Every day, over one billion people face a catastrophic health and economic crisis due to lack of clean water. Waterborne diseases are responsible for nearly 10 million deaths each year, 10,000 child deaths every day and 80% of the developing world's illnesses. Clean water scarcity and contaminated water is spreading rapidly and will continue to do so unless corrective action is taken. The crisis is one of water governance and insufficient financing for clean water supplies and services. The technology and vision exist, yet the funding and unity among global partners is lacking.
But the real tragedy is the effect it has on the everyday lives of poor people -- the billions who are victims of waterborne diseases, struggling to get an education for their children, unable to earn a living or get enough to eat. Bringing clean water within physical and economic reach can make the decisive contribution to saving lives and dramatically improving the health and economic well being of these people. Only through sound humanitarian and economic models and a unified global coalition can we mitigate this human crisis.
Simply stated, the lack of clean water is the leading cause of disease, death, poverty and instability in the developing world. Preventable waterborne diseases are responsible for killing the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets full of people, every day. This translates into a loss of one human life every eight seconds and claims more lives annually than HIV/AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. These are especially horrific statistics when you consider how easily waterborne diseases could be prevented through affordable technology, sustainable financing and good governance. For those who survive, there is little chance for a healthy and productive life.
Current solutions and financing to meet the Millennium Development Goals are inadequate. It would take new water delivery to 325,000 additional people, every day for the next 12 years, at an estimated cost of $180 billion. Investment from corporations, governments and international financing sources is primarily focused on urban water infrastructure. Consequently, the rural poor are severely neglected and forced to scramble for limited NGO and government funds. Unfortunately, the 100% gifting models used by most NGOs are short-term fixes to a long-term problem. The adage, "if you want to feed someone, teach him how to fish," (don't drop a bucket on his doorstep and leave) is painfully at play. Global Water Trust intends to tackle this global health and poverty crisis by dramatically increasing the physical and economic accessibility to clean water. Its result will yield sustainable clean water systems that empower people and enable them to create better, healthier and more productive lives.
Through the construction of co-ops water systems, Global Water Trust and its partners will:
· Bring clean drinking water within physical & economic reach
· Save lives by dramatically reducing preventable waterborne diseases
· Spur economic, entrepreneurial and agricultural development based on the availability of clean water systems and rural irrigation
· Become a financial and infrastructure guarantor by establishing Community Water Trusts
To achieve these goals, Global Water Trust will:
· Co-manage the operation & maintenance of co-ops with communities & NGO partners
· Establish education, sanitation & hygiene programs with NGO partners
· Become the guarantor for the collection & distribution of any fees & payments
· Create short-term & permanent jobs associated with new clean water system
· Establish new markets for products/services resulting from clean water