Raising awareness of global drinking water crisis

September 26, 2006

WASHINGTON -- The Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences today announced that it received a $636,900 grant from Kenneth E. Behring, founder of the Global Health and Education Foundation, to develop a web-based resource to inform decision makers around the world about the importance of safe drinking water -- and what they can do to meet this need.

"Safe water is essential for health, yet remains one of the most critical problems facing the world today," said Behring. "One out of every five people lacks access to clean drinking water. We must create innovative, sustainable approaches that can make a significant impact on the world's water crisis."

The grant will enable the Koshland Science Museum, in cooperation with the National Academies' Water Science and Technology Board and the Office of International Programs, to create a virtual, multimedia exhibit to examine the need for safe drinking water around the world. The exhibit, titled SAFE DRINKING WATER IS ESSENTIAL, will be aimed at an international audience and will survey the range of solutions and technologies available to increase the quality and quantity of drinkable water worldwide. It is expected to be released in 2007 and will be available on the Internet, as well as on CD.

"The National Academy of Sciences is committed to ensuring respectful stewardship of the world's water supply," said NAS President Ralph J. Cicerone. "Through the generous support of Kenneth Behring and the Global Health and Education Foundation, we will be able to increase awareness of the importance of safe drinking water."

"We have the ability to eliminate water-related death and disability," Behring added. "The technology is available, and the scientific evidence is overwhelming. We have the leadership. The time to act is now."
-end-
Maureen O'Leary Office of News and Public Information The National Academies 202-334-2138; e-mail news@nas.edu

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES

Since 1863, the nation's leaders have turned to the National Academies for advice on the scientific and technological issues that frequently pervade policy decisions. The National Academy of Sciences, an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, is dedicated to furthering science and technology for the general welfare. Visit national-academies.org for more information. For information on the Water Science and Technology Board, visit www.dels.nas.edu/wstb. For information on the Office of International Programs, please visit www.nap.edu/gateway/pga.

MARIAN KOSHLAND SCIENCE MUSEUM

The Marian Koshland Science Museum presents the complexities of science in an engaging and accessible way to the general public through interactive, state-of-the-art exhibits. The museum explores current scientific issues at the core of many of the nation's public policy decisions, as presented in reports by the National Academies. For more information, please visit www.koshland-science.org.

GLOBAL HEALTH AND EDUCATION FOUNDATION

The Global Health and Education Foundation strives to advance the health, education, social, and economic well-being of people around the world by advocating for improved access to clean water, public health and primary care, basic education, social, and economic development opportunities. Global Health and Education Foundation's inaugural operating foundation, WaterLeaders, is dedicated to alleviating the safe drinking water crisis. For more information, please visit www.waterleaders.org.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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