H.R. 3658 (112th): Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Dec 14, 2011 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 3658

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 14, 2011

(for himself, Mr. Poe of Texas, Mr. Payne, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Carnahan, Mr. Sires, Mr. McCaul, Mr. Berman, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Conyers, Ms. Bass of California, Ms. Lee of California, and Mr. Smith of Washington) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

A BILL

To strengthen implementation of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012.

2.

Findings

Congress finds the following:

(1)

The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121)—

(A)

makes access to safe water and sanitation for developing countries a specific policy objective of United States foreign assistance programs;

(B)

requires the Secretary of State to—

(i)

develop a strategy to elevate the role of water and sanitation policy; and

(ii)

improve the effectiveness of United States assistance programs undertaken in support of that strategy;

(C)

codifies Target 10 of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals; and

(D)

seeks to reduce by half between 1990 (the baseline year) and 2015—

(i)

the proportion of people who are unable to reach or afford safe drinking water; and

(ii)

the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation.

(2)

For maximum effectiveness of assistance, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene must be coordinated with and integrated into programs and strategies for food security, global health, environment, education, and gender equality.

(3)

On August 1, 2008, Congress passed H. Con. Res. 318, which—

(A)

supports the goals and ideals of the International Year of Sanitation; and

(B)

recognizes the importance of sanitation on public health, poverty reduction, economic and social development, and the environment.

(4)

While progress is being made on safe water and sanitation efforts—

(A)

more than 884,000,000 people throughout the world lack access to safe drinking water; and

(B)

2 of every 5 people in the world do not have access to basic sanitation services.

(5)

The health consequences of unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation are significant—

(A)

at any given time, half of the world’s hospital beds are occupied by patients suffering from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene;

(B)

more than 3,575,000 people die each year from water-related disease; and

(C)

chronic or acute diarrhea can lead to cognitive delays, with severe repercussions for economic development.

(6)

Clean water and sanitation are among the most powerful drivers for human development. They extend opportunity, enhance dignity, and help create a virtuous cycle of improving health and rising wealth.

(7)

Diseases linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation, as well as the time and energy women often devote to collecting water, significantly reduce economic productivity in less developed countries and promote lifecycles of disadvantage.

(8)

Expanding access to clean water and sanitation is essential for reducing the global burden of disease, advancing economic and social development, protecting basic human rights, prevention of violence against women, and mitigating sources of conflict.

(9)

Nearly 1,000,000,000 people across the globe still suffer from chronic hunger. Water scarcity and poor water management reduce agricultural productivity and threaten food security.

(10)

Approximately half the world’s population lives in cities, often in slums characterized by unsafe water, poor sanitation, lack of basic services, overcrowding, inferior construction and insecure tenure.

(11)

According to the 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, commissioned by the United Nations, more than 1/5 of the world population relies on freshwater that is either polluted or excessively withdrawn.

(12)

According to the United Nations, women make up 70 percent of the world’s poor. Yet, the time they spend collecting water prevents them from undertaking other activities, such as generating income or attending school.

(13)

A lack of access to safe water and improved sanitation close to home and at school can impact girls’ educational attainment and retention, limiting their ability to break the cycle of poverty. Research has found increases in girls’ school enrollment when clean water points were installed closer to home, and increases in girls’ school attendance when separate latrines for boys and girls were provided on site. Meeting the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals would provide an estimated 272,000,000 additional school days per year.

(14)

A lack of water points close to home or safe, private latrines can put women and girls in isolated situations, making them more vulnerable to sexual and physical violence. Violence against women and girls has consequences ranging from psychosocial trauma to heightened risk of HIV/AIDS.

(15)

Faith communities across the United States contribute significantly to the improvement of water, sanitation, and hygiene in developing countries. By applying their expertise, providing services, building the capacity of local organizations, establishing long-term partnerships with local communities, empowering marginalized groups, and serving as a voice for the poor, faith-based and nonprofit organizations complement and leverage assistance provided by the United States Government.

(16)

United States businesses have developed key technologies, donated goods and services, partnered with private and public sector entities, and invested their capital to improve water and sanitation in many developing countries.

(17)

Implementation of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 must be significantly strengthened if the purposes of section 136 of the Foreign Assistance Act, as redesignated and amended by section 4 of this Act, are to be met.

(18)

The monitoring and evaluation of the performance of United States foreign assistance programs and their contribution to policy, strategies, projects, program goals, and priorities undertaken by the Federal Government is essential to improving aid effectiveness.

3.

Purpose

The purpose of this Act and the amendments made by this Act is to strengthen implementation of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121) by—

(1)

improving coordination and oversight of water, sanitation, and hygiene programs within and between United States Government agencies;

(2)

increasing the sustainability of United States Government-supported water, sanitation, and hygiene programs;

(3)

enhancing water, sanitation, and hygiene expertise within the United States Agency for International Development; and

(4)

integrating water and sanitation into programs and strategies for food security, global health, environment, education, and gender equality.

