[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – The Water for the World Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, sending the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill is cosponsored by Senators Reid (D-NV), Roberts (R-KS), Cardin (D-MD), Isakson (R-GA), and Leahy (D-VT).
“Access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation 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 long-term threat that is increasingly becoming a national security issue. I hope the Senate can pass this legislation before this problem reaches a devastating tipping point.”
“As a fiscal conservative, I realize the urgent need to dramatically reduce federal spending and be more efficient with our resources – especially as it relates to our limited foreign aid budget. That means better focusing, targeting and coordinating our efforts to achieve results without authorizing more funding, which is exactly what the Water for the World Act does,” Corker said. “A lack of clean water leads to the deaths of 1.8 million people a year – 90 percent of them children. It stifles economic growth, keeps women and girls from going to work and school, and contributes to political unrest that threatens our national security. For many reasons, I believe water is one of the wisest places we can focus our foreign aid.”
The Water for the World Act bill builds on the success of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act by placing clean water in the forefront of America’s development priorities, seeking to reach 100 million people around the world with sustainable first time access to clean water and sanitation within six years of enactment.
Almost one billion people in the world lack access to safe drinking water and two of every five people live without basic sanitation services. Rapid industrialization, climate change, and population and economic growth will continue to put pressure on global water supplies, particularly in developing nations. Such
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