Kamala Harris to elevate water security as a ‘foreign policy priority’


Vice President Kamala Harris is set to announce the White House Action Plan on Global Water Security on Wednesday, a White House official said, elevating clean and safe water as a “foreign policy priority.”

Harris, the official said, “will emphasize the implications of water scarcity on communities globally – from their ability to grow food to having access to safe drinking water – and the ripple effect they can have.”

She will also highlight funding from the bipartisan infrastructure bill that’s meant to invest in water infrastructure at home.

The event will mark the release of a one-year report of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Drought Resilience Interagency Working Group. The working group was created to address worsening drought conditions and water shortages, and its report focuses on implementation of the bipartisan infrastructure law’s water investments.

The action plan, the White House said in a fact sheet, “elevates water security as an essential element of the United States’ international efforts to achieve national security objectives that include increasing equity and economic growth; decreasing the risk of vulnerability to shocks, conflict and instability; building inclusive and resilient societies; bolstering health and food security; advancing gender equity and equality; and tackling climate change.”

It has three pillars: “Advancing US leadership in the global effort to achieve universal and equitable access to sustainable, climate-resilient, safe and effectively managed WASH services without increasing greenhouse gas emissions;” “promoting sustainable management and protection of water resources and associated ecosystems to support economic growth, build resilience, mitigate the risk of instability or conflict, and increase cooperation;” and “ensuring that multilateral action mobilizes cooperation and promotes water security.”