4.

Improving coordination and oversight of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and activities

(a)

In general

Chapter 1 of part I of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (22 U.S.C. 2151 et seq.) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating section 135, as added by section 5(a) of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121; 119 Stat. 2536), as section 136; and

(2)

in section 136, as redesignated by paragraph (1) of this section—

(A)

in the section heading, by striking and sanitation and inserting , sanitation, and hygiene;

(B)

in subsection (b), by striking and sanitation and inserting , sanitation, and hygiene; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following:

(e)

Global water coordinator

(1)

In general

The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) shall designate a senior advisor to coordinate and oversee water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance, who shall be known as the Global Water Coordinator, and who shall report directly to the Administrator and the Assistant Administrator overseeing water programs.

(2)

Duties

The Global Water Coordinator shall—

(A)

oversee implementation of this section and the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121);

(B)

lead the development of the safe water and sanitation strategy required under section 6 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005;

(C)

assist and monitor the development of country-specific water strategies in coordination with relevant USAID Mission Directors and other appropriate personnel;

(D)

integrate water, sanitation, and hygiene activities into global and country-specific strategies and programs, including those relating to food security, global health, environment, education, and gender equality;

(E)

develop appropriate benchmarks, indicators, and guidelines for monitoring and evaluation of water and sanitation programs as required under section 8 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012; and

(F)

foster the development, dissemination, and increased and consistent use of low-cost and sustainable technologies, public and private partnerships, credit guarantees and other financing arrangements that leverage non-Federal funds for impact on water, sanitation, and hygiene services that benefit the poor.

(3)

Staff

The Administrator shall ensure that a sufficient number of employees of USAID with appropriate experience are assigned to assist the Global Water Coordinator in carrying out the duties of paragraph (2).

(f)

Special advisor for water resources

(1)

In general

The Secretary of State shall designate a senior advisor to coordinate and oversee policy relating to water and sanitation assistance, who shall be known as the Special Advisor for Water Resources, and who shall report directly to the Secretary of State and the Under Secretary overseeing water programs.

(2)

Duties

The Special Advisor for Water Resources shall—

(A)

oversee and coordinate the diplomatic policy of the United States Government with respect to global freshwater issues, including—

(i)

working with partner countries and other stakeholders to develop and sustain political commitment to improving access to water, sanitation, and hygiene over the long term, and mitigating cross-border conflict;

(ii)

assisting and encouraging other countries and international organizations to plan and manage water resources in an efficient, transparent, equitable, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable manner;

(iii)

fostering regional and cross-border cooperation for integrated river basin and watershed management;

(iv)

mitigating transboundary conflict over water resources;

(v)

fostering integrated river basin and watershed management; and

(vi)

fostering agricultural and urban productivity of water resources; and

(B)

promote United States policy relating to international freshwater issues in key diplomatic and scientific forums.

(3)

Staff

The Secretary of State shall ensure that a sufficient number of employees of the Department of State with appropriate experience are assigned to assist the Special Advisor for Water Resources in carrying out the duties of paragraph (2).

.

(b)

Interagency consultation and coordination

(1)

In general

Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and the Secretary of State shall develop and implement a process to ensure regular consultation and coordination between the Global Water Coordinator and the Special Advisor for Water Resources so that their efforts are complimentary and in support of the safe water and sanitation strategy.

(2)

Matters to be included

This process required under paragraph (1) should include jointly convened meetings with any Federal department or agency administering United States water, sanitation, and hygiene programs to evaluate progress in carrying out the safe water and sanitation strategy.

(3)

Definitions

In this subsection—

(A)

the term Global Water Coordinator means the Global Water Coordinator designated under section 136(e) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by subsection (a)(2) of this section;

(B)

the term Special Advisor for Water Resources means the Special Advisor for Water Resources designated under section 136(f) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by subsection (a)(2) of this section; and

(C)

the term safe water and sanitation strategy means the strategy required under section 6 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.

5.

Increasing sustainability of safe water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and activities

(a)

Principles

In order to ensure that water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and activities carried out under the authorities of section 136 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as redesignated and amended by section 4 of this Act, and the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121) achieve maximum impact and continue to deliver lasting benefits after completion, such projects and activities shall be carried out in accordance with the following principles:

(1)

Projects and activities should be targeted to the poorest and most vulnerable countries and communities, including women and girls, displaced persons and refugees, and other marginalized populations.

(2)

Projects and activities should be designed in consultation with a broad range of local and national stakeholders, including communities directly affected by a lack of access to clean water, sanitation or hygiene, nongovernmental organizations, cooperatives, foundations, universities, private sector entities, and women-focused organizations.

