2022 U.S. Global Water Strategy
The global water crisis threatens U.S. national security and prosperity. Water insecurity endangers public health, undermines economic growth, deepens inequalities, and increases the likelihood of conflict and state failure. Strong water, sanitation, and hygiene services, finance, governance, and institutions are critical to increasing resilience in the face of global shocks and stressors, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change.
The 2014 Water for the World Act requires that USAID and the Department of State deliver a whole-of-government Global Water Strategy to Congress, beginning in 2017 and refreshing it every five years until 2032 (see the 2017 Global Water Strategy). The 2022 strategy will operationalize the first-ever White House Action Plan on Global Water Security that Vice President Kamala Harris launched in June 2022.
Under this strategy, the U.S. government will work through four interconnected and mutually reinforcing strategic objectives:
- Strengthen sector governance, financing, institutions, and markets;
- Increase equitable access to safe, sustainable, and climate-resilient water and sanitation services, and the adoption of key hygiene behaviors;
- Improve climate-resilient conservation and management of freshwater resources and associated ecosystems; and
- Anticipate and reduce conflict and fragility related to water.
This strategy advances new priorities, such as:
- Going beyond community-managed services for a comprehensive, professionalized, and scalable approach;
- Prioritizing local leadership of water and sanitation systems and services;
- Integrating climate resilience to respond to the growing threat that climate change poses to water security; and
- Increasing coherent implementation across humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding contexts.
USAID and the U.S. Global Water Strategy
USAID’s investments in water security under the U.S. Global Water Strategy are critical to advance health, prosperity, stability, and resilience in the places they are needed most. USAID has set ambitious targets that reflect our efforts to directly increase the number of people reached with services, and has also set new types of targets that capture how we intend to strengthen essential systems by mobilizing financing and improving institutional governance and performance.
Read USAID’s full approach in Annex A of the Global Water Strategy.
The WASH Needs Index: A Critical Input to Identifying High-Priority Countries
Aligned with the requirements in the Water for the World Act of 2014, the U.S. government will focus its efforts under this strategy on those countries and geographic areas where the needs are greatest and where engagement can best advance U.S. national security interests. These High-Priority Countries are identified in part by calculating a WASH Needs Index Score.