The News: Amazon and Water.org launch the Water and Climate Fund, a partnership focused on climate-resilient water and sanitation solutions that give access to clean water to 100 million people across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. To kick start the fund, Amazon will donate $10 million, bringing water access to one million people by 2025. Read the full announcement from Amazon.
Amazon and Water.org Launch Water and Climate Fund
Analyst Take: As the overall temperature across the globe continues to increase, more people are facing problems with their water supply both abroad and here in the United States. People in impoverished areas are especially hit hard because they often lack access to reliable water, lack the funds for sanitations systems, and struggle to navigate droughts, and changing weather.
While we tend to hear a lot about the water scarcity problems that people in the United States face, we don’t hear much about the issues that people in other parts of the world face. Water.org, founded by Matt Damon and Gary White in 2009, has been on a mission to bring clean water and sanitation solutions to those in need. According to their website, 771 million people — 1 in 10 in the world— lack access to safe water and 1.7 billion — 1 in 4 people in the world — don’t have access to a toilet. It’s also predicted that 50 percent of the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas by 2025. Those are huge numbers.
The Water and Climate Fund builds on Amazon’s existing partnership with Water.org. The e-commerce giant and non-profit have been working together since 2020 to bring clean water to 250,000 people in India and Indonesia.
The partnership will fund projects including water loss reduction, building water reuse infrastructure, and wastewater treatment plants. The initial investment will provide 3 billion liters of water per year.
Water is key to helping people around the world get out of poverty and we are pleased to see such a large investment from Amazon. We only hope that more companies will follow suit.
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Shelly Kramer: With that, we are going to continue our conversation about news coming out of Climate Week with a partnership. I know Amazon announced a partnership with Water.org to provide safe water to a hundred million people. Tell us about it.
Lauren Kirkpatrick: Yes. For the first part of the week, Amazon announced the partnership with Water.org to launch the Water & Climate Fund, which is focused on climate resilient water and sanitation solutions that will give access to clean drinking water to a hundred million people across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. And to kickstart the fund, Amazon is donating $10 million, which will directly empower one million people with water access by 2025. And with that $10 million will provide three billion liters of water per year in areas facing water scarcity. Other projects that 10 million will cover will include water reuse infrastructure, waste water treatment plants, and water loss reduction.
Shelly Kramer: That’s really cool.
Lauren Kirkpatrick: And this is so important because as the overall temperature increases across the globe, more people are facing problems with their water supply. I mean, especially people in impoverished areas because they often lack access to reliable water. They lack the funds for sanitation systems and are struggling to navigate droughts, shifting precipitation patterns, and then of course the impacts of other weather disasters.
Shelly Kramer: I think that so many of us take water and clean water for granted. And yet here in the United States, we have Flint, Michigan. We have Jackson, Mississippi. We have the Colorado River drying up. We have serious drought problems in the West. We have California mandating how often and how much you can water your yards. And I read a really interesting article today about the water situation here in the US, which is different than it is in developing countries. And with all of our problems, we still have a much better lie than a lot of these countries have. But one of the things that this article was talking about was almond production. And actually the biggest use of water, for instance, in the state of California is not humans. It’s agriculture.
And so then when you start thinking about what are we going to do? How are we going to… The supply of almonds, which a lot of… I mean, that’s a really big market. Uses so much water, it’s incredible. Actually, there was a great episode of Goliath, or a season of Goliath, Billy Bob Thornton’s Amazon Prime series, and it’s been out for a few years. But that whole episode of that show focuses on California and almond ranchers. And it’s really a fascinating… I feel like I know so much about the almond production industry basically because I watched that series. But the reality of it is, it is a huge problem. It is a huge problem in developing countries. And so this is really great. This will make a big difference.
Lauren Kirkpatrick: Yeah. And to continue on that, I think one of the things here in the United States, we hear a lot about our own water issues, like you said, but we don’t often hear about the water issues that people around the world are facing. I went to Water.org, which is Matt Damon’s nonprofit. I went to their website today and read some statistics, which were actually really shocking to me. 771 million people, which is one in 10 people, lack access to safe water in their home. And 1.7 billion people, which is one in four in the world, don’t have access to a toilet. I mean, that’s just shocking. And then also by 2025, 50% of the world’s population is projected to live in water stressed areas as a result of climate change.
Shelly Kramer: And so bottom line, we don’t have time to waste here.
Lauren Kirkpatrick: We don’t.
Shelly Kramer: So it really is. I feel like a lot of the ways that we have collectively, the world over dealt with these thorny issues. And sometimes they’re mired in politics and that sort of thing, has just been like, “We’ll worry about it later.” And we don’t have any more laters to worry about it. So it’s really great.
Lauren Kirkpatrick: It’s later now.
Shelly Kramer: You’re right. It’s later now. That’s a great slogan, right?