Water quality is essential for the health of this planet and its people. Contaminated water and poor sanitation threaten the health of billions of people world-wide, yet the solutions to clean, quality drinking water are available. Investment in water and sanitation pays off -- every $1 spent results in an estimated $3-34 benefit in time savings, productivity, and reduced health care costs. Tell your representatives to support investment in clean water for a healthy world.
* at least $500 million for sustainable safe water and sanitation to continue to implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act (P.L. 109-121). To accommodate increases for water and sanitation, a corresponding increase in the overall Development Assistance account is necessary.
* at least $1 billion in funding for Maternal and Child Health Account
Together, this funding supports life-saving water, sanitation, and hygiene programs and child survival programs for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children worldwide.
Water-related diseases are responsible for 80% of all illnesses and deaths in the developing world. Diarrhea alone -- directly caused by dirty drinking water or unsanitary conditions -- claims the life of a child every 15 seconds.
Yet, simple and cost-effective solutions exist, which can dramatically reduce the number of needless deaths each year. Investments in water quality and quantity can reduce childhood deaths from diarrhea by 15-20%, better hygiene like washing hands and handling food safely reduces deaths by 35%, and improved sanitation reduces deaths by 40%.
With your leadership on these issues, we can dramatically decrease both child mortality and the long-term physical and cognitive problems caused by the most common and deadly childhood illnesses.