(3)

Projects and activities should be designed wherever possible to be commercially viable over the long term, and undertaken in conjunction with private enterprise.

(4)

Governments of countries in which projects and activities are carried out should identify revenue streams sufficient to cover the costs of maintaining public equipment and services with respect to such projects and activities over the long term.

(5)

Projects and activities should provide for a functioning management and maintenance system comprising tools, supply chains, transport, equipment, training and individuals or institutions with clear responsibilities for achieving sustainability.

(6)

With respect to projects and activities that are managed by communities or institutions, effective external support should be provided to such communities or institutions.

(7)

Projects should be designed to foster sustainable water management in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of each such project and to mitigate any negative environmental impacts.

(8)

Access to water and sanitation should be expanded in an equitable manner and on the basis of need, without regard to race, gender, religion, or ethnic origin.

(b)

Local ownership

The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall establish guidelines and procedures to ensure that—

(1)

a broad range of local and national stakeholders is consulted in the development of any country-specific water strategy;

(2)

any water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and activities authorized under each such strategy are designed to address the specific needs of women and girls; and

(3)

local civil society organizations, including nonprofit organizations as well as businesses, are full participants in the selection and design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and activities.

(c)

Local procurement

(1)

Authority

In providing assistance under the authorities of section 136 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as redesignated and amended by section 4 of this Act, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development is authorized to award contracts and other acquisition instruments on a non-competitive basis to local entities in high priority countries to carry out safe water, sanitation, and hygiene projects and activities in such countries.

(2)

Limitation

A contract or other instrument described in paragraph (1) may not have a value that exceeds $5,000,000.

(3)

Supersedes other laws

The Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development may exercise the authority of paragraph (1) notwithstanding any other provision of law.

(4)

Definitions

In this subsection—

(A)

the term high priority country means a country designated pursuant to section 6 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005; and

(B)

the term local entity means an individual, corporation, or other entity that—

(i)

is organized under the laws of the high priority country;

(ii)

has its principal place of business or operations in such country; and

(iii)

is owned or controlled by citizens of such country.

(5)

Funding

Funds made available to carry out the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 for any fiscal year are authorized to be made available to carry out this subsection.

(d)

Retention of interest

(1)

Authority

In providing assistance under the authorities of section 136 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as redesignated and amended by section 4 of this Act, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development is authorized to enter into agreements with indigenous local private or public groups, associations, or other entities in high priority countries to provide for the retention by such group, association, or other entity, without deposit in the Treasury of the United States and without further appropriation by law, of interest earned on such assistance so provided.

(2)

Limitation

An agreement described in paragraph (1) may not have a value that exceeds $5,000,000.

(3)

Use of interest

Any interest earned on the advance of funds under an agreement authorized under paragraph (1) may be used only for the purposes for which the agreement is made.

(4)

Audits

The Administrator shall, on a regular and recurring basis, audit interest earned on advance funds under an agreement authorized under paragraph (1) to ensure that the requirements of paragraph (3) are met.

(5)

Definition

In this subsection, the term high priority country means a country designated pursuant to section 6 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.

6.

Safe water, sanitation, and hygiene strategy

Section 6 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (22 U.S.C. 2152h note) is amended—

(1)

in the section heading, by striking and sanitation and inserting , sanitation, and hygiene;

(2)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

by striking Secretary of State and inserting Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development;

(B)

by striking shall develop a strategy and inserting shall, not later than January 1, 2013, and every four years thereafter, develop a strategy for the next four years;

(C)

by striking and sanitation and inserting , sanitation, and hygiene; and

(D)

by striking section 135 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as added by section 5(a) of this Act and inserting section 136 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012;

(3)

in subsection (b), by striking Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development and inserting Secretary of State;

(4)

in subsection (c), by striking Secretary of State and inserting President;

(5)

in subsection (e)—

(A)

by striking and sanitation each place it appears and inserting , sanitation, and hygiene;

(B)

in paragraph (5), by striking and at the end;

(C)

in paragraph (6), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and

(D)

by adding at the end the following:

(7)

best practices for mobilizing and leveraging the financial and technical capacity of multilateral institutions, business, local governments, nongovernmental organizations, and civil society in forming public-private partnerships that measurably increase access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene;

(8)

the number, types, and level of specialists and generalists currently employed and projected to be needed in each functional and geographic area, including support, management, and administrative functions, to carry out the strategy; and

(9)

the assumptions regarding program and policy priorities and budget levels on which the strategy is based.

;

(6)

in subsection (f) to read as follows:

(f)

Designation of high priority countries

(1)

Designation

The strategy required by subsection (a) shall further include the designation of high priority countries for assistance under section 136 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012.

