Skip to main content

tv   Wilson Center Discussion on U.S. Global Water Strategy - Part 2  CSPAN  May 2, 2019 2:56pm-5:24pm EDT

2:56 pm
look at the history and literary life of this city of about 66,000. saturday at noon eastern on c-span2's book tv and sunday at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. the c-span cities tour. working with our cable affiliates as we explore the american story. the wilson center in washington, d.c., hosted a morning-long forum on implementation of the u.s. government's global water strategy released in november 2017. this portion of the event includes a series of panel discussions with administration officials, intergovernmental leaders and water infrastructure experts. they discussed efforts to improve water security and sanitation services in various regions, including africa, southeast asia and the middle east. this runs two hours and twenty minutes.
2:57 pm
>> thank you, everyone, for complying with the 10:00 a.m. start time. so let's transition to our first panel. i have the distinct honor of introducing very briefly, because full bios are actually in the agenda and in the packet. so let me do a quick introduction of each speaker. each speaker will have between seven and eight minutes. i may have a question or two afterwards to just prime the discussion. and then we really do want to encourage your participation. so let me just quickly give a brief introduction of each speaker. to my left is tim petty. the assistant secretary for water and science at interior where he oversees water and science policy and has responsibility for the bureau of reclamation and the u.s. geological survey.
2:58 pm
also i must say that tim and i share the fact that we both are alumni of the university of alaska fairbanks. that is a blatant pitch. i just wanted to own that. >> that's right. >> okay, good. jonathan richard is deputy vice president of mcc for infrastructure, environment and the private sector. apparently not an alumni of the university of illinois. serena vinter is director for strategy, policy and communications at the cdc. jeff goldberg manages u.s. aids efforts with requirements set forth in the 2014 water for the world act. so please welcome our panelists for the morning. and maybe, tim, we'll just start with you, as well. is that okay? >> i think that will work well. thanks, mike. always a privilege to be up here with a fellow alum.
2:59 pm
i just wanted to take a few minutes and just have just some opening comments, but looking forward to a lot of interaction and dialogue. good questions. a great panel up here. i think a lot of the work that takes place is an important aspect of working together, especially in the federal and private sector. so just a couple of comments. the sound management of water resources is key to the department of interior in its mission. interior is hosted by a diversity of eight different bureaus, each with their own focus, but water is a resource that connects all of them together. not only is interior committed to the sound management of water and other natural resources within the united states, but it also is committed to providing our expertise internationally to both give and take in support of the u.s. foreign policy goals. our international programs at both bureau of reclamation and the u.s. geological survey is an
3:00 pm
exchange. and these exchange programs internationally benefit both the counterparts abroad as well as the department of interior as a whole. throughout its history, interior has been a collaborative international management natural resource honoring cultural heritage, supply of water and energy and advancing in scientific research on behalf of the american people. the resources that we manage and protect within natural disasters, we prepare for and respond to each of those per request. and we look forward to being able to give in scientific research, as well, as we conduct all of these international endeavors. as the assistant secretary for water and science, i oversee, as mike said, both the u.s. geological survey and bureau of reclamation. i had the experience of firsthand value interior and international engagement. while working at the interior in
3:01 pm
the past bush administration, i led several different delegations to areas of guam in the pacific, as well as in vietnam, as well as to libya in energy, water and environmental impacts in those different areas. globally, the u.s. department of interior is committed to working together with the two bureaus that i oversee. i want to highlight two examples of items that are important to us, but first a framework of how reclamation and gs work together. one is to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of water-related infrastructure. two, encourage effective and sustainable water reuse as well as even the administrator and epa had communicated. and three, promoting cooperative and shared water resources, because of both canada and mexico, we all work together in
3:02 pm
water interchanges, obviously, without borders. whereas usgs is a continual implementation of the global water strategy, its three primary goals internationally is to strengthen scientific and technical understanding of international water supply and demand. two, to help improve global monitoring and management of those water resources. and three, promoting and providing scientific support. so out of that, i want to give actually two quick examples, and both of these examples, actually, are part of the website that the ambassador also communicated today on the water website. and the first example really highlights some of the things the u.s. geological survey and reclamation are doing with brazil. and their water resource management. this working collaborative had been going on for multiple years, and we support the state department as partners with brazil in the national water agency, also referred to as anna, and its also brazilian
3:03 pm
geological survey, cprm. and we conduct multiple technical and working relationships technically and training wise between the two of them. and the partners that we utilize comes also from epa, u.s. army corps of engineers, as well as usda. all of them working together is how we were able to partner and then partner with these other international groups. in one of the programs under the mou, is reclamation and usgs working together with multiple areas, even in africa. so far, this has included one steady tour and workshop with brazil where experts tour both the san francisco water conveyance projects, the brazilian counterparts and one of reclamation's lead study tours of the united states. and with a.n.n.a. here in the united states where we took them to the truckee carson project in
3:04 pm
nevada, as well as the central california water project, the cvp that many are familiar with. these programs will be followed up by workshops in brazil in 2020, where the observations and ideas spur these studies and tours together in partnership. the second example that i want to just highlight is where usgs has been doing a support ground water explanation that the ambassador actually talked about earlier in her comments on the assessment in not only drought stress regions in africa, but these strategy priorities encourage the sound management and protection of fresh water resources. with funding provided by usaid, the survey and its partners are using geo spacial data with remote sensing with traditional hydro logical and geological technology and methodologies in areas that are in kenya and ethiopia that are a part of the global water strategy.
3:05 pm
its primary goals is to locate and quantify ground water aquifers. this will support both sustainable management and resources for both areas. one of the things that i specifically want to highlight is that usgs working in this area of remote sensing gives the coordination of local fresh water agencies the ability for these studies to take effect. in both areas, the success rates before they were able to do for drilling for wells was in the neighborhood of only 30% efficiency, where they were only hitting water 30% of the time. using these new technologies and new methodologies, the u.s. geological survey has been able to develop ground water potential maps in these study areas that increase the drilling rate of efficiency to almost 90%. and those type of technologies give really great capacity for
3:06 pm
these countries who are looking, because developing wells and developing resources is an expensive endeavor. the u.s. also has located partners not only in ethiopia and in kenya, but the goal is to develop and train the trainers on how to use these technologies. and we're committed at the usgs to help facilitate those ongoing relationships. this strategy promotes and identifies this safe drinking water supply resource capability that is so important. so in my conclusion, supporting the global water strategy is an important part of interior, bureau of reclamation, as well as the u.s. geological survey, because a big part of that is having surface capability and storage, which means reservoirs and dams. and bureau of reclamation has an international team that works with the state department and u.s. aid for all the countries in the world to be able to come
3:07 pm
and interact in how we go through our training for dam development, reclamation alone, has 492 dams responsible for those reservoir storage surface water. and we have spent decades working on how do we continue to increase dam efficiency. and so many times we hear in the news of dam failures across the world. and even in this country, on how we need to continue to be due diligent and having oversight on these responsibilities. so i look forward to more of your questions as this continues and along with the great panel we have here before us. thank you. >> thank you, jim. jonathan? >> great. thank you for the opportunity to participate in the event today, and speak on this panel. i think first i thought it might be helpful to say a little bit about mcc, who we are. and what our model is. as i think -- many people aren't familiar with us as they are with many others. mcc is a small agency. we were actually established
3:08 pm
back in 2004. so we're still fairly new as far as u.s. government agencies go. we have a singular mission. our mission is poverty reduction through economic growth. and what this means is we target our funds in a way to catalyze economic development and growth to address what we call the binding constraints to growth. so one of the first things we do when we engage a country when they're selected by our board is deploy teams of economists to do a constraint analysis and identify what that binding sector is. in this case, we'll talk today about water. working in water-scarce countries. the second thing worth flagging here, we don't work everywhere. so we only work in lower-income countries and only in countries that meet our strict eligibility criteria. those criteria are based on a set of third-party indicators that measure a country's performance on things like economic freedoms, good governance and investing in people. the third is that we provide grant funding. so it's not loans, it's grants.
3:09 pm
these are large-scale grand we call compacts or thresholds. the compacts are the larger of the two, on average, $350 million in a given country, although we've had some as high as $700 million. the threshold attention don't meet eligibility for a compact. the programs tend to be on the ordinary of 33 to $50 million. two other things to point out. one is that our programs are country-led. what i mean by that is the countries propose solutions, propose projects consistent with the constraints in the sector we have identified and the countries then develop and implement these projects. mcc provides an oversight role and strong support role to carry the projects out. the last thing is we have a five-year time line to complete these projects. so we're doing a lot of heavy infrastructure and i'll talk more about that in a moment but
3:10 pm
there's a strict five-year time line to carry them out. at which point shovels down, hands it over to the government. and anything not done is then on the government to complete. ideally, we complete everything within those five years, but it's not always very easy to carry out such strong infrastructure programs on that kind of a time line. in terms of our portfolio big picture-wise, again, since our inception in 2004, we have actually signed 35 compacts in i think about 29 countries, totaling about $12 billion. much of this has gone towards infrastructure and large capital projects in the sectors of energy, water, agriculture, irrigation, roads, ports, schools, et cetera. but it's important to note we don't just do infrastructure. infrastructure is a big part of what we do. but we take a holistic approach. we look at the sector and we couple our infrastructure with what we believe are the necessary policy and institutional reforms, technical
3:11 pm
assistance and otherwise, with an aim to ensure the project is sustainable and it meets high standards, environmental, social and technical. with respect to our water portfolio, mcc invested $2.8 billion since 2004. this has gone into areas of improving water supply and sanitation, water resource management, agriculture productivity and about 24 countries across africa, asia, europe, latin america. and overall, our investments in the water sector have included things like urban and rural water supply, water treatment and distribution, wastewater collection and sanitation, wastewater treatment, both municipal and industrial. i think one other piece, perhaps the highlight in this regard, is that some of our investments are really targeting what we sometimes refer to as the water energy nexus. so looking at ways to use treated wastewater for power plants. plants that otherwise may be drawing fresh water for use in cooling.
3:12 pm
the water agriculture nexus. so where we're taking wastewater and using it for agricultural production. or water transport nexus, supporting drainage water management. and some of this comes back to, again, our objectives of facilitating economic growth and development. looking at productive uses of water, as well. so since the launch of the global water strategy in november of 2017, mcc has completed three projects that i thought would be worth highlighting here today. the first is a $275 million project in jordan, where we actually installed more than 1,100 kilometers of new pipelines for water and wastewater in areas just outside of eamon, the capital of jordan. we also support an expansion of the wastewater treatment plant in partnership with the operator who mobilizes a significant portion of the construction costs. and supported training for people on water conservation
3:13 pm
practices and good water management. the second project is a $355 million project in zambia. this was completed in november of 2018. so fairly recently. the program in zambia improved the water supply, sanitation, drainage infrastructure in the capital city of lieu sacka. here too, not just the infrastructure but complementary institutional strengthening activities working with the sewer company and city council to improve their asset management, infrastructure management, solid waste management practices in the city. lastly, just to flag a third program, $41 million project in cabo verde. establish an independent utility operating on a commercial basis. we also had infrastructure in this program, expanded some water and sanitation infrastructure on several islands. so perhaps a few more elements,
3:14 pm
just to note regarding mcc's approach. some of these aspects have been touched on by earlier speakers today. the first is private sector engagement. mcc recognizes that donor funds are not sufficient to meet the grand needs, development needs facing us. so we work across our portfolio to catalyze private sector investment in a way we call in and around our program. so we want to leverage or blend our limited fund with the funds of others, private sector, donors, et cetera, to achieve a bigger impact. one of the most significant public/private sector participation projects we've done is, in fact, the jordan project i mentioned and asam rah, where we expanded a plant initially supported by usaid, and brought in a private sector operator for a long-term concession contract. the second piece to flag is we really have a strong emphasis on results. evaluations are integral to everything we do.
