Thursday, July 09, 2009

Water for the World Act of 2009

Senators Dick Durbin, Patty Murray and Bob Corker introduced the Water for the World Act of 2009 (S. 624) that will enable 100 million people to gain access to safe, clean drinking water and sanitation by 2015.

“Access to safe drinking water is a right that everyone in the world ought to enjoy but too few are able to realize,” Durbin said. “Water access is no longer simply a global health and development issue; it is a mortal and long-term threat that is increasingly becoming a national security issue. The United States needs to do much more to ensure that global water access is protected and expanded.”

Approximately one billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and two out of every five people live without basic sanitation services. Pressure on global water supplies, particularly in developing nations, will continue as global warming, rapid industrialization and population and economic growth rise.

The need to combat the global water crises is important because water issues contribute to regional tensions, global health, child and maternal mortality and economic growth.

To goal of the bill would:

  • Target underdeveloped countries with focused initiatives to improve access to clean water and sanitation;
  • Foster global cooperation on research and technology development, including regional partnerships among experts on clean water;
  • Provide technical assistance and capacity-building to develop expertise within countries facing water and sanitation challenges;
  • Provide seed money for the deployment of clean water and sanitation technologies; and
  • Strengthen the human infrastructure at USAID and the State Department to implement clean water and sanitation programs effectively and to ensure that water receives priority attention in our foreign policy efforts.
-- Jaimie Hwang

Read Full Bill Here.