Washington, DC – April 9, 2012. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and IWR’s International Center for Integrated
Water Resources Management (ICIWaRM), under the auspices of UNESCO, participated in the March 22, 2012 World Water Day event at the U.S. State Department at which the Secretary of State, The Honorable Hillary Clinton, announced the creation of the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP), a public-private partnership aimed at leveraging the vast capabilities of U.S. expertise, knowledge and resources and applying these capabilities to water challenges around the globe, especially in the developing world.
Secretary Clinton stated that: “…today, we are launching a new public-private partnership to help answer that call for leadership and to expand the impact of America’s work on water. The U.S. Water Partnership exemplifies the unity of effort and expertise we will need to address these challenges over the coming years, and it advances our work in three critical ways. First, it brings together a diverse range of partners from the private sector, the philanthropic community, the NGOs, academics, experts, and government. This approach
will help catalyze new opportunities for cooperation. For example, if Coca-Cola has the best data on available water supplies, and the Army Corps of Engineers has the capacity to advise on how to build water delivery systems, and the Nature Conservancy knows how to minimize the disruption to the environment, then we want everybody sharing information and delivering clean water in a sustainable way to communities in need.”
The USWP is being constructed principally by the Global Environment and Technology Foundation (GETF), with five founding partners:
- Global Water Challenge;
- Environmental Law Institute;
- University of North Carolina Water Institute,
- World Resources Institute; and the
- U.S. Department of State
In her remarks, Secretary Clinton made reference to Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) of which the Mekong River Commission-Mississippi River Commission Sister River Partnership (USACE Memorandum of Understanding) is a key element. In making a connection to “Water Security”, the Secretary used the event to highlight the concurrent release of the unclassified version of the National Intelligence Council report on Global Water Security. Secretary Clinton also made reference to the U.N. report by the Nation’s Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization, which highlighted promising news that progress has already been achieved, four years ahead of the target date, to achieve the Millennium Development Goal to “halve the number of people without access to clean water”. The full text of Secretary Clinton’s speech can be found at http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2012/03/186640.htm.
The U.S. Water Partnership will connect people and resources, making information easily accessible and leveraging the capabilities of its partners to offer a range of solutions tailored to priority water needs. The three levels of service include (1) access to knowledge; (2) technical assistance and training; and, (3) partnership development.
Also making remarks during the event were Undersecretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, Maria Otero, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer.
The 22 new U.S. Water Partnership members recognized at the event, included:
- Clean Water America Alliance;
- Center for Disease Control;
- The Coca-Cola Company;
- U.S. Export-Import Bank:
- Ford Motor Company,
- Overseas Private Investment Corporation;
- Procter & Gamble;
- Skoll Global Threats Fund;
- Rockefeller Foundation;
- The Nature Conservancy;
- International Boundary and Water Commission (U.S. Section);
- U.S. Agency for International Development;
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
- U.S. Department of Commerce – National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration;
- U.S. Department of Energy;
- U.S. Department of Interior, including the
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation;
- U.S. Geological Survey;
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;
- U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and, the
- U.S. Trade and Development Agency;
The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy represented USACE onstage with the other new partners drawn from the private sector, philanthropic organizations, other NGOs, academia, and U.S. Government agencies, while the USACE and IWR ICWaRM’s logos were displayed on the partnership screen during the event. IWR ICIWaRM Director Bob Pietrowsky attended the event with Ms. Darcy, along with several USACE Headquarters and IWR senior staff.