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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

U.S. Government and World Bank Memorandum of Understanding on Water Cooperation

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 22, 2011


The United States Government (USG) and the World Bank signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on World Water Day, March 22, with the goal of creating a more water secure future for the world. The USG is the world’s largest donor of official development assistance and is recognized world-wide for its science and technical expertise, and the World Bank is one of the world’s most important sources of financial, scientific and technical assistance for developing countries. This agreement leverages the considerable expertise and assets of the two partners to help developing countries achieve water security and improve water quality. The partners will convene an annual high-level review of programs under the MOU to monitor and advance progress.

Potential activities supported under this MOU include (but are not limited to):

  • Promotion of new technologies to advance access to safe drinking water and hygiene
  • Rehabilitation of watersheds and wetlands
  • Improvement of irrigation practices to promote water efficiency
  • Utilization of remote sensing data to improve water forecasting and water resources management
  • Mobilization of public-private partnerships and private capital to support water infrastructure and development projects
  • Identification of areas for potential regional and transboundary cooperation
  • Knowledge sharing, joint analytical work and harmonization of information

Benefits to the U.S. Government and World Bank:

  • Staff exchanges, expert meetings and knowledge sharing will improve the partners’ technical capacity in water resources management and infrastructure development
  • By leveraging each other’s efforts, both partners will be able use their expertise and resources in a more efficient and effective manner to advance global efforts to better understand and manage water resources
  • U.S. agencies can learn from global best practices and bring shared knowledge back to benefit U.S. communities

Benefits to the global community:

  • Open up new avenues for bringing expertise to developing countries that need it the most
  • Allow the U.S. Government and World Bank to align their financial resources towards investments in water and sanitation
  • Increase understanding of water at the basin and watershed level to help national governments meet the water needs of their own people

PRN: 2011/442

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