The State Department's Dr. Aaron Salzberg, Special Coordinator on Water Resources, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES; visit the OES Facebook page), testifies today before the U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Water and Power, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on The Global Water Challenge.
Here is his testimony:
Salzberg made some good points, nothing surprising to a certified WaterWonk, but it's stuff Congress needs to be aware of. Curmudgeon alert: He did mention transboundary river basins, but not transboundary (transnational) aquifer systems.
By the way, here are Secretary Hillary Clinton's five action areas on water, which Salzberg mentioned:
- Build and strengthen institutional and human capacity at the local, national and regional levels.
- Increase and better coordinate our diplomatic efforts with donor countries and international organizations
- Mobilize financial support. Managing water issues requires resources by strengthening local capital markets, providing credit enhancements, and exploring other avenues for support.
- Promote science and technology. Incentivize innovation on technologies that can make an impact in the water sector and to share U.S. expertise and knowledge with the rest of the world.
- Build and sustain partnerships. There is a great deal of knowledge and experience that lies within the U.S. technical agencies, the private sector, and the U.S.-based non-profit community. We need a whole-of-government approach and stronger partnerships with the non-governmental community.
Interesting to note that in the last action area there is nothing specific about the knowledge and experience of U.S. universities, although an optimist would point out that they are subsumed within the 'non-profit community'. Uh-huh.
"Water is becoming an increased source of threats to peace and security ..may be a source of local conflict .. Among countries that share water, tensions are likely to rise as demands grow... The key is to keep disagreements from escalating into violent conflict. At the same time, water can be unifying. Water can provide a platform for building trust and cooperation between countries." -- Dr. Aaron Salzberg, highlights from his testimony
"…the water crisis is a health crisis, it’s a farming crisis, it’s an economic crisis, it’s a climate crisis, and increasingly, it is a political crisis. And therefore, we must have an equally comprehensive response…" -- Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, 22 March 2011