Water Water Everywhere

This week, South Carolina was hit with major flooding. It was all over the national news. Luckily, the campus of my university was not hit too badly. There was very minimal water damage to any of the buildings and we had power most of the time. But we are sill experiencing difficulties with the water system.

Due to all of the flooding, we are under a boil water advisory. This means no drinking, no washing dishes, and general fear that our water is going to give everyone the plague if it isn’t properly sanitized. Before that we were without running water overnight. The university has been great, providing us with bottled water and portable toilets during this situation. But the interruption to my normal routine has really made me stop to think about the ways I use water.

IMG_20151007_155208water distribution in Columbia

Until I couldn’t just turn on the tap and have whatever temperature of clean water I wanted, I took water for granted. Sure, I appreciated being able to wash my hands and shower. But I never thought there would come a day where I was happy to see a port-a-potty. When your toilet won’t flush though, port-a-potties are a godsend.

port-a-pottyMy beautiful port-a-potty

After our water was turned back on, we sill have to boil it “vigorously” for a minute before it’s safe to use. This has translated into our apartment filling up with bowls full of boiled, stored water. What I’ve mainly been using the boiled water for is washing dishes. I use so much water washing dishes! Seeing it portioned out like that really drives home how much water I’ve been using and never thought about. It’s an eye-opening experience.

I got a tiny taste of not having clean, running water, and that was enough. I can’t even imagine living every day without it. But according to the World Health Organization and UNICEF, 750 million people around the world lack access to clean water. It’s time to change that. That’s why I decided to support water.org. For over 20 years they have found innovative ways to bring safe water and sanitation to communities around the world. They’re an awesome organization.

 The United Nations recently released their sustainable development goals for 2030.

One of them was to ensure clean water and sanitation for all people.

I’m incredibly thankful that the only thing I’ve had to put up with this week is boiling water. I know many places it is much worse. And I now have a new-found appreciation for the water I use and drink every day. I hope I can continue to act on the lessons I have learned this week as classes and normal life start back soon.