Taking Water for Granted

We at Blood:Water love hearing stories from you. This post is from our friend Emily Hughes, who recently learned what it means to truly appreciate what we often take for granted.

There are 11 different ways water enters my house. It is instantaneous with the turn of a knob or push of a lever. I never think about it. In fact, I had to stop to count how many different ways I have access to water in my home. There is also a small clear creek that runs across the front lawn. My children play in it. Never have I considered that a water source. But it is. For a while I didn't even know where the water in my house was coming from. Was it municipal? Was it a well? Was it the stream? It really didn't matter… until the water ran out.

During one of the coldest days we had all winter, my husband was on his way to a conference in sunny south Florida. I was at home with the children, all bundled up. We were anticipating a huge snowfall the next morning. And I was going about my daily routine. Make coffee, have breakfast, brush teeth, shower. When I cranked the faucet I was perplexed. What once had been a full force flow was now just a dribble. And it seemed to get slower. I walked to the other rooms, half-filled coffee pot in hand, to check the faucets. Yep. No water. Sigh.

After a brief chat with a neighbor, I learned that our house is on a well and there was a problem with it. Not to worry, though, a repairman was on the way. I didn't even bother with thinking how it might be solved. We always have water, right? But more pressing was the issue of coffee, breakfast, brushing teeth, and showers. How would I do those without water from the faucet?

It took three days for the water problems to be solved. During that time we were inconvenienced to have to pour our fresh water from large clean jugs. It seemed like a chore to have to lift the heavy five gallons to pour a drink. It was difficult to use it to wash dishes. It wasn't the right temperature for showers. Would we have enough? I didn't like having to ration it. Finally, the well issue was fixed but the water was brown and muddy and a reminder of all I take for granted.

Those jugs made me realize just how ordinary clean water is to my family and me. Though it was a different delivery, we still had clean water. Never once did I worry that we would become ill from drinking. I was only inconvenienced. That inconvenience led to change. Now I think about all the communities without faucets and, even more, all those without wells and no access to clean water. I am humbled and am committed to help make a difference. That is why I partner with Blood:Water who in connection with African grassroots organizations aggressively addresses the water crisis.

Blood:Water is currently on a mission to provide clean water for 1,000 of their friends in Zambia. Join them through April 19 for Save a Drink, Save a Life. It's not too late to join!

Emily Hughes Guest Post Franklin, NC