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The United States Congress should support programs that ensure everyone in the US has access to safe and affordable water, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. To advance this crucial goal, the US government should recognize that access to clean water is a fundamental human right.

The Human Rights Watch video, which features Water Equity and Climate Resilience Caucus members Susana De Anda of the Community Water Center, Monica Lewis-Patrick of We the People Detroit, and Janene Yazzie of Sixth World Solutions, says that Congress should take steps toward guaranteeing universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Congress should ensure that the infrastructure bill and budget reconciliation currently under negotiation include sufficient funding for an equity-focused water assistance program.

“Many people in the US take for granted that they can turn on the tap and have clean water, but it’s a human right that is out of reach for millions of American households,” said Amanda Klasing, associate women’s rights director and water and sanitation rights specialist at Human Rights Watch. “With aging infrastructure, climate change, and a global pandemic, Congress should make certain that the most seriously affected households and communities have the resources they urgently need.”