Water experts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are among the key members of a new initiative announced Thursday (March 22) by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that aims to solve water problems around the globe.
The U.S. Water Partnership is a public-private group formed to share U.S. knowledge, leverage and mobilize resources and facilitate cross-sector partnerships to find solutions to global water accessibility challenges, especially in the developing world.
The Water Institute at UNC is a founding member of the partnership. The institute's director is Jamie Bartram, Ph.D., professor of environmental sciences and engineering in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.
The partnership will answer some of the challenges outlined in the Global Water Security Intelligence Community Assessment report, which also was released today by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
The announcement, on World Water Day 2012, also came as UNC officially launched a new two-year, campus-wide academic theme focused on water. The campus theme, "Water in Our World," will focus on key issues including ensuring water is available to and safe for people around the world.
According to a State Department fact sheet, the U.S. Water Partnership will address various water-related challenges by bringing together the public sector, non-government organizations, science institutions and the private sector.
It will serve as a central synthesizer and force multiplier – making information easily accessible, connecting people and resources, and leveraging the assets of partners to offer a range of integrative solutions. It also will build teams to address specific problems; mobilize and field the right combination of experts; provide a central platform for sharing information and for innovating integrative solutions, and in the process create new entrepreneurial opportunities for U.S. businesses to participate in solving worldwide water problems.
For more information about the U.S. Water Partnership, see http://www.state.gov/e/oes/rls/fs/2012/186581.htm and http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2012/03/186613.htm.
For more information about UNC's water theme, see http://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/5180/107/.
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