resources management, optimizing the productivity of water, and mitigating tensions associated with shared waters. These efforts are supported through catalytic activities focused on building capacity, strengthening institutions, reforming policy and regulation, engaging diplomatically, investing in infrastructure and capital, employing science and technology, and leveraging new partnerships.

Date: 08/02/2012 Description: Reflection in water. © World Bank


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