We’re in a water crisis, and that’s the truth


Life on Earth, in its essence, is water. With it, the world learns, innovates, and succeeds; without it, the world cracks, crumbles, and vanishes.

In the U.S., it’s often difficult to imagine a life without water, as we are incredibly dependent on the resource that’s always readily available at the turn of a faucet.

However, across the globe, 10 countries—whose combined populations total to nearly a quarter of the world’s population—don’t have much difficulty trying to imagine life without water; for them, life without clean water is their reality.

According to the World Health Organization, 844 million people lack access to basic drinking water, a stat that also includes the 159 million people who rely on surface water supplies.

Almost too painful to read and heartbreaking to picture, statistics like this one are pivotal for people in developed countries to understand, with no intention to be glanced over and instantly forgotten. But that’s exactly what we do. We say our oh’s and ah’s for the poor people everywhere, and then we move on because, in the U.S., there’s no way it’ll ever happen to us, right? But what if we didn’t move on?

What would it look like if people actually wanted to make a change, no matter how big or small? What would it look like for people to care about the imminent future of dwindling water supplies?

We distance ourselves from the cold, hard facts, existentially too pained by them to do anything or let it sink in. In so many instances, we are being purposefully ignorant.

Another estimate by the World Health Organization shows predictions that by 2025– less than six years from now— half of the world’s population will be living in water-stressed areas.

The imminent world crisis we are entering, as impossibly large-scale as the project may seem, is not something we cannot work on. A phrase of encouragement when thinking of the overwhelming, overarching concept of water poverty is to start small. A worldwide crisis cannot be solved in a day, by a single passionate person; rather, it is a lifelong process of conscious water usage. And given the perfect opportunity and right number of people, the difference we make can save and change lives.

On March 22, we celebrate (or not) World Water Day, an event often not recognized by many but still signifies an extraordinary purpose and mission. All around the world, there are varying levels of water security, with varying levels of need across the board. There’s always going to be someone who needs help, and all it takes to help is love, care, and passion. And it’s never too late to start loving, caring, or sharing your passion.