Congressional Research Service – Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs

September 14, 2012 · 0 comments

Global Access to Clean Drinking Water and Sanitation: U.S. and International Programs, Sept 2012.

Tiaji Salaam-Blyther. Congressional Research Service. 

Several agencies contribute to U.S. efforts to improve global access to clean drinking water and sanitation, of which programs implemented by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and USAID make up roughly 90%. In FY2010, for example, the United States invested $953 million on water and sanitation programs worldwide, including $898 million provided by USAID and MCC. Appropriations for water projects are provided to USAID annually, while MCC receives multi-year funding for its country compacts that include support for water projects. As such, spending by MCC on water projects may vary significantly from year to year and may not
be requested annually.

The President requested $302 million for USAID’s water activities for FY2012 and Congress appropriated not less than $315 million for international water and sanitation programs through the FY2012 Consolidated Appropriations. The FY2013 request for USAID’s water and sanitation efforts was slightly lower at $299.1 million. This report addresses congressional efforts to address limited access to clean drinking water and sanitation, outlines related programs implemented by USAID and MCC, and analyzes issues related to U.S. and international drinking water and sanitation programs that the 112th Congress might consider.


  • Introduction
  • Background
  • Global Access Rates to Clean Water and Sanitation
  • Clean Water
  • Sanitation
  • International Spending on Water and Sanitation
  • Water and Sanitation Funding Needs
  • Congressional Actions
  • U.S. Foreign Assistance for Water and Sanitation
  • U.S. Progress in Meeting Clean Drinking Water Targets
  • Water for the Poor Act, Implementing Agencies
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Distribution of USAID WASH Resources, FY2006-FY2010
  • Millennium Challenge Corporation
  • U.S. Global Water and Sanitation Efforts: Issues
  • Clarifying Roles and Responsibilities and Authorizing Funding
  • Balancing Funding Between WASH and Other Water Areas
  • Balancing Regional Investments
  • Ensuring Accuracy of Data
  • Sustainability/Prioritizing Operations and Management
  • Summary of Key Issues
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