UPI to Host "Newsmaker" Forum on Water-related Illness

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According to the World Health Organization, over one billion people worldwide lack improved water sources, and 2.6 billion people lack improved sanitation. People are forced to consume contaminated water to survive, but then become sick and die from water-borne bacteria. In response to these pressing issues, United Press International will host a "newsmaker" forum entitled Our Water on September 23, 2009, bringing together experts and organizations actively working to solve problems arising from the lack of sustainable, clean water.

On September 23, 2009, United Press International will host Our Water, the first in a series of topic-related forums bringing together experts and decision-makers to discuss a range of pressing global issues. Our Water will include a panel representing people and organizations actively working to solve problems arising from the lack of sustainable, clean water. The event, which will be held from 11am-2pm in downtown Washington, DC, will be open to the public and members of the media.

The lack of clean water has become a developmental and humanitarian crisis. According to the World Health Organization, over one billion people worldwide lack improved water sources, and 2.6 billion people lack improved sanitation. People are forced to consume contaminated water to survive, but then become sick and die from water-borne bacteria. According to water.org, half of the world's hospital beds are occupied with individuals suffering from a preventable water-borne disease.

While the crisis is concentrated in developing countries, the Food and Water Watch reports that 20 percent of all surface water in Europe is also threatened, and that the United States should expect water shortages in 36 states by 2013. This is a crisis that will continue to grow unless collective solutions can be developed.

Many organizations have raised funds to support projects in developing countries, to provide local populations with their most basic human need: water. Researchers have studied water-related illnesses and proposed inexpensive ways to filter contaminated sources.

Participating experts, advocates, and members of the media include Global Water Issues columnists Joe Treaster of the Knight Center, and John Sauer of Water Advocates as well as representatives from organizations such as charity:water, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), George Mason University's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Population Services International (PSI), and the American Public Health Association (APHA).

For more details, including the event press packet and participant list, please refer to the event information page. Keep up to date on the global water crisis by visiting UPI's Global Water Issues feature, and submit your own story on water by visiting UPIU.com.

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Lindsey Gilroy
UPI
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