Implementing the U.S. Global Water Strategy: A First-Year Review | Wilson Center
6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Implementing the U.S. Global Water Strategy: A First-Year Review

Webcast available

Event Co-sponsors

U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Water Partnership 

Webcast Recap

In November 2017, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development released the first U.S. Global Water Strategy. With contributions from more than 17 U.S. government agencies and departments, the Global Water Strategy lays out four interrelated objectives to support a more water secure world: increase access to sustainable safe drinking water and sanitation services, and promote hygiene; protect freshwater resources; promote cooperation on shared waters; and strengthen water governance and financing.

In honor of World Water Day, leaders behind the effort to implement the Global Water Strategy shared where progress has been made, and where there are continued opportunities to support the Global Water Strategy’s objectives.  

Selected Quotes

 

Ambassador Marcia Bernicat

“The overarching goal of the strategy is to create a more water-secure world. Simply put, a world where people have the water they need, where they need it, when they need it, without living in fear of floods or droughts.”

“We have more than 20, as I said, U.S. government agencies working on water in more than 60 countries. We have U.S. experts, working to strengthen and reform UN agencies, and international financial institutions working on water. And we have U.S. diplomats working quietly behind the scenes to support riparian government efforts to cooperate over water.”

“This is not a problem that the United States will solve alone. It is through partnerships, where we can leverage our respective strengths where will be successful. And that’s the message for today. These are hard problems, but they are problems that matter, and so they are problems worth tackling head on. And I’m convinced that by working together, we can achieve a more water-secure future.”                    

Bonnie Glick

“In USAID, we have a singular mission around the world-- to help countries on their journeys to self-reliance. Ultimately, our goal is to end the need for foreign assistance, to put ourselves out of business. One of the major areas in which we see challenges around the world is in issues associated with water-- the lack of it, the overabundance of it, the governance around it, the filtration of it, and the distribution of it.”

“As we’re sitting here today, we and USAID have just dispatched a team of experts to Mozambique, to address the terrible flooding they’ve had in the last few days and weeks. The damage assessment will surely reflect the need for massive rebuilding of homes, roads and infrastructure, but it will also reflect the likely spread of waterborne diseases as we will collaborate with local officials, as well as with colleagues and many parts of the U.S. government and in regional governments to address some of these issues.”      

“Unfortunately, more than two billion people around the world today still lack access to safely managed drinking water, and twice that many do not have properly managed sanitation. The related issues of water stress, either too little or too much, also affects more than two billion people, and it’s projected to rise… On the plus side, the number of countries that are transitioning from immediate relief to longer term development is also on the rise. It’s the very embodiment of progress along the journey to self-reliance.”        

Andrew Wheeler

‘I’m here today because I believe, and President Trump believes, that we must do more to address these issues. There will be some who will say this all stems from climate change, but the truth is the water challenges have been around for generations and are causing immediate deaths annually.”

“This past year, the second year of the program [Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA)], we invited an additional 39 projects across the nation to apply for the WIFIA loans that would help finance over ten billion dollars in water infrastructure and create up to 183,000 jobs.”

“Across the government and across the globe, there is a tremendous amount of work being done. My hope today is to draw more attention to it and to bolster it. But my ultimate goal is to see us move from a patchwork of pilot projects to comprehensive solutions. This will take time but it can be done.”

 

 

 

8:30 am - 9:00 am     

Registration
 

 

9:00 am   

Welcome Remarks
 

Mike Sfraga, Director, Global Risk and Resilience Program, Wilson Center

 

Opening Remarks

 

Ambassador Marcia Bernicat, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans, and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State

 

The U.S. Global Water Strategy, the Water for the World Act, and One Year of Renewed Collaboration

  Bonnie Glick, Deputy Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
 
  The U.S. Global Water Strategy – Why Addressing Global Water Issues Matters
  Andrew Wheeler, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
 

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Panel | Principal’s Dialogue - What have USG agencies accomplished under GWS?  

 

Jeff Goldberg, Director, Office of Water, U.S. Agency for International Development

Tim Petty, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department Of Interior

Jonathan Richart, Deputy Vice President, Infrastructure, Environment and Private Sector, Millennium Challenge Corporation

Serena Vinter, Deputy Director, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control

Moderated by Mike Sfraga, Director, Global Risk and Resilience Program, Wilson Center

 

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Panel | Views from the Ground

 

Barney Austin, President and Chief Executive Officer, Aqua Strategies, Inc.

Jerad Bales, Executive Director, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.

Sam Huston, USAID WASH-FIN Chief of Party, Project Implemented by TetraTech

Melinda Laituri, Professor Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University

Moderated by Tom Harvey, Chairman and Founder, Global Environment and Technology Foundation

 

12:00 pm

Closing Remarks: Reflections on the Importance of U.S. Leadership in International Water Security

 

President Danilo Türk, Chairman of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace; former President of the Republic of Slovenia

 

12:15 pm Event Close 
  Mike Sfraga, Director, Global Risk and Resilience Program, Wilson Center

 

Speakers

  • Andrew Wheeler

    EPA Administrator
  • Bonnie Glick

    USAID Deputy Administrator
  • Ambassador Marcia Bernicat

    Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Oceans, and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • President Danilo Türk

    Chair, Global High-Level Panel, former President of Slovenia
  • Barney Austin

    President and Chief Executive Officer, Aqua Strategies, Inc.
  • Jerad Bales

    Executive Director, Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.
  • Jeff Goldberg

    Director, Office of Water, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Tom Harvey

    Chairman & Founder, Global Environment and Technology Foundation
  • Sam Huston

    USAID WASH-FIN Chief of Party, Project Implemented by TetraTech
  • Melinda Laituri

    Humanitarian Information Unit, Office of the Geographer, INR, U.S. Department of State; Professor of Geography, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University
  • Tim Petty

    Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department Of Interior
  • Jonathan Richart

    Deputy Vice President, Infrastructure, Environment and Private Sector, Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • Michael Sfraga

    Director, Global Risk and Resilience Program and Director, Polar Institute
  • Serena Vinter

    Deputy Director, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control