Abbott Laboratories has found that
it can make good business sense to invest in clean drinking
water in communities in which the company operates.
In Puerto Rico, many rural communities have drinking
water systems that fail to meet current standards set
by the U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act. Poor drinking water
quality can undermine health and well being of company
neighbors and employees, straining local resources and
affecting employee absenteeism and productivity. To
address these challenges, Abbott Health Product, Inc.
has worked to support local efforts to improve rural
drinking water systems.
The Partnership for Pure Water (PPW)
was organized in Puerto Rice in 1992 to assist the rural
communities that have drinking water systems not served
by Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA).
The Pharmaceutical Industries Association (PIA), the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the P.R. Health
Department and the Corporation for Rural Development
compose the consortium. The main objective of the consortium
is to improve the quality, operation, and infrastructure
of rural drinking water systems to bring them in compliance
with current potable water standards.
The consortium identifies communities
in need of assistance, and considers their degree of
organization, the magnitude of deficiencies of the water
system, and the distance from the participating industries.
The consortium's work plan from the year 2001 to 2003
has identified 230 water systems serving approximately
As a member of PPW, Abbott Health
Product, Inc. plays an active role the decision-making
and operations of the Partnership. Abbott makes annual
financial contributions to support the PPW's activities.
In addition, the company assists designated communities
to upgrade their water systems by providing materials,
manpower, and technical assistance. In 2001, Abbott
assisted four communities in the municipality of Orocovis,
Puerto Rico - Saltos Cabra I & II, Pellejas and
Bo. Cacao. Abbott helped these communities to upgrade
their drinking water systems by installing chlorination
equipment and water level valves and by improving the
well water tank areas for sanitation and safety. Abbott
is committed to assisting three additional communities