3:15 pm
we have a strong commitment to accountability, learning, transparency and evidence-based decisionmaking. so we actually have independent evaluations conducted by third-party, independent experts for all of the projects upon their completion. and these results are published on our website. in fact, i should say that all of the programs we support can be found on our website, as well. lastly, and this has been a theme, i think, this morning. coordination and collaboration across the u.s. government with other agencies is really important. we work with a range of organizations. mcc is small. we want to play to our strengths and work with others, again, in search of bigger outcomes, stronger impacts. we do a lot of work with the u.s. army corps of engineers. they provide a lot of technical assistance, technical support on our programs. we've collaborated with the u.s. epa. cabo verde an example, where they helped establish a sanitation fund. usaid, the jordan project.
3:16 pm
continuing in that program support in bio solids and sludge management. and also i heard usgs come up. we have worked a lot with them. again, a lot of the remote-sensing capabilities, looking at water resources. so i think this is an area that we have done a lot of collaboration, but i think looking forward and this event i think is an example of it, really looking to do more collaboration and coordination with others across u.s. government. i think that plays to everybody's strengths. thank you. >> thank you, jonathan. serena? >> great. thank you to the wilson center for hosting today's event and for inviting cdc to be part of it. since everybody is talking about how long they have been around, i guess with the 50th anniversary, cdc has been around for about 70 years. we are very much focused on the public health and keeping people who live in the united states healthy. i think our tag line is protecting americans 24/7. but i think we have a long history of working on global health issues, whether cholera control efforts in the 1950s,
3:17 pm
working with partners on global smallpox eradication efforts in the 1970s and the global hiv/aids epidemic. we also have always been on the front line leading the response to infectious disease outbreak. so whether novel influenza viruses, corona virguses like sars and merz. we at cdc recognize if we want to protect people living in this country, from all health threats, as we claim to want to do, we can't do that if we just work in our own borders. and we really have to look at sort of this concept of global health security. i think it complements the consent of water security very nicely. and we need to work with partner countries to detect, prevent and respond to infectious disease fraught outbreaks. so how do we fit into the global water strategy. as i mentioned, cdc is a science and data-driven agency. we aren't making large grants or
3:18 pm
cooperative agreements or contracts to do this work. we really rely on our in-house science and technical expertise. so we have these world-class scientists, public health leaders, who are implementing disease detection activities who are training the work force of the future. who diagnose novel and reemerging pathogens, both in atlanta at our state-of-the-art labs, but also building laboratory capacity in other countries so they can diagnose whatever pathogens they're trying to control. we do have the ability to monitor threats 24/7. we have sort of a global disease detection center in atlanta. they're tracking anywhere from 35 to 45 outbreaks every day, and a lot of these could be related to water. and they might not turn into something like the ebola outbreak we're seeing now in drc or even the worst one we saw in 2014 in west africa. these are just outbreaks of concern we pay attention to. we have both forward deployed staff, about 1,700 staff who work in over 50 country offices
3:19 pm
around the world. we also have about 500 staff at cdc who are credentialed and ready to respond so if there is a situation where a country or administrative health or other international partner is looking for support in controlling or responding to an crowd break, we have folks who can do that. so our work in support of the global broader strategy is very much done through this public health lens and falls under the water sanitation and hygiene strategic objective. so it's really preventing, detecting and responding to water borne and water related disease. identifying the most effective interventions and diverse. we'll talk more about that. this could be working on issues in refugee camps or in large urban areas or maybe working with health care facilities in a very rural area where they don't have great access to clean water. we also provide technical assistance and guidance to partners to scale up intervention. so a lot of times cdc will use sort of in-kind technical assistance, maybe some private
3:20 pm
sector or public/private partnership seed money to do some initial work on a project. and if the results are promising, we can then try to sort of hand that off to a partner. like somebody sitting to my left. who might have deeper pockets to fund the kind of interventions that could be effective at controlling some of the water borne disease outbreaks or related to water issues. we also work on capacity-building and technical assistance, which contributes to the governance, strategic objective for a strategy. and i think in the end our goal is really to build global capacity to better prevent and respond to water-related health risks. i think the way cdc supports implementation of the global water strategy, again, is that through that technical assistance and collaboration. and so it's really working with participants partners on the ground to design, implement, and evaluate interventions and leverage resources. we are always looking to strengthen capacity through training and also through global guidance, developed with global
3:21 pm
partners. so whether through the world health organization, unicef, academia. so we've had a really interesting opportunity over the past five years. i mentioned this concept of global health security and cdc received a large emergency supplemental in 2015 following the ebola outbreak in west africa to really expand our efforts in this area. working with countries to give them the ability to have stronger laboratory systems, have better disease detection capability so that they could do a better job of controlling infectious disease outbreaks in their countries. and i think our representative, tom cole, had a great quote he said. at one point he said i would much rather fight ebola in west africa and west alice. that is one of the underlying sort of tenets of this concept. we want to make sure countries that we're partnering with do have the capacity to respond to whatever threats they identify. and these could be water-related threats. cholera is a big concern in a lot of countries where we work. so with this global health
3:22 pm
security agenda resources, there are very flexible dollars. by that i mean they're not tied to a specific disease. so at cdc, a lot of the funding we receive is very much tied to working on hiv/aids or polio eradication. but the global health security dollars are very flexible and build this underlying capacity. and so within global health security, the wash -- sort of the wash package is aligned with the antimicrobial resistance package. and so we have been able to do a lot of work to look at wash and really see how that is essential to the concept of infection prevention and control, or ipc, which, of course, is essential to patient safety and can really control the spread of antimicrobial resistance. if you have people who are not needing to be put on antibiotics because they're not contracting diseases in the hospital or health care setting, that's great. so we have been able to do wash assessments. we have been able to invest in
3:23 pm
improvements in health care facilities in africa. and i think there's a really great example of some work that we've done in liberia with this global health security dollars that does get at some of the underlying wash conditions this country has been facing. ask so i think folks well remember that liberia was one of the three countries at the epicenter of the west africa ebola outbreak back in 2014. ask so once that outbreak was controlled and even while it was controlled, we were sort of -- cdc was there both working to control the outbreak and start to work with the liberian government to really build up their health system, their public health system. cdc led an initial training on assessing wash conditions and health care facilities. we were then able to continue to provide technical assistance with a local ngo partner, and other partners, including the ministry of health, and they developed, planned and implemented comprehensive wash renovations. so this included new water sources, new water storage towers, new septic systems, everything from new laundry to mortuary facilities and also looked at renovating their
3:24 pm
medical waste disposal facilities. so at the end, the pictures are really amazing, the before and after. and it was really exciting work. and i think, you know, some have argued that maybe this was a special case. you know, it was postable. there was a lot of attention. cdc was kind of flooding the zone. we were in liberia with a lot of money. we had the resource to do the work. but i think there are those of us at cdc who really think it's an opportunity. and there's a model for really integrating our wash work into this broader concept of global health security, especially when we look at it from this lens of infection prevention and control, the quality of care that patients receive and this concept of controlling antimicrobial resistance. so i think that as we look to the next five years of this global health security agenda and we were pleased with the president's budget that included an increase for this work, we're optimistic we can continue to integrate wash into some of these larger initiatives and really make a difference. so i'll stop there and --
3:25 pm
>> great. thank you. great. so i just want to similarly thank the wilson center for hosting this event. it's been really inspiring to have this opened by our deputy administrator glick and administrator wheeler. similar to my colleagues, i just wanted to zoom out a little bit and contextualize usaid's work on the global water strategy. so usaid co-leads the overall development and implementation of the global water strategy with our colleagues at the department of state. and i just really can't understate the collaborative effort that it took with our colleagues in state oes and the entire interagency water working group to produce the global water strategy. so it's really just a huge pleasure to be up here representing the work of many people throughout 2017 to put
3:26 pm
this together. and i do believe this was the first whole of government strategy released in this administration as it pertains to foreign assistance and diplomacy. so we're very, very proud of this work. and it's just very exciting to be here. i often talk in the interagency water working group about usaid's role and kind of us in particular here in d.c., as representing a much larger architecture. so i thought it would be useful just to kind of contextualize that a little bit. so the water office that i head up and then many counterparts in our regional bureaus and our bureau for global health all serve as kind of an overall knowledge hub in policy advisory role and technical assistance to over 40 missions that are programming water and sanitation foreign assistance. so it really -- as they say, does take a village.
3:27 pm
and bonnie spoke a little bit about usaid being an enabler of all the great work we're seeing here in the interagency in many cases and the team here really is an enabler of all of that work that goes on across our different missions. and that includes our current list of high-priority countries and aligned countries, too. the agency has a direct appropriation pursuant to the world act on water and sanitation that is up to $435 million now. but that doesn't even represent the totality of everything that we are doing on water. my colleague at cdc spoke a little bit to kind of the public health lens through which cdc views water and sanitation and the agency absolutely similarly looks at safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene through that health lens. we also know, though, that water is incredibly cross-cutting. it's impossible to talk about water without talking about the other development outcomes that
3:28 pm
it impacts. so from economic growth to women's economic empowerment to education, water just touches so many different parts of the agency. so, you know, our job is to really represent the cutting edge research that's coming out and making sure our programming in the field reflects all of that. so it's a big task, but we're very happy to be doing it. so just in terms of where we are in this moment right now, a year plus since the release of the global water strategy, there's obviously a strong foundation and history of water and san trump administration programming within the agency that we're standing on. we've reached well over 30 million people with access to drinking water and over 20 million with access to sanitation since we first started receiving appropriations in 2008. but while those numbers are really impressive, they don't tell the whole story.
