WASHINGTON, Oct. 19, 2018 — U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich is among the dignitaries expected to attend the International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (IWSH) Foundation's 2018 Community Plumbing Challenge, which begins Monday in Thoreau, New Mexico.

“Access to water and sanitation is fundamental to public health. However, there is still much work to be done here in New Mexico to make universal access to clean water a reality,” said Sen. Heinrich. “I am pleased to join with Navajo Nation leaders, IWSH, labor groups, plumbing manufacturers and other government officials who are working hard to find solutions on this critical issue and make a real difference in people's lives. I will keep doing everything I can to uphold our commitments to all of our tribes and fight for the funding, resources, and policies we need to ensure every New Mexican has access to clean water and sanitation in their homes.”

Heinrich, D-N.M., is expected to attend the welcome ceremony at 9 a.m. MDT, followed by the “Water and Sanitation Crisis in America Roundtable: Government & Industry Working Together for Solutions,” at the St. Bonaventure Indian Mission. Also expected at the event are leaders from the Navajo Nation; Tom Bigley, director of Plumbing Services for the United Association; George McGraw, founder of DigDeep; a representative from the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health; as well as senior officials from LIXIL, Reliance Worldwide, Navajo Technical University, Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, Indian Health Services and numerous state officials from New Mexico.

The discussion, which is part of the exclusive Ambassador Program, will include leaders from the Navajo Nation, policymakers from the local, state and federal levels, and industry thought leaders. In addition to focusing on issues concerning tribal lands, the roundtable will look at issues facing the more than 1.6 million people across the U.S. without access to clean water and safe sanitation.

“Having this level of participation and involvement from high-level stakeholders and policymakers shows the value and importance of the Community Plumbing Challenge and of the dialogue occurring during the roundtable,” said Dan Daniels, chair of IWSH's board of directors.

The Navajo Nation CPC assembles a multi-disciplined team of skilled tradespeople to execute plumbing and construction projects that will improve living conditions in approximately 10 households nominated by U.S.-based nonprofit organization DigDeep. Inside homes, a range of bathroom and kitchen renovations will be carried out, including the installation of new basins, taps, toilets, water tanks, water pumps, and hot- and cold-water pipework. These renovations and repairs are required in order for these homes to be connected to water supply systems. Meanwhile, efforts outdoors will address the installation of, and connection to, new wastewater systems.

For more information, contact IWSH Managing Director Dain Hansen at (202) 445-7514 or email [email protected]. To learn more about the event, visit the project website at www.commplumbing.org or email [email protected]. Visit www.iwsh.org.

SOURCE The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH)

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Preety holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies and is the former Deputy Director of Media Relations with the Modern Coalition.