Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Water for the World Act / Write a letter during Thanksgiving weekend!

Dear friends of safe drinking water and sanitation,

During this time of year when we have so much to be thankful for, we ask for ten minutes of your time over the next few days to encourage the US Congress to support the Water for the World Act. This legislation which has already passed the Senate by unanimous consent will help those without safe drinking water and sanitation around the developing world.

Now, during the lame duck session, is the most important time to contact your member of the House of Representatives to ask him or her to pass the Water for the World Act.

This lifesaving legislation would go a long way toward ending the diseases caused by the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation which constitute the world's largest public health crisis. It would also give the United States an important leadership role in providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene for millions of the world's poorest people.

The ask is simple: customize the draft letter below with your personal story about how water is important to you and/or your organization, put the letter on your letterhead, and fax it to as many members of Congress as possible. *** For those of you in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington (state), please contact John Oldfield at joldfield (at) for additional details. ***

All House offices can be contacted through 202-225-3121, or through We have found that faxing your letter to the office in Washington, DC is most effective at getting the message through.

Thank you all for your assistance with this important piece of legislation. The draft letter that we are asking you to customize and fax to Congress is below.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear [House Member]:

[insert quick personal intro/story about your or your organization’s interest/activity in safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries]

After extensive discussions with policymakers of both parties, the Water for the World Act was passed in the Senate by unanimous consent. The House is now considering whether to bring a streamlined version of the legislation to the Floor. In sum, the Water for the World Act will almost double the effectiveness of the Water for the Poor Act of 2005 -- in terms of lives saved and illness prevented by the availability of clean drinking water and sanitation -- with no additional federal funds. By reformulating and modernizing the way US water aid is focused, the bill will meet the safe drinking water and sanitation needs of 50 million people over the next six years, enhance the capacity of USAID and the State Department to utilize water more effectively and sustainably in their development and diplomacy efforts, leverage an additional 25% in non-federal funds to reach more people, and ensure that our limited aid resources are directed toward the areas of greatest need and greatest impact, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

House passage of the Water for the World Act will complement what I and many other US civic and faith groups, foundations, corporations, and water nonprofits are doing to respond to this vital challenge. If you agree, please contact the House Foreign Affairs Committee to express your support for this bipartisan, level-funded authorization that will enable the United States to improve the health of millions of people -- chiefly women and children -- worldwide, and to stabilize regions threatened by water shortage and disease.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

[personal close]


(your name)

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