Global Group Seeks to Address Water Supply and Access

A partnership recently has been launched to address the declining state of the world's fresh water supply and the lack of access to clean water services by the world's poorest people.

The Global Water Initiative brings together organizations such as Action Against Hunger, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), The World Conservation Union (IUCN), the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Oxfam America. The initiative will work in 13 countries in Central America, West Africa and East Africa to address the challenges of providing long-term access to clean water and sanitation and access to water for rural production, as well as the protection and sustainable management of ecosystem services and watersheds. The partner organizations will focus on the needs of some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable communities, including refugees.

According to the organization, more than one billion people lack access to improved water sources, and more than 2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation. Water resources are under increasing pressure from human use while communities are frequently affected by floods and droughts.

Projects will deliver water and sanitation in rural communities. The projects at local and national levels will help catalyze change toward better integrated management of water resources.

The projects could include:

  • training micro-watershed committees on risk management issues,
  • constructing and improving the water and sanitation infrastructure in community schools,
  • rehabilitating water harvesting ponds,
  • raising awareness of the opportunities for multiple water use, and
  • offering leadership training to women.

The initiative will seek to demonstrate practical approaches to achieving integrated water resource management, supporting responsible water policy, addressing water conflict resolution and reducing water related risks.

For more information on the initiative, contact the IUCN at http://www.iucn.org.

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