Declaration on U.S. Policy and the Global Challenge of Water

A Report of the CSIS Global Water Futures Project

The United States now has the opportunity to take a global leadership position on a critical resource—water—that will become even more critical in the future. The world over, water is intricately linked to the stability and security of communities and nations, human health, education, economic prosperity, humanitarian relief, and stewardship of the physical environment. Beyond that, water is vital to other key resources essential to the human condition, most notably agriculture and energy.

Accordingly, CSIS has issued this Declaration on U.S. Policy and the Global Challenge of Water, which has been endorsed by over 35 leaders from business, government, and academia. Among other things, the declaration recommends the adoption of seven action steps:

1. The new U.S. president should spearhead a comprehensive and sustained global campaign to address the global challenge of water.
2. The president should develop an integrated strategy for national action on the global water campaign.
3. The president should appoint a special high-level representative to lead implementation of the U.S. global water campaign.
4. The special representative should be directly reinforced by a core team to help guide implementation of the water campaign, in addition to expanded capacities at the Department of State at the behest of the special representative.
5. The proposed U.S. campaign should be commensurate with the magnitude of the challenge—which means a significant increase in the amount and duration of resources committed under the campaign.
6. The U.S. government should attempt to energize and catalyze international efforts.
7. The U.S. government should reinforce public/private-sector partnerships.

William H. Frist, a CSIS trustee, is a former majority leader of the U.S. Senate.
E. Neville Isdell, also a CSIS trustee, is chairman of The Coca-Cola Company.
Erik R. Peterson
is senior vice president and director of the Global Water Futures Project at CSIS.
Rachel Posner is assistant director of the Global Water Futures Project.

You can view related events and multimedia using the links in the upper left or on the right. You can view the launch event for the Declaration on U.S. Policy and the Global Challenge of Water online.

Rachel A. Posner