3:29 pm
our deputy administrator glick talked a lot about this new aperture that the agency is looking at all of our programming through. and that's this journey to self-reliance and we've talked about that a lot throughout the course of foreign assistance that we need to work ourselves out of a job. but directly inserting that as an organizing principle in terms of how we do all of our programming is something that is really, really being hammered home. and in many ways, i think the global water strategy was quite appreciatent in the sense we remain committed to our core accountability of reaching people, vulnerable people, with access to drinking water and sanitation. and those results speak to that. but we know that to -- that the world is changing and that to be able to sustain those services and to facilitate the journey to self reliance, we need to be working on a much larger suite of issues. and so that's where i personally
3:30 pm
think it's quite exciting that we have this new strategic objective on governance, finance and institutions in our agency plan in particular we're calling out government and finance and water resources management as critical components to underpin the sustainability of our investments in drinking water and sanitation. so i think just from an overall strategic standpoint, the global water strategy is very much on track with the larger policy agenda that's going on with usaid at the moment. and then timing couldn't be better, but we have worked on assiduously over the past year on developing new standard indicators to be able to track governance in finance and water resources management. so while we have historically reported on the number of people gaining access to water and sanitation, we now will be very proactively working with our missions to report on improved
3:31 pm
institutional strengthening, number of dollars mobilized as a result of our foreign assistance and then the number of people benefitting from improved water resources management, as well. so it's an exciting time to really be rounding out this portfolio in response to the changes we see happening. so that's a very high-level framing of just kind of where we are in this moment. but then i just wanted to give some texture to these top-line results. our deputy administrator did a fantastic job talking about a plethora of examples in different countries that we work in and the contributions that you all in the interagency are making in those countries. but just to kind of go through a few, i think it's always good to kind of drill down and just to note that we very much agree with administrator wheeler's point that we need to move beyond pilots and i'm excited that -- i feel we really are
3:32 pm
working right now to work at scale. so a great example that we like to talk about a lot is our work in kenya that we think is really hitting on all cylinders across this new strategic framework. so if you think of kenya as a continuum of some very fragile areas in the area north to much more mature service providers in other parts of the country, we've tailored our programming to be able to be responsive to those different types of contexts. so in the north, we're working on an activity called kenya rapid through a much larger integrated platform called the partnership for resilience in economic growth. and it's just -- that is an area of recur rent humanitarian crisis. and actually introducing a development activity there that seeks to work directly in partnership with counties through the devolution process going on in kenya right now has
3:33 pm
really been transformative. and we're starting to see those investments really pay off. so in the 2017 drought that took place in northern kenya as compared to earlier droughts in 2011 and earlier in the 2000s, we saw significantly reduced need for emergency water trucking, which know is hugely expensive. so really pushing this type of development work in highly fragile areas is one part of the continuum. and then as has been mentioned throughout the morning, we are relying on our interagency partners there, as well. so the u.s. geological survey in addition to the work in ethiopia that deputy administrator glick mentioned is also working in kenya to map aquifers up there. really looking at that to improve the efficiency rate of drilling, as was mentioned earlier on the panel. so some really exciting examples
3:34 pm
there. but as i mentioned, kenya is geographically diverse, and there is some really exciting opportunities going on in other parts of the country with this devolution agenda, where the national government is delegating the responsibility for water service provision to the county level. so we have two larger activities there. one is our kenya integrated wash activity that is working directly with counties on utility reform and performance to enhance their ability to manage their own service delivery over the longer-term. and to date, that's reached over 600,000 people. we're very, very proud of that. and then you'll hear a little bit more from my colleague, sam houston, from our wash -- water sanitation hygiene financing program later on in the day. because there are robust financial markets in kenya, as well, and there is the ability, as administrator wheeler was talking about before, to really leverage domestic private
3:35 pm
capital and use our foreign assistance strategically to unlock longer-term sources of domestic capital to fund the water and sanitation sector longer-term. so that's one example that we really would like to showcase a lot. i think it shows the full range of context we're working in. and the power of our interagency partners. and with cdc there, as well, on the sanitation side, i would be remiss if i did not mention sanitation. we are leveraging our complimentary skill sets. so cdc has invested a lot of market research into aitk kenya limited liability seeking to transfer human waste into fuel. they have done research on how to make that viable. and then through our usaid work, we have issued a grant to develop a larger fecal sludge
3:36 pm
treatment plant and business planning for overall financial sustainability. that's a nice example of the interagency -- using our respective skill sets to make a larger difference. two others super quick examples that i thought just would be nice to talk about, just to showcase the full range of activities that we're involved in. the water for the world act, in addition to interagency collaboration, really calls for the agency to more deliberately leverage and coordinate with our other donor partners, as well. so this is something we haven't talked about as much today. but in nigeria, there is some very promising work. it's early stage right now. but just to kind of paint the picture, nigeria is one of the only countries that we've seen since the global baseline on access to water and sanitation
3:37 pm
where access rates have actually declined. so access to piped water in urban areas have declined from 32% in 1990 to 7% now, which is a shocking figure. so we in response to that have awarded this past year a large $60 million technical assistance package working with -- that will be working with state water boards on utility reform and turn-around. i think what's cool and important to highlight about this is that we didn't just go and select six state water boards. we actually put out a tender, seeking to -- with key criteria for selection of these state water boards, chief among those being their own commitment to co invest in the process and their political commitment to utility turn-around. and that is all taking place within the context of our multilateral partners coming in with very, very large
3:38 pm
infrastructure investments. so our technical assistance on utility reform stands to leverage millions and millions of dollars in multilateral assistance. so i think this is just another really nice example of what we're doing under the strategy with our donor partners, as well. and on that piece of infrastructure, or in relation to infrastructure, our collaboration with mcc, i think there is a lot of strong potential there. as mentioned earlier on the panel, there is a very strict five-year time line on a lot of these compacts. we face that too in a lot of our programming. but excited to note that in the wake of this large compact with lusaca, water and sanitation, which has invested heavily in water and sanitation infrastructure and drainage systems, it will benefit millions of people in lusaca, our mission is looking at
3:39 pm
longer-term technical assistance to make sure the government has the capacity to manage and finance and maintain that infrastructure longer-term. so those are just three examples. i mean, i mentioned there are 40-plus missions we're working in. so kind of wanted to give a little snippet. but just to kind of wrap it up, kind of -- concluding statement. how we are looking at this longer-term is that in alignment with the strategic framework we have put out in the global water strategy, we know that there are significant portions of the world where access to water and sanitation services lag. so principally in sub saharan africa and asia, we know that's compounded by water stress and have significant drags on economies. but to get to higher levels of service is hugely expensive and requires host country ownership to really facilitate that journey to self-reliance.
3:40 pm
so we are similarly committed, as was mentioned by mcc, to private sector engagement, institutional reform in governance and financing, too. and really just a commitment to learning from all of our programming. so there's a strong feedback loop in making sure we can improve our programming moving forward. >> thank you, jeff. appreciate it. i appreciate all the panelists. i have some -- we have some time for some questions. i want to make sure -- i have questions, as well. i will not, because i counted them. there are 32 of them. so i am not going to ask any questions. i want to come right to the audience and see -- we have microphones, i think, on both sides. so if you have a question or two, let's do that now. we've got about 15 -- ten minutes or so. to my right here, there are two questions here. yes, please. because you would have had to go through my full 30-something. >> i would like to hear them,
3:41 pm
actually. so my name is linda lilianfeld, and the request he is this. as you all have stated, water knits it all together. at the same time, every detail is also very important. in the news today, there are two items within a five-minute newscast about the midwest and the flooding, and the typhoon, the scale of the wind of the typhoon in africa. when will the water sector act in a way that scales up the activity with each of you that is so detailed and so exquisite and so accurate and right on in terms of working with counties, working with water boards, using your intelligence. when will there be a way to scale up the activity to meet the reality of what's happening around us, costing billions of dollars, and affecting people all over?
3:42 pm
and i wonder if the role of science is important, getting the science out to more people, or if there's a way to build a bridge to the tech firms that have so much money and that are equally concerned and functioning well in a functional world that we scale up the way we get our funding to maximize the intelligence with which each of you and everyone in this room is contributing to the success in the slow way we get there between sustainable development goals and the international community to the global water strategy here. it's brilliant, it needs to be scaled up rapidly. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> tim, can i pose upon you to take that first? >> yeah, sure. and i greatly appreciate the question. my first response is, how better do we equip the people on the ground? wherever those are at, we can think in theory a long way away.
3:43 pm
and the midwest, right, the flooding going on there. and at the same time, i'm dealing with drought in other regions that are not that far away on a map, but yet it's a lifetime for people and where they're at. and i think a big part of what both bureau of reclamation and u.s. geological survey are really doing is trying to provide the science and technical, the forecasting, that modeling to really start to equip the experts on the ground on how then do they then actually -- because they're there. to really resource the people that are in those different situations. whether it's drought, whether it's flooding and/or whether they're in the middle of an in between. how can they manage those water and those resources they're equipped with. >> let me impose upon jonathan, as well. maybe some brief comments. and then we'll move to a second question. >> sure. maybe just briefly building on that. for mcc, you know, our model
3:44 pm
really dictates where we work and what we do. but, you know, where we are intervening in a sector, even if it's not the water sector, we do take steps to make sure that we draw from the experience and knowledge, you know, in the u.s. and other agencies to integrate, you know, climate resilient infrastructure, looking at capacity on the ground to deal with some of these things. knowledge-sharing is a big thing. and also, you know, learning from our experiences and sharing what worked and what didn't. >> thank you. i know we had a second question right here, as well. please. >> good morning. john altfield. i have a difficult question. >> please. >> to your panel, dod is not here, national security council, white house isn't here, the intelligence community isn't here. so i would welcome your ideas about what's the angle? we heard from administrator wheeler this morning saying that the president thinks this is very important and ought to be elevated, prioritized and so on.
3:45 pm
how do we get interested. is there a global health security agenda angle. is there a boko haram water angle? i'm just throwing things out here. secondly, to -- serena mentioned cholera. what more could you do from an interagency perspective to not just react and respond to cholera or other wash-related infectious diseases, but actually figure out where they might happen, figure out where they probably will happen, and get ahead of it? thank you very much. >> thanks. >> serena? >> sure. so maybe on the cholera question first. i think, you know, we've had conversations with the world health organization about making sure we're utilizing the oral cholera vaccine when we do have outbreaks. i think that in many ways is the band-aid. there is an underlying issue that's contributing to the cholera outbreaks. and if we ignore what we need to do in the wash area, we're just going to keep having the cholera outbreaks come back. so i think there is agreement that we need to address the
3:46 pm
underlying issue. i think how to use data in a more effective fashion is something that the agency is also very interested in. the previous questioner talked about, you know, tech companies. this content of big data. there is so much data out there. is there a way to use it, analyze it, so you could be more predictive and get ahead of a cholera outbreak? i think that's something that our agency is interested in. the cdc director made it one of his priorities to really think about big data and better ways that the cdc can use all of the different surveillance systems that we have, which, like a good federal government agency often has very specific surveillance systems tied to a funding line. how can we make sure that that data is shared and gives you a better picture. >> yeah. so on the nsc question, i think that the political
3:47 pm
prioritization, irrespective of whether it's here in the u.s. or any of our high-priority countries, or any country, for that matter, i find that, you know, having worked in the water sector for a while now, our propensity is to talk very technically. we love to kind of get in the weeds and talk about the technical nuance. but i think that for this to be elevated and prioritized in the way that it needs to be, we really do need to work on some of that messaging. so whether that is the global health security agenda, that quote in west africa and dulles, those types of compelling messages, my mind went to the world bank's high and dry report that came out last year that noted -- we referenced this in the global water strategy -- that economies could see their gdp shrink anywhere from 6 up to 15% as a result of water stress, thereby increasing state fragility and conflict.
3:48 pm
and it's those types of messages that are a level up from the technical messaging that i think we need to do better as a community about putting out there. on the cholera question, i'm certainly echoing that. i think we have some really strong instances of great collaboration. my colleague, rick guilting, is in the audience. and he and i and my colleague les jordan from the water office collaborated quite a lot with cdc, building off of their work on the supplemental appropriation they received after the haiti earthquake to transition to longer-term programming by usaid. that's one example. but i think that there are a lot of lessons we could build on from that, as we look at other countries and other programming where cholera is present. >> thank you. john, i would just say i think that one is worth following up on a little bit further. so i'll look forward to talking to you a little bit maybe offline, as well. let's take one more question from that side of the auditorium.
