Your alarm clock rings out its daily tone to rouse you from sleep and start your day. Your feet hit the floor, you make your way to your bathroom, turn the knob to turn on the shower, and step in as you wait for the water to shoot from the shower head. You wait one minute. You wait two minutes. You wait five minutes. Finally, you realize, the water is not coming. You turn the knob to turn the shower off and step out of the shower. Puzzled, you cover yourself with a robe and look to your sink. The faucet does not yield water. The toilet is empty. The thought takes a moment to settle in: there is no water inside your home.
As you fumble through your morning, you conclude that you just need to call a plumber to fix whatever is wrong with your water at home. You dress yourself and head to work, unbathed, teeth unbrushed.
On your way to work, you are taken aback as you watch your neighbors carrying 5 gallon yellow gas cans as they walk down the street in their suits for work. The first few people carrying the cans are weird, but as three becomes six and then ten, it becomes incredibly puzzling. Finally, you slow and park your car. All you can do is watch mesmerized as you follow the people to see what everyone is doing. Finally, after some time, it becomes apparent that everyone is headed to the large pond at the edge of your subdivision. The sight of everyone in your neighborhood knelt down, filling these cans full of water and heading back to their home is striking. What can they possibly be thinking?
This is just a small snapshot into the juxtaposed idea of what our lives would be like if we in the United States were forced to rely on local water sources as those in the developing world do. The water crisis isn’t even just one of a lack of water, but lack of SAFE water. Imagine if the water your drank might give you parasites, diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, or any number of diseases. Imagine if it might kill you. Imagine if you had to spend so much time hauling water every day that you were unable to hold a job, but still, you had to just so that your family could function.
This is the reality of the global water crisis. This is the reality for the nearly one billion people on our planet right now who lack access to safe, clean water.
The situation is real, but so are the solutions.
In just four years, we’ve led a college movement that has raised over $2.6 million that we’ve used to build freshwater wells in developing countries that have given over 100,000 people safe, clean water. Sustainability is our #1 Value at Thirst Project and we build incredibly stringent systems into our projects.
Today is Earth Day and a number of great conversations will be had about our global resources and how we steward them. I love that we’re having those conversations, but, I also believe that there are far more important conversations to be had about the PEOPLE of the world. I hope that we are a people that will be known for our love and compassion not just for nature or animals, but also for other people. I want to encourage you not only to conserve the water that you have, but to give water to someone else. Yes, turn off the faucet if you don’t need it. But realize that turning off your faucet does nothing to give someone across the world safe water.
You can be the difference between life and death for someone. As we celebrate this earth day, look around at all of the water resources you do and celebrate what you have. Celebrate the beauty of the planet as well as the people of the world who fill it.
Together, we can join hands to make a difference. Together, we can give water. Together, we can give life.
President & CEO
The Thirst Project
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