CSIS Launches Project on Water Security

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 27, 2023 – The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) today announced the CSIS Project on Water Security, a major new effort designed to advance greater understanding of the critical role of water to U.S. national security. Through data-driven research and analysis, the project will present comprehensive policy solutions to the challenges water insecurity poses to U.S. geopolitical and economic interests, with a special focus on the relationship between global food security and global water security. The CSIS Project on Water Security will be housed within the newly rebranded CSIS Global Food and Water Security Program.

The CSIS Project on Water Security is launched through generous support from CSIS Trustee Henrietta Fore and builds upon years of world-class research from CSIS’s Global Food Security Program as well as the CSIS Middle East Program, CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development.

“Access to freshwater is an increasingly critical factor in human development, economic growth, and political stability, with nearly two thirds of the world’s population experiencing severe water scarcity each year,” said CSIS Trustee Henrietta Fore. “With today’s announcement, CSIS positions itself to provide urgently needed analysis on water-related challenges worldwide, bringing to bear the full suite of CSIS’s analytical, multimedia, and convening capabilities. I am pleased to be part of this exciting moment in CSIS’s history.” 

A core focus of the CSIS Project on Water Security will be to build coherence between U.S. global food security and U.S. global water security policy. Improving consideration of water—for agriculture and for household use—will extend the impact of U.S. food security assistance at a time of rising global food insecurity. At the same time, heightened attention to the impacts of agriculture on water security will improve the effectiveness of U.S. global water security efforts as climate change, urbanization, and economic growth increase competition for scarce water resources.

“Food insecurity is a major concern of policymakers and the media today—and rightly so. At the same time, water insecurity is also rising, threatening America’s national security interests,” said Dr. John Hamre, CSIS President and CEO. “The launch of the CSIS Project on Water Security will provide a permanent home for CSIS scholarship on water security, alongside food security, allowing CSIS to offer unparalleled analyses on, and solutions to, these growing challenges.”

The CSIS Project on Water Security and CSIS Global Food and Water Security Program will be directed by Caitlin Welsh, who brings twelve years of U.S. government leadership to the role, including from the National Security Council, National Economic Council, and U.S. Department of State. A team of globally recognized water security experts will contribute to the program’s scholarship. The program will build on CSIS-wide scholarship on water, including ongoing analyses from the Middle East Program, Global Health Policy Center, Project on Prosperity and Development, and others.

Visit here for more information. For media inquiries, please contact Andrew Schwartz (aschwartz@csis.org) or Paige Montfort (pmontfort@csis.org).

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, nonprofit policy research organization dedicated to advancing practical ideas to address the world’s greatest challenges.