Vice President Kamala Harris said wars will be fought over water in the near future while visiting a vaccination site in Chicago on Tuesday.

“I’m in a lot of meetings on foreign policy. You know for years and generations wars have been fought over oil. In a short matter of time, they will be fought over water,” Harris said.  The vice president said a focus on water infrastructure in President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill will not only sustain life, but also strengthen the U.S.

Biden introduced the $2 trillion infrastructure bill, titled the American Jobs Plan, while he was in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 31. The bill includes $17 billion towards ferries, inland waterways, ports and plans to replace every lead pipe and service line in the U.S., according to a White House Fact Sheet.

“The jobs to build up the water infrastructure that I was looking at yesterday, that’s plumbers, that’s pipe fitters, that’s electricians. That’s who’s gonna build back up our infrastructure,” Harris said. “We need to construct places where we capture water, where we store water.”


Harris’ reference to water as a precious global commodity reflects U.N. data on growing resource scarcity worldwide. It is estimated that more than 700 million people could be displaced by heightened water scarcity by 2030, according to the U.N.

“It [infrastructure plan] will sustain life. And it’s about strengthening up our nation around a commodity that is a precious commodity,” Harris said. At least 2 million Americans lack running water and basic plumbing, The Guardian reported.

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