For 2 years of my life, I collected my water from a well. For 6 years of my life, I had to hope that we received enough water from the city.

When I lived in the village, I fetched my water from the family well. If I wanted water, I had to get my trusty 10 gallon bucket, walk to the other side of the farm, and then carry it back home. This daily task would take me 20 minutes a day-more if I was doing laundry or cleaning the floor.

When I lived in India, we didn’t have water all day every day. We got water from the city once a day, twice if we were really lucky. It would come at about 4pm and we would store it in a big water tower for use throughout the property-all day every day. But we would run out. If guests overused, or if we didn’t get water from the city, we would have to pay for tankers to supply our water. One time, we ran out of water and couldn’t get tankers because of the huge demand. We ended up having to go to the neighborhood next door and carry water back and forth so we could drink!

Now that I’m back in the US, I am annoyed daily at the amount of potable water in my toilet. I’m a strict believer of: if it’s yellow, let it mellow! The water in your toilets in the US (and Canada and Australia and UK and most developed countries) is the SAME water that comes out of your sink. You drink, wash your dishes and take showers with the exact same water. Don’t believe me? I’ll let Matt Damon (co-founder of the coolest NGO, water.org, and co-writer of the coolest move, Good Will Hunting) tell you:

I’m very attentive to the fact that water is not easy for most people in the world. We all need it, we don’t all have the same access AND Mother Earth only has a certain amount. We all need to do our part to ensure that we are using our resource wisely!

How far away are you from a water source right now? I’m currently 10 steps away. On average, girls and women walk 3.7 miles per day for water.

Next time you are drinking a glass of water, think about those girls and women who are using so much of their energy on water for their families. And please don’t just throw the last bit of water in your glass down the sink! Finish it, water a plant, give it to the dog or cat; you aren’t the one walking 3.7 miles a day for water.

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