Washington, D.C. — This week, Vice President Kamala Harris announced a historic plan to elevate water security as a foreign policy priority. The announcement, which Vice President Harris made with a team of women holding senior leadership positions, comes as climate change increasingly threatens water resources and could lead to half the world’s population facing severe water stress by 2030. In response, Anne Christianson, director of International Climate Policy at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
About a third of the world still lacks access to clean water, and climate change is only making things worse. The U.S. Action Plan on Global Water Security is a welcome move from the Biden administration that shows it takes the water crisis seriously. It recognizes that water insecurity can lead to displacement, destabilize governments, and aggravate regional conflict. It also acknowledges that water insecurity is a global gender equity issue exacerbated by climate change. The administration is right in drawing the domestic-international nexus on water security.
The United States is not immune to this crisis: 90 million Americans are already living under drought conditions, and 10 million American households still receive poisoned water from lead pipes. It’s about time that we elevated this issue as a national security priority. This plan will use the full scope of our government’s resources—from technology to diplomacy to defense—to help expand access to clean water infrastructure and increase resilience.
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