Today is World Water Day, a day to recognize the importance of water justice in all of our lives, and to take action to ensure every single person has access to safe, affordable public water.
This year’s theme for World Water Day is ‘accelerating change,’ and I can’t think of a better description for what you, our allies, and the campaign organizers on our water campaign do every single day. Together, we stop corporations from exploiting our communities by privatizing water systems and making a profit off of something we all need to survive. We push for legislation and public solutions that advance the human right to water. And we expose the real-life harms and abuses that happen when the private water industry is allowed to treat water like a commodity.
This World Water Day, your support is enabling our allies in the Our Water Our Right Africa Coalition to hold actions in countries across the continent promoting public, accessible, safe, and affordable water for everyone. The coalition is building power through community grassroots engagement, exposing the failures of privatization in the media, and bringing our collective demands directly to the decision-makers who have the power to do the right thing. You may remember that last year, our Giving Tuesday campaign highlighted the incredible work of the Our Water, Our Right Africa Coalition and dedicated half of the funds raised to our partners in it. That funding is helping make this continent-wide day of action possible.
But that’s just a piece of what’s happening today. Here in the U.S., congressional champions will reintroduce the WATER Act, a bill that would provide much-needed investment in our public water systems and help ensure clean, safe, and affordable water for all.
Safe water is a human right. Yet since the late 1970s, the federal government has dramatically reduced its funding for water infrastructure upgrades, putting the health of entire communities in danger. We’ve taken an important step in reversing this trend with the passage of the landmark Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in 2021, which invests over $50 billion in water and wastewater infrastructure. While this investment moves us in the right direction, it falls short of the federal support and funding needed to fully upgrade our nation’s aging public water infrastructure.
The WATER Act provides a long-term, sustainable source of funding for safe and clean water, and prioritizes investments for public systems, not corporate coffers. It also provides funding so that states, localities, and households can take real action to get pollutants and toxic substances out of drinking water.
The WATER Act will help provide affordable and clean water for all, create the potential for nearly 1 million jobs, prevent further water tragedies, and ensure that our public water infrastructure is funded for future generations.
Happy World Water Day!