U.S. Embassy Launches Ambassador’s Water Experts Program for the First Time in Azerbaijan
The U.S. Department of the Interior, in partnership with U.S. Embassy in Baku, hosted the first of four sessions for the Ambassador’s Water Experts Program. The series of virtual events focused on specific issues concerning water quality, water supply forecasting, river flow forecasting, and water conservation approaches and included experts from Azerbaijani government institutions. The first session was led by U.S. Bureau of Reclamation experts Avra Morgan, Kevin Thielen, and Marketa McGuire and focused on encouraging the management and protection of freshwater resources and water management capacities.
The United States is working with partners in Azerbaijan to supply information about sustainable water management. The Ambassador’s Water Experts Program is an integral part of the U.S. President’s Global Water Strategy and provides technical assistance for water security, encourages sustainable infrastructure and services, and promotes science, technology, and information.
“Sustainable water management is a shared challenge with solutions that can be improved through education, innovation, and greater international collaboration. The Ambassador’s Water Experts Program serves as a first, but elemental drop to fill this need,” said Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Hugo Guevara.
Improved water access means more than just less time spent transporting and boiling water. Each year, 3.4 million people die from waterborne illnesses. And an estimated 2.2 billion people, roughly one-third of the world’s population, lack access to safe drinking water according to the World Health Organization.
The mission of the Bureau of Reclamation is to manage, develop, and protect water and related resources in an environmentally and economically sound manner in the interest of the American public. Established in 1902, the Bureau of Reclamation is best known for the dams, powerplants, and canals it constructed in the 17 western states. It is the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier, operating 338 reservoirs with a total storage capacity of 140 million acre-feet (an acre-foot, 325,851 gallons of water, supplies enough water for a family of four for one year).