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Why I Am Grateful For Water

I rolled out of bed on an early spring morning and sleepily walked into the bathroom and turned the knob on the shiny, silver tap – nothing came out. I then sauntered to the kitchen to pour a fresh glass of water from the even bigger shiny, silver tap – nothing came out. I assumed there had been a zombie apocalypse and the end of the world was near, but then remembered the notice that had been slid under my door a few days ago – I had no access to water until 5pm due to building renovations.
 
As the stores near me were closed, I had no choice but to walk to a park at 7 a.m. and sheepishly wash my face and style my hair with cold water gushing out of a beach water tap. I filled up a 1.5 liter bottle of water and started my journey back home.
 
Water tap
The beach water tap
 
I decided to ration my water out for the entire day. This is when I realized how dependent I am on water. I need it to cook, eat, drink, shower, swim, go to the toilet, brush my teeth, wash my car, wash my smelly dog Max, throw balloon fights, make ice cubes, clean my kitchen and the list goes on.
 
The experiment got me thinking about what it would be like to live in a developing country. If I lived in Ethiopia, I would be in charge of getting water for my family because I am a woman. I would likely have to walk a tiring 3.5 miles a day (the size of about 58 American football fields) to get water from an unclean source such as a well, or a shallow pond that would be shared by animals. The water would likely look like chocolate milk and be contaminated. I would know giving my children this water could potentially make them sick or kill them, but depriving them of it could also do the same.
 
When I was back at my apartment, I gazed at my white, fluffy dog Max. He was staring up at me lovingly with his deep black eyes while I poured part of my precious water into his little water bowl. I couldn’t even imagine being forced to give my dog contaminated water let alone my child. But sadly according to dosomething.org, a child dies every 20 seconds from a water related illness.
 
If I lived in a developing country, I also wouldn’t be able to attend school or work, because I would have to spend my time gathering water. This would leave me uneducated and unable to work in higher paying jobs in the future.
 
I would also use as little as 20 liters of water a day, which is the equivalent of a three-minute North American shower. An American on the other hand uses 303 – 379 liters of water a day according to the federal resource: US Geological Survey.
 
When the clock struck five, Max and I gathered around the almighty tap in my kitchen. I turned the majestic handle and water started to gush out and we stared at it as if it was liquid gold.
 
Going without water for just a few hours made me realize how unbelievably lucky I am to have immediate access to water 24 hours a day. Since then I have tried to be more mindful about how I use water and not take it for granted. I have also tried to educate myself on the ways that I can reduce water usage and my water footprint.
 
If you would like to learn more about how you can help developing countries gain access to clean drinking water, check out water.org co-founded by actor Matt Damon. Water.org provides micro-loans to people in developing countries empowering families to take charge of their health and futures.
 

 

0ba8618 Aisha Tejani
Aisha Tejani is a contributor writer of Castagra Products, a storage tank and wastewater coatings manufacturing company that is highly acclaimed for its sustainable coatings and cold weather coating applications. Castagra products are NSF-61 certified and are used by the world’s top water and wastewater contractors.