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Clinton asks for report on implications of water scarcity

Water security for us is a matter of economic security,human security,and national security,Clinton said.

Written by Agencies | Washington |
March 23, 2011 3:20:27 pm

Acknowledging that water scarcity in the coming decades could lead to large scale conflicts globally,the top US diplomat has asked the national council to prepare a report on the implications on national security due to water scarcity in 2040.

“I (have) asked the National Intelligence Council to prepare an intelligence estimate on the national security implications of water security up to the year 2040,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her remarks at the World Bank on the occasion of World Water Day.

“One year ago,I reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to water security,to ensuring that people have the water they need,when and where they need it,in a sustainable manner,while reducing the risk and impact of extreme water events like droughts and floods,” she said.

“So,water security for us is a matter of economic security,human security,and national security,because we see potential for increasing unrest,conflicts,and instability over water,” Clinton said but also added that water crisis can bring people together.

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“In fact,on water issues,cooperation,not conflict,is and can be the rule. We have seen this in the success of local water groups,neighbours combining their resources to build wells and install pipes,then paying for water together,” she said.

“We have seen how water projects,done right,can unite engineers,health experts,educators,and political leaders. And we have seen countries come together to settle disputes and arrive at joint solutions to their water problems. So,we want to enhance collaboration and commitment to bring more clean water and sanitation to more people,” Clinton said.

The USAID,Clinton said,has started a number of water-related projects across the globe including India.

“In Indonesia,USAID has begun a five-year,USD 34 million water,sanitation,and hygiene project to reach more than 2 million of Indonesia’s urban poor,” she said.

USAID also launched a project in Haiti to teach women about sanitation and hygiene so they could better take care of their households.

“And we are also supporting another project in India to provide slum dwellers in eight states with municipal water and sanitation systems,” she said.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a USD 275 million compact in October with Jordan,one of the five most water-deprived countries in the world,to improve water supply and waste water treatment.

“In terms of our diplomatic outreach,we are elevating water as a priority in our relationships not only with nations,but also regional and global institutions,” she said.

USAID is working with NASA to use satellite images to monitor and forecast ecological changes in the Himalayas,including the monitoring of glacial melt,she said.

“It has worked with the private sector to open a ceramic water filter factory in Cambodia. With ceramic filters,people no longer need to boil water to make it safe to drink,so they don’t need to burn as much wood or charcoal,which in turn reduces greenhouse gases. And the plant has even applied to receive carbon credits for future sales,” she added.

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