On the recent World Water Day, leaders of U.S. environmental groups announced initiatives that give environmental, religious, and civic communities new opportunities to prevent sickness and death related to unsafe drinking water and inadequate sanitation in developing countries. These include new funding initiatives, new coalitions and expanded media advocacy to help people understand the problem and enable more action.
Melanie Nakagawa, a representative of the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) claimed that lack of access to safe water and sanitation is the most poorly addressed environmental problem of the day. Ron Denham of Rotary International—a supporter of clean water and sanitation projects—spoke about the launch of the Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group. The goal of this group is to provide information, support and encouragement to Rotarians and Rotary clubs everywhere to take active roles in projects and programs to develop safe water and sanitation as a means of promoting health and alleviating hunger.
Both organizations support the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, which makes safe access to drinking water an sanitation in developing countries a specific U.S. policy.