Urge Congress to help bring clean drinking water to the world's neediest children


More than one billion people around the world are without access to safe drinking water, and 2.6 billion are without basic sanitation. Each day 5,000 children die from water-borne diseases stemming from lack of safe water and adequate sanitation. While this picture of immense human suffering is almost beyond comprehension, cost-effective solutions are available right now.

Investments in drinking water and sanitation are among the most effective measures that can be taken to reduce disease and death, especially in children. Public health experts in developed nations attribute more lives saved over the past 150 years to the provision of clean drinking water than to any other medical or health advance, bar none. With enough political will, similar gains can be realized in developing nations: for a few pennies per life saved, simple sanitation improvements and existing, off-the-shelf water treatment and delivery technologies can rescue millions of children from misery or death from water-borne disease.

In 2005 Congress passed and President Bush signed the "Water for the Poor Act," which recognizes the global water crisis and the need for greater American involvement in solving it, and directs the U.S. government to develop a strategy to provide safe water and sanitation to the countries in greatest need as a cornerstone of our foreign aid efforts. While the goals of the act are commendable, Congress has yet to appropriate any funds to implement them. Senators and representatives will soon be drafting spending bills for the next fiscal year, so this is their opportunity to finally direct funds to be spent for this vital program.

== What to do ==
Send a message urging your senators and representative to include funding for the "Water for the Poor Act" in the FY08 foreign operations appropriations bill.

== Contact information ==
You can send a message to your senators and representative directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at //www.nrdc.org/action/ If you prefer to call, the Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

Tell Congress not to let polluters weaken the Clean Water Act

Since the Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972, we have made great progress in cleaning up our nation's waters. But polluters have tried repeatedly to use the courts to cut back on the law's protections, and last year their efforts paid off when a Supreme Court decision left significant doubt about what kinds of water bodies remain protected by the Clean Water Act.

Now a number of small streams and other waters are in legal limbo. This uncertainty is enormously dangerous -- 20 million acres of wetlands and nearly two million miles of streams are at risk of pollution or destruction if they lose their Clean Water Act protections. In response, concerned members of the House and Senate will soon introduce the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act to thwart polluters' attacks by specifying the kinds of waters that the law must cover.

Americans need these water bodies to be protected -- the small and seasonal creeks, brooks and streams that make up over half the river miles outside of Alaska contribute to the drinking water of roughly 111 million people. In addition, wetlands purify water, reduce the risk of flooding and provide important wildlife habitat.

== What to do ==
Send a message urging your senators and representative to co-sponsor the Clean Water Authority Restoration Act.

== Contact information ==
You can send a message to your senators and representative directly from NRDC's Earth Action Center at //www.nrdc.org/action/ If you prefer to call, the Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

About NRDC
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a nonprofit environmental organization with 1.2 million members and online activists, and a staff of scientists, attorneys and environmental experts. Our mission is to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and ensure a safe and healthy environment for all living things.

For more information about NRDC or how to become a member of NRDC, please contact us at:

Natural Resources Defense Council
40 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011
212-727-4511 (voice) / 212-727-1773 (fax)
Email: nrdcaction@nrdc.org


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