(2)

Criteria

Each designation of a high priority country described in paragraph (1) shall be made on the basis of—

(A)

countries and communities in countries in which the need for increased access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene is greatest; and

(B)

countries and communities in countries in which assistance under such section can be expected to make the greatest difference in promoting good health, economic development, poverty reduction, women’s empowerment, conflict prevention, and environmental sustainability.

(3)

Sense of Congress

It is the sense of Congress that each designation of a high priority country described in paragraph (1) should conform to the goals and objectives in the country’s multi-year development strategy.

;

(7)

by striking subsection (g); and

(8)

by inserting after subsection (f) the following:

(g)

Actions with respect to high priority countries

For each country that is designated as a high priority country, the United States Agency for International Development’s Mission Director for such country shall—

(1)

designate sustainably increasing access to safe drinking water and sanitation as a strategic objective, reflected in country-specific strategies that incorporate sustainable water management goals and targets; and

(2)

integrate, where appropriate, investments in water, sanitation, and hygiene with investments in food security, global health, environment and sustainable water management, education, and gender equality.

.

7.

Transparency and monitoring and evaluation

Section 7 of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (22 U.S.C. 2152h note) is amended by striking section 7 and inserting the following:

7.

Transparency and monitoring and evaluation

(a)

Transparency

(1)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012, the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development shall, as part of the Agency’s Internet Website, establish and maintain a Webpage to make publicly available comprehensive, timely, comparable, and accessible information on United States water, sanitation, and hygiene foreign assistance programs. The head of each Federal department or agency that administers such programs shall on a regular basis publish and update on the Webpage such information with respect to programs of the department or agency.

(2)

Matters to be included

(A)

In general

To ensure transparency, accountability, and effectiveness of United States water, sanitation, and hygiene foreign assistance programs, the information required by paragraph (1) shall include—

(i)

the strategy required by section 6;

(ii)

the multi-year development strategy of each developing country under section 6(a);

(iii)

an identification of each country designated as a high priority country under section 6(f), including a fully articulated rationale of why the country received the designation;

(iv)

a summary of the guidelines and procedures as required by section 5(b) of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012;

(v)

for each fiscal year, information on the amount of funds expended in each country or program, disaggregated by purpose of assistance, including information on capital investments, and the source of such funds by account; and

(vi)

evaluations of water, sanitation, and hygiene programs, if any.

(B)

Posting requirements

Such information shall be published on the Webpage not later than 30 days after the date of issuance of the information and shall be continuously updated.

(C)

Report in lieu of inclusion

If the head of a Federal department or agency described in paragraph (1) makes a determination that the inclusion of a required item of information on the Webpage would jeopardize the health or security of an implementing partner or program beneficiary or would be detrimental to the national interests of the United States, such item of information may be submitted to Congress in a written report in lieu of including it on the Webpage, along with the reasons for not including it on the Webpage.

(3)

Database

The Webpage shall also contain a link to a searchable database available to the public containing such information relating to the current fiscal year and, as available, for each prior fiscal year dating to and including fiscal year 2006.

(4)

Form

Such information shall be published on the Webpage in unclassified form. Any information determined to be classified information may be submitted to Congress in classified form and an unclassified summary of such information shall be published on the Webpage.

(b)

Monitoring and evaluation

(1)

In general

The head of each Federal department or agency that administers United States water, sanitation, and hygiene foreign assistance programs shall monitor and evaluate projects and activities carried out under such programs, including carrying out assessments of impact where appropriate, and ensuring results of evaluations are used to inform the design of such projects and activities. Such monitoring and evaluations shall be carried our in accordance with the principles described in section 5(a) of the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2012.

(2)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Monitoring

The term monitoring means, with respect to a United States water, sanitation, or hygiene foreign assistance program, a continuing function that uses systematic collection of data on specified indicators to provide management and the main stakeholders of an ongoing development intervention with indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives and progress in the use of allocated funds.

(B)

Evaluation

The term evaluation means, with respect to a United States water, sanitation, or hygiene foreign assistance program, the systematic collection and analysis of information about the characteristics and outcomes of the program and projects under the program as a basis for judgments, to improve effectiveness, and to inform decisions about current and future programming, including an explanation of the reasons for or causes of the observed results.

.

8.

Report on capacity and expertise

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to Congress a report assessing the capacity of United States Government to carry out and fully implement this Act, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121), as amended by this Act, and section 136 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended by this Act. Such assessment shall give special focus to—

(1)

evaluating the sufficiency of training programs at both the bureau and mission levels as they relate to providing long-term, sustainable access to water, sanitation, and hygiene;

(2)

identifying overall levels of staff expertise on water, sanitation, and hygiene development assistance and where additional expertise may be needed;

(3)

identifying barriers to implementation;

(4)

identifying options for and the estimated costs associated with remedying the problems identified in the report; and

(5)

evaluate the degree to which assistance is targeted towards high priority countries, as defined by section 6(f) of the Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109–121).