Secretary Haaland Highlights Collaborative Conservation in the Face of the Climate Crisis at United Nations 2023 Water Conference

Last edited 03/22/2023

Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2023


NEW YORK — Today on World Water Day, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland delivered the national statement on behalf of the United States at the United Nations 2023 Water Conference in New York City. Secretary Haaland and Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Representative of the United States to the United Nations, served as the Heads of Delegation to the conference.

In the national statement, Secretary Haaland emphasized the Biden-Harris administration’s all-of-government approach to effectively secure equitable, climate-resilient water and sanitation at home and abroad. This work is guided by the White House Action Plan on Global Security and the U.S. Global Water Strategy, both of which prioritize strengthening local and global systems to meet the needs of underserved populations.

The Department of the Interior is providing over $12 billion for water infrastructure projects over five years through funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to advance drought resilience and expand access to clean, reliable water for families, farmers and wildlife. These projects are boosting innovative water purification and storage projects, supporting Tribal dams and sanitation systems, and restoring watersheds and aquatic habitats. The Department has also committed $2.5 billion over five years to fulfill Indian Water Rights Settlements, which will provide Tribes with long-sought resources to improve water resources management through settlements approved by the U.S. Congress.

The Department also works with the Department of State, USAID, and other federal agencies to support global water security, providing technical assistance on a range of water resource issues through the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey, and other bureaus and offices.

Secretary Haaland participated in a number of side events at the conference. She spoke during an event focused on how new collaboration models can unlock and achieve water resiliency for the benefit of communities, ecosystems and economies. She also delivered remarks on Indigenous governance of shared waters and the importance of leveraging Indigenous-led conservation and co-stewardship partnerships as we work to address the climate and drought crises.

Additional Biden-Harris administration leaders participating in the Conference included White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory, U.S. Agency for International Development Deputy Administrator Isobel Coleman, Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for the Office of Water Radhika Fox, U.S. Commissioner of the International Boundary and Water Commission Maria-Elena Giner, U.S. Representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture Ambassador Cindy McCain, U.S. Special Envoy for Biodiversity and Water Resources and Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Monica Medina, Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science and Innovation Geraldine Richmond, and Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Water and Science Tanya Trujillo.

Assistant Secretary Trujillo participated in events during the Water Conference to highlight the importance of elevating critical voices in water diplomacy, transforming water scarcity into prosperity pathways, and managing economies for uncertainty and change alliance for global water adaptation.


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