3:49 pm
thank you. >> hi. thank you all sevo much for bei here. my name is katie lackey with the u.s. water alliance. and administrator wheeler mentioned that the water issues we're facing today, many people attribute to climate change, but the roots of those issues actually go way deeper and have been around for a long time. i agree with that, but i also know and have seen that climate change creates a whole different ball game. it drives up the costs of the water issues that we're facing, the risks and it brings an incredible sense of urgency to our infrastructure and the water challenges you all are working on. can you speak a little about how you see climate change factoring into the u.s. global water strategy and/or your work? for any of the speakers. >> i'll leave it to the first. >> i can take that.
3:50 pm
so we have been talking a lot about -- we know that shocks ndk stresses that are faced throughout many of the countries that we're much water. we know that is becoming increasingly acute. the current trajectory in the agency is to look at this through a resilience lens and how we build the resilience capabilities of households, communities and systems within countries to withstand shocks and stresses. so this is something we are very, very much working on. as far as climate data, too, this is integrated into a lot of our programming, so in the philippines, for example, our be secure program is working directly with water utilities on
3:51 pm
efficient use of water services through use of climate data. so there are lots of examples of where we are using climate data to improve service delivery, but then also looking at how we can use the aperture of resilience through water structures. it's definitely on the forefront of our thing as we're designing and implementing programs. >> any other comments? >> i was just going to add, i think at cdc there is a lot of work that does look at the relationship between climate and health, and clearly it's not just water issues. you can look at vector-born issues, food, security issues. i think there is a lot of work that goes on to better understand that dynamic and hopefully use that to better inform programming. >> maybe just a few things briefly. for mcc, we do systemically screen all of our programs for impacts related to climate change, both in terms of how our
3:52 pm
programs may effect climate change and how climate change may affect our program. with regard to infrastructure, we want to make sure it's resilient. we have a good example from the philippines where we integrated climate change considerations into a coastal road that was later hit by a typhoon. it actually survived because we integrated larger drainage systems that then became a conduit for supplies post typhoon. so we try to do that in our infrastructure, but where appropriate, we will also look for ways to build capacity into the governments, the institutions that are managing the infrastructure and carrying out the programs, whether that's providing support for data gathering, monitoring, water resources, water levels or other, you know, other climate-related data as it relates to what that organization's goal is. >> i'll just make one final comment on that.
3:53 pm
the importance of at least within the united states governments to be working together with the state and local governments, all of these areas that deal with climate, you have some agencies that are focused on trying to deal with flooding, so they're trying to move water out of the system, and you have an agency or a bureau like reclamation which is you want to hold as much because you're trying to offset drought. so working together becomes critical on balancing all of these aspects of infrastructure, on climate and climate variability. it's all going to be part of that constantly. you're interacting and then you have to take it to that local level. that's why over 99% of reclamation staff are actually across the whole western united states in those 17, 18 states are critical for that interaction. >> thank you. a sign of a wonderful panel is that you want more. i know i want more, hence my 30-something questions i'll be sending in an email. i will not do that.
3:54 pm
but what a fantastic first panel for the morning. we have the second panel coming up. but will you please thank tim, jonathan, serena and jeff for an outstanding presentation. >> thank you. >> now i'm going to switch to the podium and we will continue the program. we're switching to the second panel. i'm going to introduce the moderator of the panel. the moderator will then introduce the panelists as we switch out here. while we transition, please
3:55 pm
allow me to introduce our next moderator. our moderator is tom harvey. tom is the chairman of the global environment and technology program foundation, a non-profit foundation he founded over 30 years ago, which specializes in environmental technology, commercialization and water access solutions. prior to starting his own company, tom spent 20 years in a senior position at the white house, national security council, department of defense and congress. please welcome to the stage mr. tom harvey. tom? [ applause ] >> well, good morning. it's been a great morning so far. i thought the first presentations were absolutely superb. substantive, meaningful, and you could tell the visitors really cared about this topic. this is an enormous topic. that's why we're here. we're going to get our panelists up here shortly. i'll tell you a little bit more about them in just a bit.
3:56 pm
but first i also want to thank, on behalf of not just our organizations, global environmental technology foundation, the u.s. partnership and the global water challenge, but all the organizations that are participating in this important topic. i want to thank aid and state and wilson and epa for bringing us together. actually following up on it to see if anything is happening? that's really important, and there's so much more we can do. i have to congratulate the administration for getting this done. it's hard to pull these things together. it's hard not just making recommendations but trying to find consensus. and to have 20 organizations that came together and made their inputs and made this happen, that's really
3:57 pm
significant. and we shouldn't lose sight of that. and what we do with the strategy now, that's the key question. how do we take it and how do we really make it come alive? one thing, and all of those that are participating from the administration that i would recommend and we've been recommending for a while, is let's make the u.s. water strategy part of the national security strategy of the united states. when you elevate it to that level, everyone is paying attention to it. so we've got a great start, but let's take it that next step. it's really important to do that. it's hard to keep our focus on the global water crisis when there's so many other things happening. there's so many other crises happening. we see them in the newspaper and in the headlines all the time.
3:58 pm
but we have to keep our focus there because the water crisis isn't going away, it's only going to get more challenging. the crisis is real, and we can make progress. this strategy is progress. and we should celebrate that and use that. one of the really satisfying things that we've been able to do with our group is to be part of this u.s. water partnership that was started seven years ago. secretary clinton started it. it was intended to create a platform for collaboration, for government and private sector to work on global water challenges together. and so we've been able to do that, and i'm just going to shout out chuck shadevitz, who was our first director, made a huge contribution and now he's
3:59 pm
taking that work over to the u.s. chamber of commerce. so we're spreading it even further with chuck's help. and we ever chris rich as our new executive director of the u.s. partnership. we're very excited where the partnership is headed from here. we have 120 members. we are bringing the u.s. government and the private sector together to bring the ingenuity and the skills that can make a difference on this issue. one of the panel is in the water experts program. and three of those panelists have been part of the water experts program. it's significant. we've been able to help countries and communities on four continents meeting their water challenges. you'll see from some of the experiences our panel has had that they've made significant
4:00 pm
contributions. i would now like to ask the panel to come on up front, if you wouldn't mind, and we'll get going on the panel. you heard just before about what happens on the ground. these are the folks that know what happens on the ground because they're out there every day making this work come alive and helping communities do even better. we will have a chance for questions after, so i'd like to get right to it. i want to take a minute and talk about each of these panelists as i introduce them, because their experience you need to understand. these panelists have a broad range of experience and they brought it to the benefit of the water challenge program and they're making a difference in meeting these global challenges. jerry bailiff on my left is the director for hydraulic science. he's a former chief scientist of water at the usgs and spent 25 years in managing the north carolina water science center.
4:01 pm
in 2016, he led a u.s. partnership hydrology sustainability and water quality data workshop in south africa. and he's currently engaged in the lower macon initiative river program and will be making a deal on behalf of the water partnership. we really appreciate your help over the years. meghan is at the state college in colorado and is critical in teaching across the area. she's worked throughout the world with indigenous peoples using participatory mapping approaches. as a water expert with the u.s. water partnership, she worked to improve the u.s. partnership in nairobi, kenya. in 2018 she conducted a
4:02 pm
watershed assessment in java, indonesia, for the u.s. partnership and will be going to ethiopia in may to conduct a similar project on the zobaba river. thank you for your contributions over the years. we brought sam here on purpose because of his significant experience as a partner with a.i.d. and other organizations in finding business solutions to help improve the water systems across the globe. sam's got 15 years of project manager experience in water supply, infrastructure, financing, urban sanitation, utility reform, business planning, corporatization, resource management -- it goes on and on, the list. and presently he's serving as the chief of party, as jeff
4:03 pm
mentioned, for u.s.a.i.d.'s water sanitation and hydrogen finance wash fin project. last but not least, barney, it's great to see you. thank you for coming. barney has worked in the field of water resources for more than 25 years. if you add up all this experience, it's pretty impressive. specializing in water supply planning, hydrology and hydraulics. he's formerly director of the texas water board and he's now ceo of agua systems. in 2017, barney was a u.s. water expert in morocco where they were focused on improving water quality. jerry, i'm going to ask you to kick it off.
4:04 pm
they're going to talk for 7 or 8 minutes and then we'll have the time for questions. please hold your questions until that time. jerry, please. >> so this experience with the u.s. water partnership has been a great one for me personally and i think for many of my colleagues. i was told that i was the second participant in the water experts program and that i likely will be the last participant in the water experts program when i go to laos in may. i think the program is transitioning to a new format. so this has been really good for me. i went in 2016 as chief scientist for water usgs and now go in 2019 representing more than 130 universities in the u.s. and internationally that conduct education and research and water activities. south africa, a country of about 59 million people, about twice the size of texas.
4:05 pm
about a fourth of the people don't have access to clean water. you've heard about the drought in capetown that seems to have ended, but, you know, capetown's city water managers use a very effective approach to count down to day zero, right? so if you were following this, every day is like 100 days to day zero, and it got down to maybe 30 or 40 days to day zero when there would be no more water in capetown. so there was a crisis there. part of the issue was a three-year drought that was would be expected to occur once every 300 years. part of it was just water management because capetown essentially doubled in size in the last 20 years, but their storage capacity had not changed. so my mission was to work with
4:06 pm
some water agencies in south africa on kind of a data system. the u.s. has a science and technology exchange committee with south africa focused on health, space science. south africa is really important for space science because of their location on the globe and telescope systems. advanced materials, energy, agriculture and water. so this science and technology exchange which had been underway and they were meeting, you know, biannually was a really key part in launching our activity in the country. we went over, it was me and a colleague from the corps of engineers, went over to meet with the water research commission, the council for geosciences which is kind of like the u.s. geological survey in the u.s. they had a focus on water
4:07 pm
quality and mining. the department of water and sanitation and then the council for science and industrial research. so the issue was kind of how to stand up a water and climate data system for the country. in south africa and not entirely unlike in this country, data systems are just kind of a boring old measuring water in its many forms and its many places. it's difficult to sustain. so in the last 20 years, for example, in south africa, the
4:08 pm
number of stations measuring rainfall decreased from 4,000 to 750. a dramatic decrease in the number of stations measuring rainfall. sustaining data, which is kind of the theme of what i -- you know, the point i want to make here is difficult. i've seen new administrations come and go and they have their missions and this is all great. sustaining water collection is not particularly sexy, but it's expensive, and so, you know, it's not a new initiative. there are new ways to measure water, but, you know, in terms of a whole new initiative, it's difficult to convince people that we need to maintain these systems and that we need to maintain the infrastructure to allow the systems to be robust and to allow the data to be used by whomever. so we worked with these issues with the two major programs in south africa, we worked with them to help plan a road map for the requirements of water data collection, their experiences
4:09 pm
and our experiences and best practices to strengthen r&b cooperation between the two countries and then to develop a path for this water data center. one of the outcomes of this meeting, of this event, was a follow-up with south africa with u.s. experts at usgs and reclamation and other places during this intense drought in the southern part of the country. so there was some payoff there. so, you know, kind of back to the data idea. water data sharing really is a path to understanding, a path to diplomacy among countries. while i was with usgs, i know usgs is involved with sharing data on the island of cypress which is divided between greece and turkey. this water data sharing activity helped in diplomacy.
