Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (June 20, 2012) – Today, the U.S. public and private sectors announced that they are dedicating over half a billion dollars to address key water challenges around the world through the newly formed U.S. Water Partnership (USWP). U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson and former U.S. EPA Administrator William K. Reilly keynoted the global launch of the partnership, one of six signature initiatives announced by the U.S. government at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20).
A joint effort of both public and private sectors in the U.S., the U.S. Water Partnership is supported by 41 members including government agencies, academic organizations, water coalitions, NGOs and the private sector. The partnership was first announced on March 22, 2012 by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“I am proud to announce that the American people are doing our part by coming together through the U.S. Water Partnership, a public-private partnership that is pooling resources and mobilizing American expertise, knowledge, and ingenuity to address water challenges around the globe, especially in developing countries where needs are the greatest,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
To support water security around the world, the USWP provides access to knowledge, technical assistance and training and partnership development services. The Global Environment & Technology Foundation is serving as the USWP’s secretariat.
“The U.S. Water Partnership will allow us to bring together the best thinking – in both the private and public sectors – to tackle the pressing water challenges the world faces today and will face in the future. Sharing American knowledge and expertise in water protection will allow us to mobilize resources and bring about real progress in the United States and abroad,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Like all of our sustainability work, this effort is about protecting health and the environment at the same time that we strengthen our economy. The 2 cross-sector partnerships that emerge will also allow us to rapidly scale-up innovative solutions so they can be deployed in places all over the globe – especially in the developing world, where water needs are greatest.”
Highlights of the contributions made by partners include:
- The Coca-Cola Company pledged $3.5 million to support sustainable safe water access in five African countries as well as support for operations of the U.S. Water Partnership.
- World Vision will dedicate $400 million in project support toward the goals of the partnership, including best practices from Water, Sanitation and Hygiene interventions in Haiti, India and West Africa and support for the USWP.
- Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) intends to invest at least $150 million within the next one to two years in critical water issues including desalination and distribution infrastructure.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will invest $21 million over the next five years on research and application activities that contribute to the understanding and improved management of our global water resources.
- The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is investing $30 million over the next five years to advance integrated water resource management, including Securing Water for People and Nature and the Great Rivers Partnership.
- The Rockefeller Foundation – The Foundation will support a $100,000 USWP signature initiative on “Multiple Use Services.”
- Skoll Global Threats Fund is investing $100,000 in a USWP signature initiative on water security in South Asia.
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will provide access to its watershed management tools, its water quality standards, and regulatory and policy support.
- World Resources Institute (WRI) is offering access to Aqueduct – a global information platform and tool for helping private and public sector decision-makers understand water-related risks.
On Monday, June 18, 2012, 45 corporate chiefs attending Rio+20 pledged to make water security a strategic priority and called for decisive action by governments. 3 In a message to USWP launch participants, Secretary Clinton said, “If you represent a region or a country in need of cross-sector water solutions, please reach out to us as this partnership was formed primarily to serve your needs. If you are an American citizen or organization with water knowledge and resources to share, I invite you to join the effort.”