The prosperity and national security of the United States depend directly on the prosperity and stability of both partner and competing countries around the world. Today, U.S. interests are under rising pressure from water scarcity, extreme weather events and water-driven ecological change in key geographies of strategic interest to the U.S. Those water-driven stresses are undermining economic productivity, weakening governance systems and fraying social cohesion in scores of countries and, in the process, undermining the vitality of rural livelihoods, fostering local and ethnic conflicts, driving broad migratory movements and contributing to the growth of insurgencies and terrorist networks.

While the U.S. intelligence community has steadily expanded natural resource concerns in their global threat analyses, our overseas development assistance remains locked into provision of water and hygienic services rather than responding to the full sweep of global water challenges including governance and policy failures, growing conflicts over water and the need for promoting sustainable transboundary water arrangements in partner countries. A fundamental departure from the past is urgently needed.

Based on 18 case studies, Water, Security and U.S. Foreign Policy provides an analytical framework to help policy makers, scholars and researchers studying the intersection of U.S. foreign policy with the environment and sustainability issues, interpret the impacts of water-driven social disruptions on the stability of partner governments and U.S. interests abroad. The book also delivers specific recommendations to reorient U.S. development and diplomatic engagements that can forestall and prevent social disruptions and ensuing threats to U.S. prosperity and national security.

part I|34 pages

In Search of a Mission

chapter 1|32 pages

In Search of a Mission

ByDavid Reed

part II|271 pages

Water and Social Disruptions

chapter 2|17 pages

Development and Diplomacy

Water, the SDGs, and U.S. Foreign Policy
ByErika Weinthal, Farah F. Hegazi, Lesha B. M. Witmer

chapter 3|20 pages

Climate Variability, Water and Security in El Salvador

ByHerman Rosa

chapter 4|15 pages


Water Security and Social Conflicts within the Context of Climate Change
ByAriel Cuschnir

chapter 5|19 pages

Mexico’s Pursuit of Water Security

ByRomán Gómez González Cosío

chapter 6|18 pages

Who Stole the Water

Water, Security, and U.S. Foreign Policy in Guatemala
ByEduardo Stein, Lilian Marquez

chapter 7|21 pages

Water Stress, Instability, and Violent Extremism in Nigeria

ByMarcus King

chapter 9|21 pages

Iran’s Impending Water Crisis

ByDavid Michel

chapter 10|17 pages

Dammed If You Do and Damned If You Don’t

Afghanistan’s Water Woes
ByGlen Hearns

chapter 11|16 pages

Winter Is Coming

U.S. Strategic Interests and the Water-Energy-Agriculture Conundrum in Central Asia
ByRichard Kyle Paisley

chapter 12|15 pages

The Perils of Denial

Challenges for a Water-Secure Pakistan
ByAli Hasnain Sayed, Chelsea N. Spangler, Muhammad Faizan Usman

chapter 13|16 pages

Water Scarcity and Regional Security in India

ByCecilia Tortajada, Udisha Saklani, Asit K. Biswas

chapter 14|19 pages

Water-Energy Nexus in the Himalayas

ByKeith Schneider

chapter 15|16 pages

A Perfect Storm in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Climate Change Impacts on Food, Water, and Energy
ByArjun Thapan

chapter 16|18 pages

Building Resilience for Peace

Water, Security, and Strategic Interests in Mindanao, Philippines
ByRoger-Mark De Souza

part III|58 pages

Financing Water Infrastructure

chapter 17|15 pages

Helping Weak Water Utilities Climb the Financial Ladder

ByAldo Baietti

chapter 18|18 pages

Financing Water and Sewer Infrastructure in the Developing World

ByWilliam Streeter

chapter 19|21 pages

A New Chapter in Developing Water Infrastructure

ByMarc Jeuland

part IV|36 pages

New Challenges, New Directions

chapter 20|29 pages

Paths of Influence

ByDavid Reed

chapter 21|5 pages

Recommendations for Water, Security and U.S. Foreign Policy

ByDavid Reed