4:10 pm
the u.s. helped facilitate water data sharing between israel and jordan, right? so sharing data across countries' transparency really improves understanding and diplomacy. i was at a meeting in central asia in 2015, and all the central agent countries were there. uzbekistan didn't make it because of travel difficulties, so imagine having all of these central agent countries where water is really an issue because of higher prior development, because of climate change, but having them all in the room talking about water data sharing. so if nothing else, making water
4:11 pm
data transparent, i can see yours and you can see mine, is really important. i worked in a country in southern asia, which i won't name, and we were trying to help develop a flood forecasting system, and the agency that collect the rainfall data and the agency that collected the streaming data would not share information. it is really seen as a priority. it's really important, regardless of what we do, making our water data transparent and shareable, as we like to say, making water data fair which is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable, right? that's kind of the message that i want to convey here. that's the reason we're going to the macon river commission and engaging them, is to encourage countries, organizations to
4:12 pm
share their water data. >> thank you, jerad. that was excellent. mel? >> i think i have to stand up. >> whatever. >> i'm embarrassed to say i'm the only one with a powerpoint, but i am a professor so i think that gives me that right. thanks so much for the opportunity to talk about my experience as a water expert in the water expert program for the u.s. water partnership. i want to talk about two different projects that i've participated in, one in the nairobi river basin in nairobi,
4:13 pm
kenya and one in the river basin in indonesia. these are two water sheds with severe water problems related to waste management, water quality, river basin management, industrial locations and formal development, unplanned urban activities. on the left here you can see the nairobi river basin, one of the tributaries to the river there. this is plastic and you can really walk on water. you can walk on water because there is so much plastic in the river system. on the right you can see the factories right on the river where water is directly discharged into the river system despite rules and regulations to say this shouldn't be able to happen. this is the context that we're talking about and the profoundness that i think is reflected in this slide. so i was asked to conduct a watershed assessment and determine how best for communities to participate and for the programs being implemented based upon an extensive water management planning that had been
4:14 pm
undertaken in both watersheds. there had been a very strong program in place, a lot of discussions had been done by communities, by ministries, by external international aid organizations coming in to say, here's a water management plan that we want to implement. so many of the recommendations and basin activities are closely linked to the u.s. global water strategy, so i've tried to highlight these throughout this presentation. in the first instances what we looked at was assessing the institutional capacity. i think this has come up several times this morning. looking at the issues of water
4:15 pm
reform. how do we really understand how to work with local leaders and government agencies to discuss these projects that are being undertaken and to ensure that key elements of a successful institutional capacity is evident here. so things where we're able to have communication between government offices where we're looking at a higher level of community engagement and how to make that happen, ensuring that we have upstream/downstream collaboration because we know there are linkages between a stream system. local government commitment, how strong is it? and again, looking at how this links to our overall strategic approach in terms of engagement and diplomacy. an important part of this, and again, this comes through all the presentations we've seen, is conducting research and doing scientific analyses. so conducting research on key issues within the basin, looking atwater quality, water flows, do we have enough gauges? are there essential baseline data and where do we find that baseline data? everything you said, jerad, resonates with me, and i happen to think data can be really sexy, so let's really get at it and really think about how we can manage this data issue, because that's what it's all about if we're going to be able to do this sort of planning thing. so ensuring we have good partnerships with universities, developing internships for those
4:16 pm
students at universities to have some pipeline between the universities and governments where we're developing the next generation of water managers. and then the whole issue of data development in terms of identifying these complex data sets that are meeting but also building on the technology that is needed to build these data sets. are we looking at open source data? are we looking at open source tools? these sorts of things that facilitate how we can manage and develop data and engage the community in collecting that data which is something that's going on around the world. this is really -- to be able to have these kinds of data sets is essential for doing comparative analysis and signs where we can look across different cities, different countries, different locations to figure out what do we know about the water there? what's working in one place and isn't working in another place? these sorts of things are what we can pull out of these kinds of projects that have enabled me to go to these different sites. building upon technical
4:17 pm
partnerships where we're looking to look at the relationship between government, universities and community to develop all these different sorts of issues. this is complex and this is a lot of stuff. and this costs a lot of money. so we're looking at infrastructure, we're looking atwater quality monitoring, which means a long-term investment. we're looking at how we manage wastewater treatment as well as storm runoff which often is treated differently in these countries. and again, the importance of data management. something that hasn't been discussed as much but i think underlies a lot of what we're talking about is ensuring that we look at the river system as a key participant as well, who speaks for the river, who understands what is needed for that river to function and provide for the services so important to our human health. what are our ecosystem services? what do we need to ensure flood plain management? are we developing riparian zones? are we looking to the rivers and parks to provide some of these things?
4:18 pm
if the river is jammed up in one place, what happens to those upstream/downstream relationships? looking for -- really looking at a community engagement, and this is something i work a lot on with participatory mapping and understanding what are the issues of the local communities? are the government programs, are these big river system projects, management across the entire watershed doing their due diligence in talking to local communities and really understand what their issues are and how they need to be engaged and included in this effort. if we don't include the community, then it makes for a more difficult way to implement some of these activities. and then this relationship with not only schools but how can the industry benefit from the energy derived from lakes and rivers
4:19 pm
but how we can make a relationship that's longlasting? i would have to say with respect to thinking about this, we're able to look at the relationship of water with local data with these communities to understand the role of civic technology, civic technology meaning the technology in the hands of the communities and how they can participate, looking at identifying common problems as well as shared goals, and how we might talk about this. it puts me in a very good position to be able to go to different places and share these results and outcomes from these different programs and to be able to say, this is working in one place and these are good lessons learned and benefits derived that we might be able to discuss for the particular location we're looking at here. just a few closing comments that solutions are cyclical, they are not linear, that we need to look at identifying these waste streams and how to manage these multiple waste streams, how we can really engage the communities and engage local
4:20 pm
businesses as well as ensuring we have trans-agency collaboration. a long-term commitment is essential. most of these programs that i've assessed to date have a 7-year timeline on them. and they think that's long term. do you think that's long term? i don't think that's long term enough. come out of them. we need to also ensure that there is accountability and responsibility at the different levels to ensure that the deliverables are made on a timeline and a basis that's being met so that everyone can see there is a return to this and something that's coming out of it. and finally, these projects have the potential to build trust in government in locations that do not have trust in government. so this is something really important and something that has
4:21 pm
not come up in some of the other presentations, is the role of corruption across governments and how we can ensure that this is being addressed in some way so that we can build the trust that's needed to facilitate these programs and make them successful. thank you. [ applause ] >> melinda, thank you. that was terrific. thanks for the slides. it really pops it up when you see a picture. it's amazing. sam, would you mind being next? tough act to follow, buddy. >> thank you very much for inviting me to be on the panel. i represent the u.s.a.i.d. funding project, water sanitation project. we're technical assistance focused on mobilizing greater financial resources for the sector. with the ultimate goal of closing the financial gap for the sector, which is a pretty significant and sometimes overwhelming objective. just to put some perspective on
4:22 pm
the development challenge there, it was referenced a few times in opening remarks, but it's been estimated that $114 billion, billion with a b, annually is required between now and 2030 to reach universal access for water and sanitation. that's three times current investment levels, and that's a pretty significant amount of money to begin to think about, and it's something that needs to be put in perspective. because what's quite clear is business as usual is not going to fill the financing gap for universal access. so thinking about this a little bit, there is not a single country in the world that has reached universal access without significant public investment into water and sanitation. now, many of those examples from oecd countries that have reached universal access have
4:23 pm
complemented that public investment with private sector investment, whether it's going to the bond market, bpp models or crowding in private sector investment in one way or another has often complemented the sector but it has always been driven by the public sector. so the washington project is working on looking for solutions for closing the financing gap by mobilizing and encouraging public investment but also looking for opportunities to blend in and expand the utilization of private finance for sector infrastructure. so we have a portfolio of seven country activities. our typical technical assistance program includes a small team of technical advisers in each of our countries. we have programs in senegal, south africa, kenya, mozambique, nepal, cambodia and the philippines, and today i'd like
4:24 pm
to highlight just two examples. i'll start out with the sanitation example from senegal and then i've got a water example from the philippines before i wrap up my remarks. so our program -- or one of our activities in senegal is focused on providing transaction facilitation to private sanitation service providers in the country. so the government of senegal has made investments in non-sewerage sanitation infrastructure. this is wastewater and sludge disposal facilities. those facilities have historically not been very well managed and inefficiently operated, and the government has recently decided it wanted to transition the operation of these facilities to private operators. so we're working with these private operators to help them respond to government tenders and business opportunities to expand their business, and also opportunities to expand their businesses to serving more household customers.
4:25 pm
so in order to be able to do this, we're working with those service providers to flesh out their business systems, look at their balance sheets, look at their capacity to take on local debt and facilitating the process of them submitting loan applications to local banks for local currency borrowing in the country. so far this has resulted in us working with providers to submit loan applications for over $3.9 million, and we have potentially another $5 million in local lending transactions in the pipeline. so that's an example of the types of things that we're working on in the sanitation space. and then moving on to the philippines example where we're working with the government of the philippines to help them operationalize what they're calling the unified financing framework. so the government of the
4:26 pm
philippines a couple decades ago in their effort to begin to mobilize resources for meeting the millennium development goals, started steering their creditworthy tools toward marked-based solutions and financing infrastructure. this ultimately resulted in the philippines water revolving fund. this fund, with assistance from both usa to south africa included international examples including the u.s. state revolving funds but also some pooled bond mechanisms that u.s.a.i.d. had supported the rollout of in india. so that experience sharing created the framework for the creation of the philippines water revolving fund which between 2008 and 2015 mobilized an estimated $200 million for investment into the sector benefiting over 6 million people.
