This post is sponsored by Samaritan's Purse
Trying to survive life in a place where water is a scarcity is the reality that very few Americans can comprehend. Case in point – I live in California and our state is currently in a drought. We all know this, and we do the small things to mitigate it. We are taking shorter showers, turning off the water while we brush our teeth, and contemplating landscaping that requires less water. But just yesterday, I had a friend visiting from New York and we ran by my office. She is well aware of the drought in California, and laughed at the fact that the sprinklers were going mid-day and watering half of the sidewalk at an office complex. We may be in a drought, but the truth is we have very little fear that we will go without water. We know that drastic steps would be taken before it came down to a scenario where we couldn't obtain water to drink or cook, or even bathe ourselves.
We are so privileged that the idea of our running tap water being completely unsafe is not a concept we can easily wrap our heads around. While many people may choose filtered or bottled water for taste reasons, we don't live in fear that if we brush our teeth from the tap water, that we may end up with dysentery the next day. Traveling in other countries, this is always a rude awakening. I am so accustomed to tap water being safe that inevitably, on every trip, I slip up and run my toothbrush under the flowing water. Having to make sure I have clean drinking water at the ready always feels like a major inconvenience when I am traveling. And yet, in the scope of our world, that is such a small inconvenience when it comes to clean water.
I cannot really speak to what life would be like without access to drinking water. I have never really been truly thirsty. There have been times when I have been traveling, and woke up in the middle of the night to realize that I had gone through all of the water bottles that have been provided to me, and that I wouldn't be able to get a drink of clean water until the morning. And I have to say, that small imposition puts me into a panic every time. Suddenly, all I can think about is how thirsty I am. I struggle to fall back asleep. I wonder and scheme if there are ways I could find some water in the dark of the night. It is a very unsettling feeling.
But this feeling is a daily and even hourly reality for so many people in this world. And they don't have the hope of waking up to being able to obtain drinking water from a hotel lobby. They spend their days truly rationing their water. And not in the half-ass ways that we in California deal with a drought. They ration what and when they can drink. They strategize coping with thirst. They make difficult choices all day every day because there just isn't enough water.
Every day, 6,000 people die from dirty water. It's a staggering statistic when you consider how vital clean water is to our daily lives. In a world where 748 million people live without access to clean water every day, Samaritan's Purse is making a difference through digging wells, installing filters, and implementing life-saving programs. This year for World Water Day, Samaritan's Purse would like to provide clean water for 5,000 families. For $20 per family, you can provide a daily source of clean water or help establish sanitation facilities and hygiene education to prevent the spread of water-borne diseases. Find out more here.