There is no more serious and solvable global health problem in developing countries than the lack of safe water in hospitals and clinics. The need for safe water in Gaza and the West Bank represents a common goal for Palestinians and Israelis at a time when few other issues bring the sides together.
The Washington D.C.-based advocacy organization, Global Water 2020, where David Douglas is a principal, has become one of the key entities working behind the scenes on these two issues to expand safe water access.
Douglas, a Santa Fe resident, will focus on current steps being taken by governments, UN agencies, NGOs, and donors to extend safe water to tens of thousands of health-care facilities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He’ll also describe several quiet efforts now underway by Palestinians, Israelis and international donors to improve drinking water and wastewater conditions in Gaza and the West Bank.
David Douglas leads non-profit organizations devoted to global clean drinking water, including the DC-based Global Water 2020 (www.globalwater2020.org) and the Santa-Fe based non-profit organization Waterlines (www.waterlines.org) which has provided funding and technical aid for over 1,000 small-scale drinking water projects in rural villages, schools, churches and clinics in developing countries. From 2005-2010 he headed the time-limited initiative Water Advocates, the US’s first advocacy organization devoted to increasing public and private support for safe drinking water and adequate sanitation worldwide. This past November, at the invitation of the US State Department and the Vatican’s Dicastery for Integral Human Development, Douglas spoke in Rome on the appalling lack of safe water and sanitation in government and faith-based health-care facilities in developing countries.
Douglas practiced environmental law and wrote extensively in the 1980’s and 1990’s on global drinking water issues. He is the author of “Wilderness Sojourn: Notes in the Desert Silence,” “Letters of Faith: Memoirs of an Appalachian Conversion,” and co-author with his wife, Deborah, of “Pilgrims in the Kingdom: Travels in Christian Britain.” He and Deborah live in Santa Fe and have two grown daughters and five grandchildren.