The American Water Works Association (AWWA) pledged last week to work with Secretary of State Madeline Albright to implement better water use and water management practices around the world.
In recognition of Earth Day, Albright recently proposed forming a global water alliance to combat the world''s safe drinking water shortage, responsible for the deaths of 14,000 people every day.
"For years, AWWA has invested time, energy and money in efforts to improve the world''s access to safe drinking water," said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive. "AWWA looks forward to sharing its experiences and counsel with the State Department and the United Nations as the Secretary''s proposal is developed."
To help combat the water shortages billion of people face around the world, AWWA founded Water for People in 1991.
Water for People works with local partners in more than 37 countries to provide funding and technical assistance to support safe drinking water projects, sanitation facilities and health and hygiene education in communities lacking these services.
Currently, Water for People has over 350 projects ongoing around the world, including nations in Africa where only half of the people have access to clean, safe drinking water.
AWWA is now beginning to parlay its experiences with Water for People into the work of the newly formed Water Associations Worldwide, an international collaboration of 10 associations and institutions dedicated to promoting clean water and sanitation.
Water Associations Worldwide represents more than 320,000 water professionals across five continents and could provide the framework for the global alliance Albright has endorsed.
by Virginia Sutcliffe