4:27 pm
the pwrf informed the long-term financing policy for the government of the philippines, and the government's thinking about how to evolve that thinking to expand access -- or to work toward the goal of the universe, so they are calling the unified financing framework. the unified financing framework objective that we're supporting the government on continues to leverage private sector investment. but it also includes some additional aspects including viability gap funding for the sector. so an example would be if a project is designed that looks like it only has about 80% return on investment, the government would come in and with the missing 20% of the project needs so that the project could be commercially viable to access the funding
4:28 pm
requirements from local capital markets. that's the second example i wanted to highlight today. just a few takeaway messages as i wrap up. when we're thinking about private sector engagement into this -- for the sector, we also need to think about private capital. there seems to be quite a bit of private capital sitting on the sideline, not invested into the sector because of perceived risks. those risks are often real, and working on those risks is critical to ensuring that capital is unlocked for sector investment. so u.s.a.i.d.'s journey to self reliance matters not only to water and sanitation service procedures but also matters to potential investors. sustainable interventions requiring finance require creditworthy borrowers, also
4:29 pm
requires interest from investors and lenders. creditworthiness alone is not sufficient. the flow of funds often depends on perceptions and realities of increasing levels of financial autonomy, governance and sector capacity. so if you don't mind, as i wrap up, i just wanted to go through the underlying principle, that underpin across our pf of activities. because they quite clearly contribute to u.s.a.i.d.'s government objectives. other core principle, fundamental to unlocking investment for the sector. sustainable business models are the most efficient manner for maintaining and expanding services. building creditworthiness improves the accountability of
4:30 pm
service provision while increasing financing options for the sector. investment planning and project preparation are essential for both public and private investment into the sector. increasing investment needs to satisfy demand for infrastructure. finally, expanding market finance must be accessed if we're going to close the massive financing gap for the sector. thank you very much. >> sam, thank you very much for that. it's clear if we're going to make sustainable progress on the water crisis issue, finance has got to be a critical, upfront consideration. how are we going to pay for it? thank you very much. barney? >> thank you. i'm going to talk about iraq and my experience over there, but before i started i wanted to offer just a quick correction. you introduced me as the director of the texas water development board, and i was actually just the director of surface water division, not of
4:31 pm
the entire agency. >> always looking for a promotion for you. >> the former director is a good friend of mine, just in case he's watching. >> thank you for the correction. >> by the way, i love that title of water expert. water expert is just a great title to have. my parents usually introduce me as a water expert, normally while rolling their eyes. i think i'm going to get a business card developed with water expert on it. but on my background at the texas water development board where i was director of the surface water division, i was in charge of a number of different programs all related to water. basins, streams, lakes and also part of the planning initiative that the state implements and runs. that whole program is very interesting for a lot of countries dealing with drought and water resource issues in particular. texas has been doing this for
4:32 pm
about 60 years and has seen a 180-degree shift in the way they do water supply planning. although that shift didn't come about because of me, i was there to experience that shift and the reasons for that shift to better be able to implement water management strategies to address drought. that's the kind of thing that other countries -- in fact, other states are interested in as well. back to iraq. actually, before i went to iraq, i went with this same program to morocco and talked to them about water supply planning and environmental flows and things like that it was a very interesting interaction i had with o.n.i., the agency that i into with. but in iraq, let me paint a picture real quick on the water resources situation. many of you probably know this already, but iraq as a country is fairly water rich, certainly for a middle eastern country. it has much more water than any other middle eastern country, primarily as a result of flows from the tigress and the
4:33 pm
euphrates basin. however, those basins originate out of the country. they originate in turkey and iran, to a large extent. but over 90% of the surface water that iraq receives originates from out of the country. as you can understand, that's a situation that makes them very vulnerable. turkey and iran are building dams at a great rate, and they are, in some instances, diverting rivers into large swaths of now agricultural land, and that's resulting in less and less water coming into iraq for their availability. in fact, if you look at the hydrologic trends on both of those rivers, the trends are alarming. there is a very rapid decrease in the amount of water that iraq is receiving and is then able to use. they do not have access to much groundwater. there is a little bit in the northern part of the country, but as a whole, groundwater is
4:34 pm
not a viable alternative. so with that in mind, i was invited to deliver a series of 19 workshops over a period of 14 days, kind of a whirlwind tour of the country. started in baghdad, went down to baas ra -- basra. those were held at universities, they were held in government offices, town hall settings for public presentations for members of the public to participate. i also spoke with some farmers unions and some other people. mostly they were televised, great participation. a lot of very interested, very engaged people participating in those workshops typically had q and a segz that lasted as long as my presentations. my presentations covered water planning aspect but also how do you implement water management strat ghis. it's one thing to come up with a
4:35 pm
great idea in order to be water sustainable for your region, it's another to get the funding and get the permits in place to actually be able to construct one of those projects, particularly in a place like iraq. you know, what's very, very obvious when you tour the country there is that they had an enormous brain drain that started in the early 1980s. a lot of the people that knew how the infrastructure worked and understood the water resources of the country are no longer in iraq, able to participate and manage those water resources. that's a significant challenge. they still, obviously have university professors teaching water. but typically the folks with that level of education are not in the government offices. let's go back to the situation, water resources situation in iraq again. so tig rece and euphrates basin, most of that water originates in
4:36 pm
the mountains of neighboring countries. there is no international compact in place for sharing those waters. that's a big deal. when i found out, i couldn't believe it. apparently there is a memo. that memo is not followed strictly. not surprisingly. there has been conversations with turkey in the past. turkey has said, well, when you guys start using your water more efficiently, then we'll make sure you get enough water. in some respects, it's hard to argue with that because iraq still uses flood irrigation to irrigate their crops. they're not doing it very efficiently. they are not paying special attention to soil health. they don't have good efficient irrigation systems in place. remember i said that iraq has more water than any other middle eastern country to deal with, but they are still importing agriculture whereas countries like jordan, per capita, has 15
4:37 pm
times less water to work with, they are exporting agriculture because they are using drip irrigation and more efficient irrigation systems. so there's room to work in iraq to make more efficient use of their water but they have got to get there. it's going to require a significant investment. it's going to require significant data collection, it's going to require significant model development as well. i talked to the ministry of water resources over there, which is the federal level agency about what resources management, how do they make decisions about when to release water from mosul dam, for example. they're like, we had a model. the corps of engineers built us usa model back in the early part of the last decade but nobody knows how to use it anymore. and furthermore, it's out of date. so they are making kind of decisions on allocation of water based on sort of gut feelings and using monitoring at certain gauges that are in operation.
4:38 pm
many of them are not in operation anymore. so you can understand the situation is not very good. let's go back real quickly. i know i don't have much time left, back to the water expert program. when i was doing my tour around the country -- actually, prior to that, i was looking for the information about water resources management in iraq and there's not any data. couldn't find any models, couldn't find any data. i insisted on doing a couple field trips while i was doing my tour and i was able to visit the river below the confluence of the euphrates and tig rece and understand, have a better perspective on the issues they are dealing with right now. there's a lot of waste that goes into that river, both industrial and municipal waste. sometimes that municipal waste is treated, sometimes it's no sometimes it's below the water intakes for the city, sometimes it's not. that's not a good situation.
4:39 pm
in fact, last summer you may have seen on the news, there was 130,000 hospitalizations due to gast gastrointestinal ailments from this. furthermore, when they have a dry situation, tide from the arabian gulf comes up and pushes that waste back up into those water intakes. it's a really dire situation. i had a meeting this morning with the state department to talk about possible solutions for basra. but when i went to the northern part of the country as well, i was fortunate enough to visit one of the rivers and there is a huge landfill site there that is slipping into the river. and so all of that waste as it's being piled on top of the pile is sliding into the river, and of course that waste, and there's industrial waste that the landfill will accept as well and that's not containing, it's also going to the river and the
4:40 pm
communities downstream. this is a tributary of the tigress river. they do not have good regulation or good management of either solid waste or liquid waste. that's another one of the challenges they're dealing with. those water treatment plants and wastewater treatment plants are frankly dilapidated. they are not run properly. a full 50% -- in fact, over 50% of the water treatment plant operators in the southern part of the country have not finished elementary school. that is the level of education of the folks that are providing safe water to the community, and that's one of the other reasons why so many people were sick in basra last summer because these treatment plants -- it's not their fault. they have been appointed, got these jobs but no one has offered them training and they don't know how to run the plants effectively. i know i'm running out of time. i wanted to say that since my
4:41 pm
trip to iraq last summer, u.s. aid folks were in one of my workshops and recommended i participate as a technical adviser on the program they have running over there. it's a five-year program in theory. since my series of workshops i've been providing technical support on that program to the iraqi government. at the moment particularly focused on basra. but for me it's been very rewarding to be able to, after that series of lectures, go back and work with the iraqi government and u.s.a.i.d. at finding solutions to the water crisis, particularly in the southern part of the country, but also throughout the rest of the country. >> that's great. thank you so much, barney. thank you. [ applause ] >> we have time for some questions, and we'll follow the same format as the panel in front of us. if you wouldn't mind getting a microphone, telling us who you
4:42 pm
are and what your affiliation is and we'll go from there. right there, please. right there in the middle. richard, i'll get to you. i'm sorry. >> hello. i'm lucas. i'm a graduate student from coppen halen currently researching water governance so this is a fascinating place for me to be. what struck me was the talk about water and education sectors working together, it was discussed in this panel and the panel before. i would like to know what you see are the chances and challenges in these cross-sector approaches to solving the crisis in the water. >> thank you very much. mel, do you want to start with that one? >> cross-sector approach? >> right. >> sure. i think a cross-sector approach is essential, and i think building it on a sound database is one way to do that.
4:43 pm
i think geospatial data provide a great platform to intersect data we have not been able to intersect before. having said that, i think it's absolutely essential to look at the appropriate scale, and this local scale data is what's missing in much of our work that we do. we're pretty good at getting global data sets, looking at regional data sets, but getting down to the local level, i think is essential to be able to look at these cross-sectional issues that come out of this nexus approach. >> anyone else want to comment further? >> i'll just say that governance is absolutely critical for investment. what's frustrating about looking at the sector is the requirements for infrastructure are overwhelming and quite expensive, and what you hear from private investors is that there is a lot of capital sitting on the sidelines. it's not by mistake that the safest investments in the world are things like investing in
4:44 pm
japanese utilities. make of the most risky investments in the world are investing in nigerian utilities. the difference is governance. the government underpins everything. the capital is there on the private side, the question is can we get the governments to unlock some of that money and blend in public investment to make that money affordable for rolling out finance for the infrastructure we need. >> thank you, sam. thank you, mel. we have one bind. i'll get to you in a second. richard? >> my name is rick gelting. i work for the centers of disease prevention now, and part of what i did with stream gauging back when we were counting clicks. you'll know what that means. and when i would talk to people, sort of, oh, that's kind of interesting. you know, you get to work outside but what's the point? so that began my career of explaining what i do to relatives. what i would tell people
4:45 pm
sometimes is, you know, every time it rains and you drive your car, you're relying on that data not to get flooded on the roads, so how do we sort of get policymakers and the public to understand that this data underlies all of our infrastructure, not just our water infrastructure, and that it's important and it's crumbling as well here, but in other countries. how do we engage that conversation? thanks. >> jerad, do you want to address that? >> i think that, you know, when agencies talk to policymakers, policymakers here are self-interested at some level, right? so i go to congress and i talk about the value of stream gauging, and i'm seen as a non-biased third party. i think that we need -- we, the water community -- needed a
4:46 pm
vokts across the community that can communicate this. and so i think that's why the u.s. water partnership and chuck's work at the chamber of commerce, you know, having the business community, having the emergency management community, having them speak to the value of this information probably resonates more than, you know, the people who collect the data going to ask for more money to collect more data. so i think that's a key piece of the activity. >> thank you. >> i'm going to add something to that. it's particularly important in countries like iraq where they're making really important decisions -- well, it's true here, too, of course. but they are trying to make really important decisions without that data and without the numerical models that that data feeds into, but when you talk to the policy folks, it is hard to make that argument and it's not to start by i need this stream gauge, i need to build this model over here, and the conversation has to be, i need
4:47 pm
this stream gauge because ultimately it's going to save you money in basra or prevent a water crisis or something like that. they need a more tangible output, more tangible connection to that data, for it to sink in and for them to appreciate it. >> right. thank you. we had a question here in the front. >> matt smith, i'm a consultant. i was sort of looking at the pictures of younger people getting engaged in this, and then also barney's comments on how they have lost all sorts of technical expertise. is there any thought of maybe investing in the next generation of water specialists? i don't see the department of education here. but something -- i see a lot of infrastructure, but do we do training of people in do we build up capacity of countries to understand how important water is, you know,
4:48 pm
human sustainability might be something to really think about. thanks. >> really important. >> each of you have experienced this in the different countries you've gone to. who would like to bring that up? you want to talk about that? linda? i can tell she's eager. >> yes, absolutely. if anything, that's one of the strongest things that's come out of the various projects i work on around the world, that there is a strong investment in youth in terms of getting them educated and trained. and if anything, it's giving me more hope about the future, because there's a strong student body out there, and they are essentially our sustainability drivers for the future. they are the ones who are going to make things happen. each of these programs that i have assessed have a strong youth component, as well as trying to build on this connection to government internships and opportunities for creating a pipeline from k-12 to university to the governing structure. so i think there's a lot happening.
