The International Code Council supports clean water and WASH awareness activities in October
The importance of handwashing and clean water is keenly felt in these days of a global pandemic. While handwashing with soap is repeatedly touted as one of the best ways to slow or stop the spread of the virus, this preventative measure is impossible without reliable, clean water. As an active partner with the U.S. Congress and federal agencies in promoting safe, clean water, the International Code Council strongly supports efforts to improve water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs both in the United States and overseas.
Global Handwashing Day was celebrated on October 15. The Code Council participated in a social media campaign with the U.S. Agency for International Development to raise awareness of the lack of basic handwashing facilities faced by 40 percent of the world’s population. This week, on October 21, the Code Council will once again join with the U.S. Water Alliance to Imagine a Day Without Water and commit to a sustainable water future for all.
The adoption and implementation of strong plumbing codes and sustainability standards that address water quality, sanitation, safe water reuse methods and efficiency are key components in securing a stable and resilient WASH framework. The Code Council has worked internationally to support the use of the International Plumbing Code in lower and middle-income economy countries such as Haiti and Colombia; however, accessing strong codes is only beneficial if the capacity for enforcement exists. Work continues in these countries and many others to provide training and support for the successful implementation of the codes. And in the United States, many jurisdictions use water and wastewater systems that were installed a century ago, while others have their critical water supplies threatened by record rainfalls, flooding, toxic algae, drought and wildfires.
Throughout the U.S. and in U.S.-led development programs internationally, the Code Council encourages investment in water infrastructure and in strong systems and regulatory infrastructure that allow us to protect this precious resource and increase its availability to people worldwide.