American Water Works Co., the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company, has announced the company has donated $216,143 to Water For People through its company-wide 2009 fundraising campaign. More than $140,000 was raised through employee contributions.

In addition, American Water will sponsor Richard Bubien, a call-handling supervisor in the company’s customer service center in Pensacola, Fla., to participate in a one-week Water For People Country Tour in Malawi in September. Bubien was selected at random from a list of employees who contributed a minimum of $20 per month to the campaign. Water For People Country Tours give participants the extraordinary opportunity to travel to rural communities for a first-hand look at sustainable water and sanitation projects in progress, and the vast difference they are making in people’s lives.

For more than a decade, American Water has supported Water For People, an international nonprofit organization that supports locally sustainable drinking water resources, sanitation facilities, and health and hygiene education programs for people in developing countries.

“I cannot understate Water For People’s tremendous work throughout much of the developing world in securing quality water and health resources for those who strongly and urgently need it,” says Ellen Wolf, senior vice president and chief financial officer of American Water, chair of the company’s 2009 giving campaign, and a member of Water For People’s board of directors. “Every year, American Water employees proudly contribute to the important efforts of Water For People through creative fundraising campaigns and events.”

“Our extensive efforts in response to the world’s water and health concerns are greatly strengthened through the generous donations from American Water,” explains Ned Breslin, chief executive officer of Water For People. “American Water and its employees should be commended for their contribution, which cannot come at a more important time to address these water and health concerns.”

American Water has made an annual contribution to Water For People since it was established 18 years ago, and to date has contributed a total of more than $1.2 million.

Founded in 1991, Water For People is a nonprofit international development organization that supports safe drinking water and sanitation projects in developing countries. Water For People partners with communities, local governments, and other nongovernmental organizations to help people improve their quality of life by supporting the development of locally sustainable drinking water resources, improved sanitation facilities, and hygiene education programs. Water For People supports communities with professional development advice, financial support and volunteer technical services.

Typical technologies employed include protected spring-fed community water systems, gravity-fed systems, wells with hand pumps, latrine construction, operator training and hygiene education. Water For People currently is working in Latin America, Africa and Asia. In 2008, Water For People supported the provision of safe and sustainable drinking water resources benefiting 91,722 people in the developing world, sanitation facilities benefiting 92,983, and hygiene education benefiting 153,843 people.

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest investor-owned U.S. water and wastewater utility company.