4:49 pm
i'll let my colleagues comment. >> anyone else? >> so i would just say that, you know, in addition to what linda said, there's value in engaging the citizen, the citizenry, and science, right? and so i came from an organization that was very meticulous about data collection, and i'm in a different place now, so where you stand depends on where you sit, right? but i think that engaging people in science, and in science activities, and volunteer monitoring, all of those things really, i think, build community across the board, across the generations, from the elementary school students, who have a rain gauge on the ground, you know, to citizens who go measure water quality in rivers. so i think that at least, you know, a component of it, it is
4:50 pm
citizen involvement. it's citizen science. >> thank you, jerad. >> and real quick, the program that i participated in, the it's citizens with buy in. >> and real quick, the program that i participated in, the workshop, there was at least three of them that were sort of town hall formats, where members of the public were invited to see the presentation and ask questions afterwards. and almost exclusively, those folks were younger folks, you know, college kids, or thereabout, and those were the most fun frankly, the questions weren't typically particularly technical, but they were very enthusiastic, very engaged, and i must have taken a thousand selfies during those things with those folks. and it's fun, and the program that i'm working on right now has a very strong training component. not only training folks how to run water treatment plants but training on other aspects of water, and looking quite carefully, or giving good consideration to training of trainers, you know, where the
4:51 pm
people that we train can then offer training to other folks, and i think that's going to be a very successful program. >> great. we have time for one more quick question. right there, sir. >> i don't have a question but i want to add on. >> please. >> i want to add on regarding the order of data and information, and how to really promote decision makers and citizens on how to just collect data. we have worked for the past five years on hydromat information and improving hydromat information, and we have done in our work, practically had a socio economist who provides for each one, with the road maps for five african countries and afghanistan, for hydromat, and we have in the program, an assessment of the importance of
4:52 pm
the socioeconomic benefits of hydromat. and there is already a guide that was developed by usaid, wmo, and the worldbank, on how to just basically look at the benefits of hydromat data. we have practically, one of the investments, we looked at, there are more than 20 sectors, okay, that benefit from hydromat data, in addition to drm. and we have trained practically and given workshops on the results of the hydromat to decision makers, and we have put the long program on the road map on how to just basically promote just communities, the government, the public sector
4:53 pm
and the private sector, in sustainability. in tanzania, what usaid did, we are actually introducing the citizen science program, and as you mentioned, we are practically looking at volunteer partners who benefit from the data, like farmers, you know, health centers, schools, and this program now has been now two years, and we have actually assembled partners and trained them on how to basically collect data and information for the water boards. >> thank you very much. i appreciate those comments. our time is up. we'd like to go on. but before i give up the podium here, there's just two other small points i'd like to make, one is last year, the u.s. water partnership had the privilege of giving our water leader award to president trump daniel oturk of
4:54 pm
slovenia for his work in the water space and particularly for the incredible document that the u.n. high panel for water and peace delivered that year, a matter of survival. we were very honored to have you here with that. but one of the things that won't be told probably in the introduction that michael gave is that 80-page document, 80-page-plus document, daniel wrote the first draft himself. and i want to say that again. he wrote the first draft himself. the former president of slovenia. now that's leadership. and we thank you for that. [ applause ] >> and you'll have an opportunity to hear from him yourself in just a second here. for those of you that haven't
4:55 pm
had enough of your water data itch satisfied i would like to highlight there are two more events this week, if you really want to spend more time delving into this. tomorrow, the global water challenge in partnership with the department of state and usaid will have a nearly all-day event at the department of state, and it's on women and water. one of the most critical topics, because if you want to get it done right, involve the women, because that's, i've certainly found that to be true. so if you have an interest in that event, please contact any of the people that are helping us organize this one, we'll be happy to get you information, how to attend. and then friday, the chamber of commerce is going to have a small community water event, i think it's about a half day
4:56 pm
event, chuck, is that right? full day, null day on small water communities. so if you have interest in that, see chuck, i'm sure that he will squeeze you in, and i'd really recommend these, if you really want to find out some more about this important issue. so i want to thank our panel. jared, melinda, sam, barney, thank you so much for sharing your experiences. what happens on the ground is the most important. and you all have been part of that. so thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you to the panelists and thank you, tom, for an outstanding job there. you're right. i was not going to highlight that the first draft of that document was written by the former president, but i'm so glad that you did. but i will fill in some blanks. we've had a wonderful discussion this morning, a nice foundation laid by the speakers early first.
4:57 pm
two fantastic panelists that have built on top of those themes and those issues. when you think about who should come in and provide some closing remarks, they're really not remarks, they're thematic tie-togethers, all roads lead to president turk for the reasons tom noted here and many more so we're honored here to have him back here at the wilson and perhaps you have been here so many times we will give you a pass with your own wilson i.d. on that. let me briefly go over a biography here that deserves a whole lot more time. as many of you know senator turk served at the republic of slovenia from 2007 to 2012, prior to his presidency he taught international law and human rights expert in slovenia and the united nations, and u.n. ambassador of slovenia from 1992 to 2000. most recently, from 2015 to 2017, president turk was chairman of the global high level panel on water and peace. we are delighted to have president turk with us today to give us some final comments.
4:58 pm
with that, please welcome to the podium, president turk. [ applause ] >> thank you very much for this nice introduction, your kind words that you addressed to me. and especially for offering me a permanent pass at wilson center. i hope you will also add a floor plan of this building so that i can more easily find ways to different conferences. but of course, i do follow the
4:59 pm
work of woodrow wilson center and i am impressed by the intensity, by the high level of quality of course, from the web site, one can learn a great deal, and obviously, i would like to tell you, i am one of those people who have great admiration as woodrow wilson, a great united states president with has actually changed the world in the early 20th century. perhaps this is not a time when his ideas are most fashionable around the world but they are permanent. and the world will come back to them. so i think there are many reasons why woodrow wilson center should remain active and more and more center in international discussions. i would like to say that i was extremely pleased to listen to the discussion this morning and very grateful to the conveners of this conversation, the state department, the usaid, the u.s. environmental protection agency, and above us, the u.s. water partnership, with tom, and a great friend, who betrayed some secrets of our work. and i would like to say, while it is in the so secret because he would understand it, somebody who has worked for the united nations, or with the united nations, for almost 40 years, which was my destiny, one learns at some point that in order to have a decent document, you have to have a single writer. i mean you don't get a good document if you ask 15 people to
5:00 pm
write together. i mean you get, you know, there are various ways of describing such processes. but i don't want it go into that. but it is absolutely clear that in order to get a decent document, you have to have a single writer at some stage, and then allow everybody to make amendments, to explain views, and then through a discussion, which is nowadays actually quite easy because we have internet, which we didn't have 20 years ago, and now we have it, and of course, the work can be done much more efficiently. i would be very interested in learning of who was the single writer of the u.s. global water strategy. maybe tom will tell me about that more when we continue our conversations. because it is also very coherent and a very persuasive document. and we in the global high level forum on water and peace, we were absolutely excited to learn, when our report came out, in september, 2007, that very soon after, two months later, the u.s. global water strategy was published. so before the end of the year,
5:01 pm
tom and i were in correspondence and we learned about this. and then in january, we came here, to washington, to woodrow wilson center and that's how our current cooperation continued. i would like to tell you that i am not alone today with my colleagues, my friend and vice chairman of the panel, lazaro kasada, a former minister of the environment of costa rica who made a great contribution, very important views, very important views that allowed drafting much easier and francois michelle who is the director of the geneva water hub which is an organization, an expert organization based in geneva and link toed the university of geneva and the u.n. system like the world organization and many other agencies. i would also say that the geneva water hub served as secretariat of the global high level panel
5:02 pm
of water and peace and they convened i think two dozen expert meetings involving all together around 200 experts. so the amount of literature that was produced in the process of work on the panel was really large. now the challenge was, of course, to kind of synthesize this into a document which should be manageable. and for that you need a single writer and that's a technique which has been used successfully in the united nations before, so it was not a big innovation, i must say, but somebody has to make a sacrifice. in situations like this, somebody has to make a sacrifice. what i would like to say, to start my concluding remarks is that i'm very excited about what i heard today. so much expertise. so much well-meant comments that we heard from different families and in the introductory speeches.
