Global Water Futures

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Global Water Futures is a project of Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a think tank based in Washington, D.C.

Global Water Futures was launched in 2004, as a project of CSIS's Global Strategy Institute. The goal of the project, according to the CSIS website, is to study how to examine how the interrelated issues of water scarcity, inaccessibility, disease, population growth and global climate change "affect economic growth, human development, and peace and stability." The project initially worked with Sandia National Laboratories, to determine how U.S. policy should address international water issues and how to better deploy water technologies. The project's second phase is developing "policy recommendations for the creation of a comprehensive, integrated U.S. government approach to international water issues," according to the CSIS website. [1]

Corporate involvement

A March 2009 Global Water Futures report -- co-authored by E. Neville Isdell of the Coca-Cola Company and former Senate majority leader Bill Frist -- illustrates the project's emphasis on the involvement of private companies in water issues. "Targeting water as a priority instrument of Washington's engagement with the rest of the world ... would allow important commercial opportunities for U.S.-domiciled corporations working in water-related technologies and processes. ... Public/private partnerships are excellent ways to harness existing networks to deploy new technologies to the field. The business community in particular can have a profound impact on the water agenda." [2]

Signatories to the water policy "action steps" at the end of the March 2009 Global Water Futures report include William J. Berter of the Water Environment Federation; Jonathan Greenblatt of Starbucks Coffee Company and Ethos Water, a Starbucks bottled water brand that uses corporate social responsibility-related marketing; Steven R. Loranger of ITT Corporation; Heiner Markhoff of GE Water & Process Technologies; Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo; Carter Roberts of World Wildlife Fund; and Christine Todd Whitman of the Whitman Strategy Group, Water Policy Institute and Nuclear Energy Institute's Clean and Safe Energy Coalition. [2]

A February 2005 "Global Water Futures workshop" organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and Sandia National Laboratories was sponsored by ITT Industries, Coca-Cola and Proctor & Gamble. [3]

Sandia, CSIS's initial partner in Global Water Futures, is a government-owned/contractor operated facility managed by military contractor Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. [4] Sandia Geohydrology Department manager Ray Finley described Sandia's involvement by saying, "The lack of clean water can create conditions that lead to destabilization in regions of the world that are already poor and having problems. ... 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." [5]


As of March 2009: [6]

  • Erik R. Peterson - Senior vice president and director of the Global Water Futures Project
  • Rachel Posner - Assistant director of the Global Water Futures Project

Other contributors to Global Water Futures reports include E. Neville Isdell, the Chair of the Coca-Cola Company, and former U.S. Senate majority leader William H. Frist. [6]


Canadian activist Maude Barlow has been critical of Global Water Futures. The project "calls for closer innovation and cooperation between governments and the private sector and 'redoubled' efforts to mobilize public-private partnerships in the development of technological solutions," she wrote in 2008. [7]

Contact information

Rachel Posner
Assistant Director, Global Water Futures Project
Center for Strategic and International Studies
1800 K Street, NW
Washington DC, 20006

Phone: 202-775-3296

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. "Global Water Futures," CSIS website, accessed May 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 William H. Frist, E. Neville Isdell, Erik R. Peterson and Rachel Posner, "Declaration on U.S. Policy and the Global Challenge of Water: A Report of the CSIS Global Water Futures Project," Center for Strategic and International Studies, March 17, 2009.
  3. "Center for Strategic and International Studies and Sandia National Laboratories - Workshop One: United States Policy Innovation," February 8-9, 2005, Federal News Service transcript of the "Global Water Futures workshop."
  4. "About," Sandia National Laboratories website, accessed May 2009.
  5. "Sandia National Laboratories details recent developments," Pharma Investments, Ventures & Law Weekly, June 24, 2007.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Publications: Declaration on U.S. Policy and the Global Challenge of Water," CSIS website, accessed May 2009.
  7. Maude Barlow, "The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water," Foreign Policy in Focus, February 25, 2008.

External resources

External articles