Response to Inside Philanthropy article published on October 11, 2017: “Water Systems Are in Crisis. How Can Funders Help?”

Your recent article, “Water Systems Are in Crisis. How Can Funders Help?” highlighted many of today’s most pressing water issues. Ensuring that all people have access to safe and affordable water and wastewater systems is perhaps the single largest issue we face today.  Water access and safety is commonly considered a developing country problem, but that misses the reality that thousands of places in the United States struggle with similar challenges.

Consider: the average age of a water pipe in the US is 47 years. Last year alone 1.7 trillion gallons of water escaped from those pipes – depleting natural resources and placing unnecessary economic burdens on small communities. Every day, six billion gallons of treated drinking water are lost in the US alone, an amount sufficient to support 15 million households. Continue Reading

Who Will Make the Change? You will.

  I sat in a big room with glass walls on Pennsylvania Avenue with the U.S. Capital Building at one end and the White House at the other. I was at the Aspen Institute’s State of Race Symposium as a social media ambassador. When the first panel began what came to my mind were the people I met while visiting CU’s community sustainability teams. People of all of races, ages, and walks of life. What brought them together was the same thing that brought all the people in DC together, a desire to create a better community. The people that volunteer for the community sustainability teams will probably never be well known for their efforts to build bridges to overcome issues like racism and poverty. But what the panelist in the big glass room did understand is, it isn't necessarily going to be them, or the organizations that they worked for, or the organizations that they'd created that will make the lasting change. They know that it will take people just like those in Dumas, DeWitt, and Newport that are intentionally talking to people that might not usually talk to, brought together by the common goal of making a better life for their families in vibrant, thriving communities that will truly create change.

Town of Millport, AL

Millport Water Works serves the rural community of the Town of Millport which is located in Lamar County in West Alabama.

City of Patton Village, TX

The City of Patton Village, Texas just outside of Houston has been actively pursuing the financing and construction of a wastewater system since 1999.

Town of Mound Bayou, MS

Mound Bayou is a small Mississippi Delta community incorporated in 1898, located in Bolivar County with a population of approximately 1,500. The community owns and operates its own wastewater system serving 200 homes, numerous businesses, 2 public schools and 2 hospitals. CU was contacted by the community to perform an assessment of their wastewater system as part of their Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application.