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Nalco Foundation Recognizes World Water Day With $100,000 Grant to Water For People

Water is an essential element of life, yet more than 20 percent of the world's population lacks access to safe drinking water. Many of those who have access to clean water still lack proper sanitation, leading to more than five million deaths each year from water-related diseases. Nalco Company is helping industry reduce its use of precious freshwater supplies through a variety of programs that improve the operation of boilers and cooling systems at more than 70,000 customer locations worldwide.

In recognition of the United Nations' annual World Water Day on March 22, The Nalco Foundation is building on these efforts by providing an additional $100,000 grant to Water For People, an international agency that focuses on increasing access to safe drinking water and on preventing water- or sanitation-related illnesses.

Since 2004, The Nalco Foundation has provided more than $250,000 to fund Water For People projects in Malawi, Honduras, Guatemala, Bolivia and India. In addition, Mary Kay Kaufmann, Nalco's Chief Marketing Officer, has been elected to the Water For People Board of Directors.

"Water is clearly a quality of life issue, especially in developing countries. Access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation is a critical way to break a vicious cycle of disease that helps breed poverty," said Laurie Marsh, President of the Nalco Foundation. "Supporting Water For People provides both improved health in the developing world and gives people the time to pursue economic opportunity and improve their standard of living."

The Foundation grant will support Water For People's school-based water, sanitation and hygiene promotion program in India. The focus of the program is 15 schools in East Medinipur, India, and includes the construction of drinking water stations and sanitary blocks for the schools' students. It also teaches and mobilizes both students and their parents to change their behaviors to improve sanitation and to encourage the improvement of water and sanitation facilities throughout the area.

Nalco Company continually works to provide solutions to reduce water and energy usage. In 2008 its 3D TRASAR® Technology for Cooling Water won a United States Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in acknowledgment of its ability to improve cooling system operations. 3D TRASAR Technology for Cooling Water saved an estimated 63 billion gallons of water in 2008.