Having instant access to clean, safe drinking water is something we take for granted. We think nothing about turning on any tap in any location almost anywhere we roam in our city. For that, we are so very lucky compared to many people in many parts of the world.
Two experiences highlighted how much we take having access to clean, safe drinking water for granted: 1) Visiting Vancouver for a conference during a boil-water advisory and having to rely on bottled water provided by the hotel and 2) Traveling to foreign countries where we had to teach our daughter the meaning of potable and non-potable water.
The first experience gave us a clear visual in the number of bottles of water we required just to get through our basic morning routine (A LOT). The second was a reminder that we can (and have) relied on public bathrooms for drinking water in our home country of Canada without ever once questioning its safety or getting sick because of the choice.
So when World Vision Canada asked me to take the #WorldVisionWater challenge, I said, “YES!” because I knew it would be a valuable learning for all of us and hopefully it would serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are to have access to this one precious thing that is denied to so many.
Here’s what we did for our challenge. We took a normal day for our family of three and recorded how many times we turned on a tap and why. To find out how we used water on a normal Sunday at home, we divided the uses into basic categories: Personal Hygiene, Drinking, Cleaning, Food Preparation and Sanitation.
So things like washing hands, brushing teeth and showering all fell into the Personal Hygiene category; whereas, flushing the toilet went into the sanitation category. We also differentiated between water that we drank versus water that was used in the preparation of food, like soup or coffee and tea.
Personal Hygiene: 40
Food Preparation: 2
Why did we go to all this trouble to tally our water usage for a day? Because every minute a child under the age of 5 dies from diarrhea caused by contaminated water. Every minute. Water that these families had to travel long distances to collect (in amounts that are a fraction of what we use each and every day with little thought as to how we obtained it).
Watch this video (kleenex alert) to see the impact of clean water on a village:
How can you make a difference? Design your own #WorldVisionWater challenge and share your results online or go here to contribute to a World Vision Canada Water Works program.
Join the #WorldVisionWater Twitter Party on May 3, 2016 at 8pm EST!