United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United States of America

March 1, 2005 Aaron Salzberg, Senior Advisor, U.S. Statement Water (Morning Plenary)
During CSD-13 Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting for the 13th Session of the UN
Commission on Sustainable Development
Mr. Chairman, without prejudice to the internationally agreed goals on water and
sanitation, the U.S. has a number of policy options related to the themes of this session
that we would like to put forward. These include policy options to:
· Increase the priority of water, sanitation and hygiene issues;
· Promote full cost recovery and financial self-sufficiency;
· Encourage public-private partnerships;
· Support small scale service providers; and
· Promote integrated water resources management.
With the chair?s permission, rather than go through all the policy options, I would like
to focus on just a few and pass the rest to the chair as a short bulleted list at the
conclusion of this plenary session. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
The first set of policy options relates to the chair?s request for us to focus some
attention on integrated water resources management (IWRM). We would like to put
forward three policy options on IWRM:
· The first policy option ? and we heard a similar thought from Mauritania - is to
establish governmental mechanisms for coordination among ministries and
local entities with responsibility relating to water.
· The second policy option is to strengthen the capacity of, and provide
budgetary support to basin organizations ? in country and among countries ?
for joint management of shared water resources.
· The third is to develop inter-sectoral planning process that engage affected
stakeholders and take into account social, economic and environmental
needs. We will put these forward to the chair in writing along with case studies
from the Mississippi River Basin Initiative and the Tennessee Valley Authority
that demonstrate some of these options.
The two additional policy options I would like to highlight relate to safe water. The
first policy option is, as an interim solution, support point-of-use household water
treatment to provide safe drinking water from unsafe and/or unimproved water
sources. Now, we recognize that household disinfection is not a permanent solution. In
the long term, to provide safe water we need to look more broadly. This brings me to the
second policy option related to safe water. The option is to develop and implement
water safety plans to ensure safe water supplies.
I realize that ?water safety plans? is a new term for many of you. These plans are
health based risk assessments that identify vulnerabilities in water supply systems from
the catchment to the consumer. Managers of water systems ? at any level ? can use these
plans to ensure safe drinking water supplies and set priority actions and investments by
determining the most cost-effective solutions to reduce risks to human health caused by
vulnerabilities that exist within that system. By mapping the water supply system and by
identifying the vulnerabilities that exist within that system and in source water,
governments, communities and water service providers can make better decisions and do
a better job at ensuring safe water supplies. Our written contribution will contain a case
study demonstrating how this has been carried out in Uganda.
We believe these are proven approaches that we can scale up to make real progress
towards the goals.