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In recognition of World Plumbing Day, the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) has announced a new partnership with Uponor North America that will help address critical water and sanitation inequities in the United States.
Today, more than 2 million Americans live without running water and basic indoor plumbing, and many more without access to safe sanitation. Recent studies have highlighted the fact that historically marginalized communities face the greatest challenges across the United States. Families on the Navajo Nation drive for hours to haul barrels of water to meet their basic needs. In the Central Valley of California, residents fill bottles at public taps because their water at home is not safe to drink. In West Virginia, people drink from polluted streams. In Alabama, parents warn their children not to play outside because their yards are flooded with sewage. These issues have only been compounded by the current public health crisis and are an important reminder of the role proper hygiene plays in stopping the spread of diseases.
"We are facing a watershed moment in the United States," IWSH Managing Director Seán Kearney said. "There is growing recognition of the negative public health and economic impacts experienced by communities who have long been neglected or denied basic water and sanitation services. We are grateful for Uponor's partnership and willingness to rethink the challenges faced by these communities so that we can continually improve how we work, and our projects can be deployed more effectively."
Through this partnership, Uponor is contributing to IWSH's initiatives that address critical water issues faced by marginalized communities in the United States. These initiatives include the deployment of hand-washing stations in Native American communities, the installation of innovative decentralized waste systems in Alabama, and providing solutions to water-quality issues in small, disadvantaged communities in Texas.
Uponor's support for 2021 will include both monetary and in-kind contributions toward IWSH's mission, which is to ensure that as many people as possible have access to clean, safe water and plumbing systems.
"When it comes to drinking water, too many people in our country have been left behind," said Bill Gray, president of Uponor North America. "Our partnership with IWSH highlights the valuable role that skilled plumbing tradespeople and quality products play in delivering life-changing water and sanitation solutions that last. We look forward to being part of rebuilding confidence in these communities and helping to shape their futures positively."
IWSH and Uponor's relationship originated via the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA), an international trade association dedicated to increasing the use of radiant heating and cooling technologies through education and the development of codes and standards language reflecting best practices.