White House Sounds Off on Water

In a new report, the Obama administration renews calls for innovation in water technology
White House Sounds Off on Water

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Shortly after praising a landmark climate change agreement in Paris, President Barack Obama released a report last month on how to address climate-related challenges faced by the nation's water resources.

According to the report, "water is a common medium through which the impacts of climate change are felt."

The document outlines the impact of climate change on "already-strained" water resources, actions by the Obama administration to address water resource challenges, and a two-part water innovation strategy to accelerate ongoing progress.

"Through research, development and deployment of clean-water technologies, we can improve the efficient use of existing water supplies ... that woud act to increase our overall supply of freshwater," the report states. "Making these technologies at cost, electricity and emissions parity with the average price of municipal water today would open new option for communities and provide reliable supplies even through periods of drought."

Furthermore, the federal government plans to continue to help states, tribes and local communities tackle the challenges of stresses on water supplies by:

  • Enhancing the coordination of data and information needed to strengthen and support policies and decision-making related to drought, water use and water availability; 
  • Communicating targeted information about drought risks, including those specific to critical infrastructures;
  • Assisting state, local and tribal officials in building local capacity for drought preparedness and resilience to improve the effectiveness of drought planning;
  • Enhancing the drought resilience impact of federal programs and investments through improved coordination and integration of federal agency activities;
  • Promoting new investment models and market-based approaches to increase resilience, flexibility and efficiency of water supply systems; and
  • Improving water-use efficiency through research, innovation and international engagement.

As it relates to water infrastructure, the Obama administration says it will "also work to facilitate market mechanisms that enable water management flexibility and create incentives for investment in water efficiency."

Download the full report (PDF)


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