iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Scott Harrison

GET UPDATES FROM Scott Harrison
 

A Word About Water on Earth Day

Posted: 04/21/11 10:46 PM ET

Water changes health, education, food security, the lives of women and children. The more people we at charity: water meet in the field, the more we realize how much water touches every part of a person's life.

Things you wouldn't even think about when you've had clean water your whole life, like time spent collecting water. Women and children in developing countries spend about three hours a day walking to collect drinking water, usually from sources that can make them sick. In Africa alone, people spend up to 40 billion hours just walking for water -- that's time they can't spend working, studying or taking care of their families.

We're a water organization. We're constantly talking about the water crisis and asking others to join our fight against it. On Earth Day, there can be some confusion -- by water crisis, do we mean our depleting water sources? Are we advocating water conservation?

The answer is no. We know that's certainly a problem, but our sights are set elsewhere. We're focused on helping the nearly one billion people who live without access to clean drinking water.

It's a crisis because it only starts with water. But when you're living without access to life's most basic need, you know that water changes everything.

For Earth Day, we wanted to break this down so anyone could learn, in just three minutes, how clean water can change everything for a person in need. So we teamed up with Jonathan Jarvis (you might remember his animation work about the financial crisis) as well as our friend and supporter, actress Kristen Bell, to create a simple film on how water changes everything.

Help us make this Earth Day all about water.

Almost a billion people live without access to safe drinking water -- that's about one in eight of us. Watch the video to see what this means for that one. Then share it with seven or more of your friends. Our mission this Earth Day is to help make the seven of eight people with clean water, learn about the one without it.

Learn more at charitywater.org/whywater.