Water Day 3

by , posted on September 8th, 2012 in Features

photo courtesy of water.org

We were shown to our table by a pretty young woman in her 20s. The kids climbed across the seats to make their way to the middle of the u-shaped booth. They had already started wrestling with each other. It looked playful enough; the kids were laughing and no one was crying, so I didn’t intervene.

My friend, who was spending the day with us took the kids to the bathroom to wash up while Dave held her baby and I contemplated what to order for the kids. It had been a long time since I’d seen Dave hold a baby. It was still cute.

A few minutes later, a sweet and cheerful server came over to us wearing the most beautiful earrings. A profile of Nefertiti embossed in gold shined against our server’s dark hair.

“Hello! I see you’re waiting on a few more. I’m just going to let you get settled, but let me know if you need anything.”

“Oh!” I said to catch her attention as she turned to head back to the kitchen, “can I get a glass of water. And three for the kids. We’re parched.”


Just like that, tall glasses of icy water arrived on our table. I drained my glass feeling the cold water wash its way down into my belly. There is no greater feeling.

The kids returned with clean hands and empty bladders. And so we began our meal.

The real scene above that played out this afternoon isn’t particularly special. It could have been any day, any time, anywhere USA. And yet for 2.5 billion people around the world, the access to water and a toliet I typically take for granted in that scene, couldn’t have happened.

photo courtesy of water.org

Fact: surveys from 45 developing countries show that women and children bear the primary responsibility for water collection in the vast majority (76%) of households. This is time not spent working at an income-generating job, caring for family members, or attending school

Fact: A study by the World Bank and the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre of community water and sanitation projects in 88 communities found that projects designed and run with the full participation of women are more sustainable and effective than those that do not.

Fact: 11 percent more girls attend school when sanitation is available.

Women and children around the world can have a better life by simply providing them access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Join me to spread the word about the water crisis and make a donation (no matter how small) to the 10 day challenge.

Sometimes, it just takes a simple action to change the world.

*Please visit water.org for links and more facts.

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One Response to “Water Day 3”

  1. Caroline Says:

    September 10th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Thank you, Jennifer Cooper.

    I feel this way all the time.

    Last night my mother in law called. My husband hung up the phone and told me she has been without water for 4 days now. Ironically, as I work on this campaign, she’s facing the longest stretch without water in 3 years. That reality makes my work with this even more meaningful. The problems in Venezuela with their water crisis right now are complicated and I don’t write specifically about my mother-in-law on my blog because my sister-in-law reads my blog and it would embarrass her. Fortunately, my mother-in-law has family members that can assist her when her water in her home is being rationed. Her home is in a lovely, historic section of the city, but boarders an area where electricity and water are often stolen–so when the water is rationed, it affects her home and those on her street (in that grid). As we know, in less developed countries, the issue is much worse, but hearing her frustration last night (and truthfully, she was quite down about it all) deeply upset us and makes me want to work even harder to make people aware of the water issues in our world today.

    The conversation we are starting here with our readers is so, so important.

    Thank you for every single word and every ounce of your time.

    Love, Caroline

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