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New US Water Partnership Launched

3/23/2012 5:55 AM ET

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday launched a new partnership to improve water security. The U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) is a public-private partnership that seeks to mobilize U.S.-based knowledge, expertise and resources to improve water security around the world - particularly in those countries most in need.

In a speech commemorating World Water Day, Clinton also announced the release of an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Global Water Security. The ICA is based on a National Intelligence Estimate requested by her an year ago to assess the impact of global water issues on U.S. national security interests.

The report concludes that while wars over water are unlikely within the next ten years, water challenges - shortages, poor water quality, floods - will likely increase the risk of instability and state failure, exacerbate regional tensions, and distract countries from working with the United States on important policy objectives.

The ICA also notes that, as a consequence of water problems globally, the demand for U.S. assistance and expertise will increase. The U.S. Water Partnership will create a platform for fostering new partnerships among the U.S.-based private sector and the non-profit, academic, scientific, and expert communities. The Partnership will mobilize the "Best-of-America" to provide safe drinking water and sanitation and improve water resources management worldwide.

There are 18 partners to USWP, including 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.

U.S. government partners are U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; U.S. Agency for International Development; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Department of State.

"We believe this Water Partnership will help map out our route to a more water secure world: a world where no one dies from water-related diseases; where water does not impede social or economic development; and where no war is ever fought over water," Clinton said in her remarks.

by RTT Staff Writer

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