Global Water Futures
September 15, 2008
U.S. policies on the range of pressing international water-related issues—humanitarian relief, human health, economic development, environmental stewardship, and stability and security—are fragmented, underresourced, and insufficiently coordinated. In particular, both the U.S. government’s current organizational structure and the resources it now commits to water-related policies are inadequate for meeting the global water challenge in its current form. And when it comes to addressing future trends involving water, the government’s structure falls far short of what will be required to respond to the mounting complexities—and policy challenges—associated with the dynamic interactions among water, agriculture, the environment, and energy.
To examine ideas on how to reform the structure and procedures of government to address the global water crisis, a working group of individuals representing diverse institutions and perspectives was organized by the CSIS Global Strategy Institute. This report and its recommendations were inspired by the working group and build on many of the valuable comments and reactions that were part of the group’s deliberations.
What is now the global water challenge will soon become the global water crisis. The United States has the opportunity to do well by doing good—to act with enlightened self-interest as a forceful, farsighted leader as water-related pressures continue to grow, along with a complex of related problems spanning the globe.