White House promises action on global water security

Image: David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

American Vice President Kamala Harris has announced the launch of a 'first-of-its-kind' White House Action Plan on Global Water Security.

According to a statement released by the White House, the plan identifies the direct links between water and US national security and sets out an innovative approach to advancing water security nationally and abroad.

The plan aims to place water security at the heart of the United States’ international strategy - which includes increasing equity and economic growth; decreasing the risk of vulnerability to shocks, conflict and instability; building inclusive and resilient societies; bolstering health and food security; advancing gender equity and equality; and tackling climate change.

“Water insecurity makes our world less stable."

Kamala Harris, US Vice President

The statement says the Action Plan will "harness the resources of the US Government—from leveraging science and technology to informing our diplomacy, defence, and development efforts—to advance global water security and foreign policy goals."

The statement said this move “builds on the Biden-Harris Lead Pipe Action Plan and other historic steps, including investments through the US$1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that includes US$63 billion to increase drought resilience, replace lead pipes, and invest in water infrastructure to deliver safe drinking water to families and children.”

Climate change is leading to extreme weather events, including prolonged droughts and flooding, exacerbating water scarcity and contaminating water supplies. According to the United Nations, more than two billion people today lack access to safely managed drinking water, and nearly half the world’s population do not have access to safely managed sanitation services.

Harris highlighted that “water insecurity makes our world less stable,” and noted that water scarcity makes it harder for communities to produce food, protect public health and drive economic growth. “Many of our most fundamental national security interests depend on water security,” she said.