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US utility American Water and its employees raised more than $272,000 to improve consumer access to improved water and sanitation systems and services in developing countries.

American Water is donating the money through non-profit organisation Water For People.

Linda Sullivan, senior vice president at American Water, said: “We are providing a significant contribution to help Water For People in its mission to provide safe drinking water, clean sanitation, and education to people in developing countries where thousands of children die every day from waterborne illnesses.

“The amazing support from our employees demonstrates how much we care about others throughout the world and our commitment to providing access to safe, clean water.”

American Water is donating the money as part of its formal Corporate Responsibility programme.

The funds were raised through competitive sports games, silent auctions, cookouts and bake sales within a period of one month.

This year's funds increased by 38% over last year's.

In addition to the money, American Water is sponsoring one of its workers to participate in a one-week Water For People Impact Tour to Rwanda in September.

Water For People Impact Tours give participants the extraordinary opportunity to travel to communities for a first-hand look at sustainable water and sanitation projects in progress and the vast difference the systems are making in people's lives

Eleanor Allen, CEO Of Water For People, added: “American Water’s workplace giving campaign has raised over $2.25 million over the past 10 years. Their generosity has helped us reach more than 3.3 million people with access to safe, reliable water, which means more children staying in school and more economic opportunities for individuals.”