5:03 pm
and i believe that there is every reason to continue this way, to have an annual meeting on the implementation of u.s. global water strategy, so that this, so that themes could be discussed further. there were some themes that are really fundamental to everything, and we help come across those themes also in our high level panel of water and peace. for example, the whole sensitivity and complexity of water data. unless you are working on this, you don't understand this. and of course we have come on this problem very soon in our work. we have a chapter on this question. and of course, we would like to continue our work. i will come to some more specific aspects in a short while. the other thing is a need to give really good understanding to the idea, to the concept of comprehensive water management. again, this is a concept which is very often quoted but obviously as we have heard from our panel, it has specific elements. it's very diverse. it also requires very specific, very nuanced work on each of the
5:04 pm
elements it constitutes. it requires overcoming some really difficult problems which don't have to do with water, which has to do with corruption and quality of governance in general. and so forth. so this is a very serious question which has to be addressed one way or another. now, i would like to say that i have all this thought, when we were preparing the report, and afterwards, that we need u.s. leadership in this matter. the world needs the united states leadership. and i would like to emphasize this really very strongly. and i think that the discussion today showed that once again. the u.s. experienced the enormous expertise, the technological capacity, financial capacity, this is an important and enormously important asset, to deal with a problem which is one of the fundamental problems, the fundamental crisis problem, of the 21st century. so we have to really put our heads together and figure out how to engage with the united states more. yesterday, we went to the
5:05 pm
organization of american states. tonight, we are going to new york. and we will talk to the united nations about sarhel and peace-building activities of the united nations, and very importantly, we shall have a special discussion on the question of water during armed conflicts. which is of course a separate problem. which was not discussed today. and i would like to emphasize very strongly, there is a delineation here, i mean we shouldn't confuse things but i mean of course, this problem of water being used as a weapon of war, or an object of attack is a serious problem. which has to be addressed. our team has helped organize something enormative document, kind of an interpretive document, called geneva list. which is a kind of interpretation of the international humanitarian law focusing on water, and being there to have security counsel and individual countries to develop proper policies for
5:06 pm
protection of water resources and water infrastructure during armed conflicts. this is absolutely necessary. we have seen conflict after conflict, how this problems are very serious. and this is not only a question of when a particular water installation is attacked directly. we also have to understand the reverberating effect. because sometimes an object is, let's say electricity, but then this puts out an operation, water pumps, sewage system, management, and everything else. so one has to understand these things. and one has to do more. we are supported by unicef in that regard. and i believe many of you are familiar with the excellent work unicef is doing in the humanitarian field. unicef is preparing a special report on precisely these questions, after having very, great, well, a terrible experience in various theaters
5:07 pm
of conflicts. and they try to get to water under fire. so i'm sure that unicef will add very important ethical message to this this whole discussion. now, coming back to the water and peace, we have to understand that water is an instrument of peace. and that's of course is different from what i just spoke about. so water as an instrument of peace. and here, i would like to tell you, as americans, if that you have to be more proud. and i was in jordan at the dead sea two weeks ago at the arab water summit where there was a big discussion about all kinds of water problems in the arab world, and the delegations were coming one after another to the american assistance, the american role in the region, especially in jordan. jordan was quoted, and of course we heard about jordan this morning as well, as a place where water assistance from the united states was very meaningful and important for 60 years now. 60 years. it started with eric johnston's plan, the ambassador, and the water specialist, appointed by president eisenhower, and another great american president, and it was simply a
5:08 pm
wonderful thing to do. of course he could not implement everything that had to be, that he wanted to implement, but still, i mean he created a platform upon which a lot of corporation, cooperation is happening and now the whole discussion in jordan is no longer about the single water installation, but rather about sustainability of water management, comprehensive approach to irrigation, and waste water treatment, inclusion of local communities. very complex questions of governance. and they are all discussed and usaid is seen as a critical important part in that discussion. so you have, in jordan, 60 years of experience. and of course, you have experience in many other places for about the same amount of time. now, this of course is not important only for jordan but for the entire region because wherever you go in the region,
5:09 pm
you will be told that, well, jordan is water stressed, perhaps one of the most water stressed countries in the region but it has the most sophisticated ways of water management including irrigation something iraq and many other water rich countries don't have. so it is an important example. things can be done. things can change. things can change over time, and they have to change. now i mentioned this simply to say it is important to look at all of these questions of making water an instrument of peace, in an appropriate time frame, and i believe that that should be a, the united states has this unique advantage of having long continuous and excellent history in this regard, and that should be taken advantage of. now, we of course have to ask ourselves, and i said before, that i would like to see this meetings continue, every year, it would be wonderful to have it continue, with our discussion, i hope this will be possible. and of course, it will be important to figure out what is
5:10 pm
the ambition level of these discussions. now, tom harvey spoke earlier on about making water strategy part of the security strategy and it may seem too much but it is not. it is necessary. and think about sahara region, and we will talk about that tomorrow in new york. and this is really a security issue. of first order. which affects the united states in many ways. and it should be, you know, confronted head on. there is no reason why this should be seen as something unmanageable or something that the u.s. may not want to deal with. this has to be dealt with. i can talk about yemen. i don't know about all of the complexities, all of the politics, but we need expert reports suggesting that the underground water resources of yemen will be totally depleted
5:11 pm
within a few years and this will be a huge disaster, a huge humanitarian disaster and a huge exodus. national security again, for europe, for the united states, for everybody. so i think this is one idea. making sure that this is understood, and the ambition level is sufficiently high. i would also like to add three other ideas, which i think i'm quite naturally, from listening to the discussion today, one is the importance of trans-boundary water corporation. we have heard this from various speakers. and you know, it's an interesting and important subject. trans-boundary water corporation. it is not an easy one. we heard about iraq, and problems that characterize relations between turkey and eastern over the tigris, and one could imagine the relations between iraq, syria and turkey over the euphrates would be even more complicated. so one should not expect
5:12 pm
uncomplicated matters here. but one should also be very careful to what is happening. because iraq has deteriorated so much, that right now, i was in turkey several times in the past month, in turkey, they are becoming very worried about outbreaks of cholera in iraq. this is not widely reported because it is inconvenient, and people don't want to talk about this. but if you talk to people who know the situation, high level political leaders, they understand that. and they understand that things have to go further. now, of course, the questions of bilateral, for example, water measurement, the water data have been discussed for a long time. and countries like switzerland help in that regard. and however this has not quite become an irreversible success. and further work is needed from data and cooperation. and turkey has appointed their former ministry of water and forestry, mr. eric lu, as a special envoy of president erdogan for iraq. now this shows that there is a degree of understanding there. they still see all of these
5:13 pm
questions primarily as bilateral, and not as regional. but with persistence, i think they have to be advised to move into the region. because the whole area would require a regional framework. and obviously, if you go to a place like the warfare summit in jordan, you will hear a lot of talk about the need of a regional arrangement. i don't want to go further into this but i would like to say trans-boundary cooperation should be getting more attention in meetings like this in the future. the other question is about a acquifers. we have heard some about aquifers. and we have to understand most of the fresh water resources today are aquifers and underground water and some are severely stressed, some are
5:14 pm
depleted sometime soon and not renewable and i don't know how much can learn from remote sensing about the state of it, but maybe this is something that could be looked at. and finally, the third and last idea, i don't want to bother you with too many ideas, i have many ideas, and if i put too many ideas before you, you think he is another u.n. guy who doesn't understand the difficulty of the problems we are dealing with. but i do try to understand this. and the third idea relates to the united nations sustainable development office. now, there is a goal which is specifically related to water, as say drinking water and sanitation for everybody. and here, we are now in an interesting situation. as far as the sustainable development, those are concerns as a whole. what happens is that now that it is a full year since those were adopted in 2015, and there is an implementation mechanism established and a great deal of work is going into the question of indicators to measure what kind of progress is being made.
5:15 pm
now, we heard today, how difficult it is to measure water. how difficult it is to handle water data. so you can imagine, when it comes to, as we see the global picture, then, it is enormously complicated. what i think is necessary at this stage is a series and also critical discussion on what is being produced. because we of course, the u.n. will certainly figure out that we are lagging behind the objectives, that's easy to say. but how are we lagging behind? and are we sufficiently good in measuring our state of achievement. this is something that i would like to be more critically discussed and it doesn't require big political decisions, this is a matter, of how shall i say, more technical thing, although it can be a very clear political, how shall i say need behind that and the need i would define as something that relates to the quality of what global
5:16 pm
policies try to produce. and let me come to the beginning once again. this is not going to work without united states involvement. the united states is the only country in the world that has the kind of capacity, and with the kind of expertise and experience, and resources that can make a difference. so please, take my pleadings here as a serious matter, because in a few years, the u.n. and all actors globally will be talking about how we are lagging behind as a sustainable development goes. and at that time, we shall need to have really serious and reliable analysis. and that analysis has to come from where it can be really produced. now, ladies and gentlemen, i spoke beyond my time. i admire your patience. nobody threw at me anything as yet. so that is good.
5:17 pm
we have, i have spoken for more than 20 minutes. i was supposed to say everything in 15 minutes. but as you can he is, i'm very passionate about this thing, so you will bear with me for this, you know, infraction for this. this violation of time limit, which was given to me. thank you very much for your attention and good luck with your work. [ applause ] >> mr. president, i don't think anyone is in a position to keep a clock on your comments. they were simply spot-on. i made many notes about your calls to action. your charges and your recommendations. i made particular note that when we give you your badge and pass to the wilson center, it will come with a complete map. i took particular note of that. a few comments and then we're done for the day. mr. president, thank you for appropriately, accurately, and with passion, tying up our day
5:18 pm
for us. i can tell you that, even while the first year, the first annual review is being planned, there was discussion about following up yet next year, and so we will take on that charge. we will think hard with our friends and colleagues about how we do this again next year. to do exactly as you have challenged us to do. none of that could happen, but without a couple of people who have made today happen, and you know who they are. but either way, i'm going to spotlight them. lauren ricci the director of our environmental change and security program i will embarrass her by at least asking her to at least stand. [ applause ] >> everything that has happened today, lauren really has orchestrated through her professionalism, her relationships with you, and her expertise, and so lauren, thank you for leading this important charge. and you did take note of the president's charge for next year, right? okay. great, good.
5:19 pm
amanda king, please stand. amanda makes everything happen here related to this work so amanda, thank you so very much. [ applause ] >> without partnership and friends you cannot do a thing 0 so we would like to thank usaid for their support, the u.s. department of support, obviously epa and the u.s. water partnership. simply can't do this work without any of you. and in addition to tom's list of activities that are happening this week, lauren has asked that i highlight that here next week, because she says you can never drink enough water, we hope you will join us in this room again, on monday at 10:00 a.m., with the sustainable water partnership, to look at the important connections between water and food security, an issue we heard about today. so friends and colleagues, thank you for spending this morning and into the afternoon on this important issue. we look forward to continued discussions throughout the year, and perhaps this time next year, we'll come back for a second year review. thank you so much.
5:20 pm
judiciary committee chair jerry nadler went ahead with today's hearing on the mueller report without attorney general william barr. he didn't attend, because the committee was going to allow staff attorneys to question the attorney general. see the brief hearing and members responses tonight at 8:00 eastern on c-span. before we move on to the supreme court, can i just say, the ten topics are what you really need to know, and here we go. write them down. foundations, federalism, public opinion, participation,
5:21 pm
political parties, interest groups, campaigns and elections, congress, president, and courts. those are the big ten. the entire test covers those ten topics. >> are you a student preparing for the advanced placement united states government and politics exam? well don't miss your chance to be a part of "washington journal's" annual cram for the exam program on saturday at 9:00 a.m. eastern for a live discussion with high school government teachers andrew conneen and dan very well larsen from ad laid e. stevenson high school in illinois. >> our question is about log rolling and its significance. >> well, log rolling our students struggle with this, too. it's a concept of vote trading, the idea that if you're trying to get a big bill passed, a lot of times it helps to have some quid pro quo, this for that. if you add this writer, if you add this pork project, sometimes we call them earmarks and if you add that earmark, you'll get
5:22 pm
more supportive votes. that's log rolling. >> watch "washington journal's" annual cram for the exam on saturday at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. sunday night on "q&a harold holzer and amity shlaise share their perspective on "the presidents" sunday night at 8:00 eastern on "q&a." >> c-span cities tour is on the road exploring the american story, with the help of our comcast cable partners, this weekend, we take you to palo alto, california. >> silicon valley is not, in my opinion, a place per se. it's a state of mind. this house, this garage is where hewlett-packard did their experience in 1938, called the birthplace of silicon valley.
5:23 pm
>> phone for its connection to silicon valley, it's home to stanford university, the alma mater of president her vert hoover and the institution he founded in 19919. >> this structure is dedicated to the preservation of the books on manuscripts, war, revolution and peace. >> sort of reflecting on the personal sacrifices and the challenges and the roles in which journalists, soldiers and civilians played in the war, how we can build upon understanding of war to prevent war in the future, which is the core of herbert hoover's message. >> join us this weekend, as we look at the history and literary life of this city of about 66,000. saturday at noon eastern, an c-span2's book tev and sunday a 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. the c-span


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on