Pacific Institute

Freshwater and foreign policy: new challenges

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Courtesy of Pacific Institute

This is a remarkable time, when understanding our dependence on the planets freshwater resources and our demands on these resources are both at an all-time high. The connections between water policy and foreign policy are stronger than they have ever been, though the tools and practices of politics, negotiation, diplomacy and international cooperation are often inadequately applied to water problems.

New ideas, technologies and institutional skills are needed to solve water problems in the 21st century. The bad news is that the U.S. lacks a coherent national and international water policy and shows little signs of moving toward adopting one. The good news is that innovative solutions are being tested, evaluated and applied all over the world, and there are many opportunities for the U.S. to help solve water problems while generating large amounts of goodwill.

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