News

    US Warns of Global Water Insecurity

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday access to water is critical for the health and growth of society, while a new U.S. intelligence report warns of the risks of instability resulting from water challenges over the next decade.

    In Washington on Thursday, which is World Water Day 2012, Secretary Clinton underscored the importance of the availability of the resource.  

    "Reliable access to water is essential for feeding the family, running the industries that promote jobs, generating the energy that fuels national growth, and certainly it is central when we think about how climate change will affect future generations," said Clinton.

    She added available clean water has huge health implications as well.

    "When nearly two million people die each year from preventable waterborne disease, clean water is critical if we're going to be talking about achieving our global health goals," Clinton said. "Something as simple as better access to water and sanitation can improve the quality of life and reduce the disease burden for billions of people."

    Clinton noted that the issue is a concern throughout the world, including in the United States, where she says there have been increasing problems in meeting the country's own needs in the desert Southwest or managing floods in the East.

    Meanwhile, a report prepared by the U.S. National Intelligence Council says over the next decade, many regions around the world will experience water challenges that will increase the risk of instability and state failure.

    The Intelligence Community Assessment report says the water challenges will increase regional tensions and distract countries from working with the U.S. on important issues.  The report's purpose was to assess the impact of global water issues on U.S. security interests over the next 30 years.

    It says the regions that will be most affected are North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.

    But a senior intelligence official says water challenges alone are unlikely to result in state failure.

    The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, tells VOA that for instance, it still is too early to sort out how the current situation in the Middle East will ultimately affect the region's water security.

    But as the report details, water problems when combined with poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation and weak governments will contribute to social disruptions that can result in state failure.

    The report predicts that a water-related state-on-state conflict is unlikely during the next 10 years. But as pressure intensifies on water availability, water in shared basins will increasingly be used as leverage or even become a terrorist objective.

    It recommends that improved water management and investments in water-related sectors, such as agriculture, will afford the best solutions for water problems. The report also says since agriculture uses about 70 percent of the global fresh water supply, technology that reduces the amount of water needed to grow crops will offer the greatest potential for relief from water scarcity.

    Water Scarcity Map

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora