Nearly a decade after the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act was established, there is a push to expand and improve its reach.

Since the act was created in 2005, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State have partnered with other nations to bring safe drinking water and sanitation to people around the world.

The new legislation — Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act — aims to make better use of existing funds, increase accountability for existing programs and aid as much of the world as possible without needing new money or administration.

In an effort to help billions across still in need of clean water, the Water for the World Act will:

• Ensure WASH remains a policy priority and that expertise is available at USAID and State Department headquarters to implement efficient programs.

• Refine the criteria for choosing high-priority countries so that limited funds are directed to the communities most in need.

• Increase integration of WASH programs with other incentives, including child survival, global health, food security, nutrition and gender equality.

• Advance best practices of effective aid, including a focus on leveraging non-federal partnerships and funds.

• Improve the approach to international safe water, sanitation and hygiene by requiring transparency in country priorities, the results of field programs, and regular reviews of progress using recognized metrics.