Water Security

Water holds the key to improved human security and environmental sustainability in the 21st century. Smart and efficient management of this resource will prove vital to reducing extreme poverty, improving public health, and creating a more sustainable future for all people and the ecosystems that sustain us.

To ensure water for the future and promote greater water-use sustainability, USAID programming increases resilience to water security risk associated with climate change, natural disasters, and ecosystem degradation. USAID disaster risk reduction efforts empower communities to more effectively navigate stronger floods, endure longer droughts, and cope with other symptoms of climate change-driven water supply variability.

Agency programming also engages local partners and water stakeholders as part of a basin-wide approach to water resource management (WRM) that considers water use at the watershed, sub-watershed, and local catchment levels. Sustainable WRM is most likely to occur when local stakeholders have sufficient voice and agency to contribute to and influence discourse on the future of their water resources. This holistic approach to WRM reduces water-related vulnerability by promoting greater water-use efficiency among key groups of water users, and preserving water-based ecosystem services that increase communities’ disaster resilience and support sustainable livelihoods.

Focus Areas

Water resources management encompasses the efforts of governments, communities, and other water stakeholders to choose among alternative uses of freshwater and coastal resources without depleting or damaging water resources and their underlying ecosystems. Why Water Resources Management Matters Water is a vital resource not just for humans, but also for a variety of aquatic ecosystems, including wetlands, watersheds, rivers, estuaries, and coastal areas. These critical habitats supply...
Disaster risk reduction encompasses efforts to prevent or mitigate damage inflicted by earthquakes, floods, droughts, and storms. Why Disaster Risk Reduction Matters In 2014, 324 natural disasters took the lives of more than 7,800 people, affecting 140 million others, and causing $99 billion in economic damages. The impact of future disasters is likely to be even more devastating. Disasters are expected to become more frequent in the future and to take a greater toll due to climate change, a...