The white paper, "Addressing Our Global Water Future," is the result of two conferences last year in Washington at which representatives of major multinational companies, government officials, and technical experts discussed U.S. policy and the role of emerging water technologies in regions of the world where the United States has strategic interests. Discussions centered on countries with dwindling fresh water supplies and the range of technology innovation needed to help resolve water problems. Sandia provided information on emerging water technologies with potential to impact water scarcity and quality issues.
The primary authors are Laura Keating of CSIS and Howard Passell of Sandia, although numerous others from both organizations contributed to the document.
Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory.
Why does Sandia care if there is adequate potable drinking water in places other than the U.S.?
The reason, says Ray Finley, manager of Sandia's Geohydrology Department, is that Sandia, as a national security laboratory, has the responsibility to help provide for the security of the U.S. That includes regions of the world that are of strategic importance to the U.S. and can impact this country's national security.
"The lack of clean water can create conditions that lead to destabilization in regions of the world that are already poor and having problems," he says. "Lack of potable water can result in famine, conflict over resources, and poor governance. Failed and failing states threaten U.S. security because of their potential to harbor terrorist groups."
Examples are instability in the Middle East and Africa - both places where fresh water for both consumption and sanitation is in short supply.
The report expands this theme, saying that "global trends of increasing population, increasing resource consumption, and decreasing natural resource availability - including fresh water - have pushed many human social, economic, and political systems to an important tipping point. We face large-scale future dislocations and crises unless significant action is taken now by leaders in both developed and developing countries."
The white paper included several other findings. They include:
Additional information on the Global Water Futures project, including an electronic version of the white paper, can be found at the CSIS web site (http://water.csis.org).
Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.
Release is available at http://www.sandia.gov/news/resources/releases/2006/waterpol.html
Sandia media contact: Chris Burroughs, firstname.lastname@example.org, (505) 844-0948
Sandia National Laboratories' World Wide Web home page is located at http://www.sandia.gov. Sandia news releases, news tips, science photo gallery, and periodicals can be found at the News Center button.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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