The link between water and security is undeniable. Where fresh water is available, accessible, and well-managed, biodiversity can be sustained, economies can grow, and communities can thrive. Yet when fresh water is compromised, life as we know it breaks down and can lead to social disruptions and conflict that further degrade the environment. Failure to address these issues puts people and nature at risk.
Both developed and developing countries already face challenges related to water. Poor water governance, coupled with the effects of extreme weather, growing populations, and rising demands for water have put key river basins in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America at risk. The decline of these basins has enormous implications for the economic, environmental and social stability of these regions, with rippling effects that often will be—or already are—felt in the United States.
Through our Water and Security Initiative, WWF seeks to inform U.S. foreign policy by showing how development that integrates environmental considerations, focuses on basin-level management, and promotes cooperative arrangements over shared water resources can reduce the likelihood of social, economic and environmental disruptions.