For immediate release: Laura Lefler Herzog, 202-224-3467
November 12, 2009


Senator Corker, Jars of Clay, Nashville Music Community Lead Efforts to Deliver Clean Water to the World

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Bob Corker, R-Tenn., second-ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, will hold an event at Belmont University on Monday, November 23 to highlight efforts to give millions around the world access to clean water and improved sanitation. Corker and Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Illinois, are sponsors of the Water for the World Act, S. 624, which sets a goal of reaching 100 million people with first-time, sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015. (See more on the bill below.)

Corker will be joined by Dr. Bob Fisher, President of Belmont University, as well as:

Jars of Clay, the Grammy award winning band which has launched Blood:Water Mission, a non-profit organization promoting clean blood and water in Africa.

Dave Barnes, a Nashville singer/songwriter involved with Mocha Club, an on-line community of people giving up the cost of two mochas a month - or $7 - to fund relief and development projects in Africa, including clean water.

Bill Hearn, the President and CEO of EMI Christian Music Group involved with Healing Waters International, a non-profit organization working to reduce water-related illness and death in developing countries.

WHO: U.S. SENATOR BOB CORKER, member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee
DR. BOB FISHER, President of Belmont University
JARS OF CLAY, Grammy award winning band who has launched Blood:Water Mission
DAVE BARNES, Nashville singer/songwriter involved with Mocha Club
BILL HEARN, President/CEO of EMI Christian Music Group involved with Healing Waters

WHAT: Water for the World Event
WHEN: Monday, November 23 at 10:30 a.m. CT
WHERE: Belmont University, lobby of the Gordon E. Inman Center

RSVP: Members of the media with questions and interest in attending the event should contact Laura Herzog at [email protected] or 202-224-3467.

All other individuals and organizations interested in attending should RSVP to Hallie Williams at [email protected] or 202-228-5515 by Friday, Nov. 20.

The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009, S.624

Sponsored by U.S. Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Ten years ago the late Senator Paul Simon wrote the book "Tapped Out," which warned of the world's looming clean water crisis. His call for greater U.S. leadership on this issue led to the passage of the Water for the Poor Act of 2005, which has given millions of people access to clean water and improved sanitation. Yet our impact could be much greater.

Today almost 1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and two of every five people do not have access to basic sanitation. These conditions contribute to nearly 10 percent of the world's disease.

Each year 1.8 million people-90 percent of them children under the age of five-die from preventable diarrheal diseases. Diarrheal diseases and related malnutrition account for virtually all of the deaths and nearly 90 percent of the overall disease burden associated with unsafe water supply, sanitation, and hygiene.

Water scarcity hinders economic growth, limits the opportunities of women and girls to work or go to school, and has contributed to political unrest in Sudan and elsewhere. Water and poverty are inextricably linked.

According to the United Nations Development Program, every $1 invested in safe drinking water and sanitation produces an $8 return in costs averted and productivity gained. Water is the right place to invest in these difficult economic times.

In fiscal year 2007, the U.S. obligated more than $900 million for water- and sanitation-related activities in developing countries. As a result, millions of people gained improved access to safe drinking water and sanitation, water resources are being managed more wisely and productively, and many communities are enjoying greater water security. In addition, nearly 2 million people gained first-time access to an improved water source, and more than 1.5 million gained first-time access to basic sanitation. We can do more.

To strengthen U.S. leadership on this critical issue, U.S. Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Richard Durbin, D-Ill., have introduced the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009, S.624, which sets a goal of reaching 100 million people with first-time, sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation by 2015.

The bill implements recommendations made by the Center for Strategic & International Studies in their recently released report, "Global Water Futures." The bill would expand safe water and sanitation efforts in priority countries, promote research and technology development, and improve training and technical assistance to help meet the water needs of the world's poor. It would also increase capacity and sharpens the focus at USAID and the U.S. state department to implement these activities.

Corker and Durbin introduced the Water for the World Act on March 17, 2009 and it has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Specifically, the bill would:
-Establish an Office of Water within USAID,
-Establish the Bureau of International Water under the Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs,
-Require a revisit of or the development of a strategy to meet water security goals,
-Establish a water and sanitation managers program in every priority country to train local leaders in best practices,
-Provide grants for low cost and sustainable technologies suitable for high priority countries, and
-Require an assessment of current and future political tensions over water resources and the expected impacts of climate change on water accessibility.


Todd Womack
Chief of Staff
U. S. Senator Bob Corker