In US, new coalition takes aim at global water problems

Water security efforts around the globe have won more than $500 million in cash and kind from a group of U.S. public, private and nongovernmental organizations.

The commitment came from the 41 members of the U.S. Water Partnership, an initiative first announced March 22, 2012, by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The biggest pledges were courtesy of World Vision, with $400 million in project support, and the Overseas Private Investment Corp., which plans to invest no less than $150 million in desalination, distribution infrastructure and other critical water issues in the next one to two years.

The announcement on the partnership’s pledge happened in Rio, where on Jun 18, 45 CEOs from some of the world’s largest companies declared water security their strategic priority.

Back in the United States, 33 NGOs urged the House Foreign Committee and the full House to immediately pass a bill designed to improve the way the U.S. Agency for International Development coordinate and implement water and sanitation programs.

HR 3658, or the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012, has a counterpart version in the Senate and it was approved June 19 by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“HR 3658, like its companion S.641, has strong bipartisan support, does not seek new funds, and builds on decades of successful US‐led programs to make even better use of existing resources,” the NGOs wrote in a letter dated June 20. “This is the year to ensure that the bill becomes law.”

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About the author

  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.