women carrying water

    Published: March 25, 2015

    World Water Day Series Part 3—Water and Equality

    Pelican Water remains committed to the idea that cleaner, safer water should be made available to everyone. You can’t maintain a vision like that without supporting equality and the public good—one reason we were happy to donate a whole house water filter system to the Michigan-based Our Home Transitional non-profit organization.

    The filtration system provides cleaner water to single female veterans and their children living in one of Our Home Transitional’s group homes in Flint, Michigan. As you may be aware, Flint’s water supply has been under scrutiny for months, given the yellow-brown liquid pouring out of most of the municipality’s taps. While the city claims the water is safe, residents disagree—and even if the water is drinkable, it’s color and odor negatively impact quality of life.

    Our Home Transitional restores self-sufficiency and dignity to women who have served and sacrificed for the United States, and we hope our filtration system helps make these veterans lives a little better. On the United Nation’s World Water day, we are reminded just how severely limited water resources affect women across the globe, especially in developing countries.

    Women and girls in developing countries are usually responsible for collecting water, a task that often consumes 25% of their day. They often make a daily round trip to water resources miles away from home in hot or inhospitable environments. Ever carried five gallons of water? It’s the equivalent of fifty pounds. Now imagine hauling that fifty-pound weight for miles, balancing it to prevent spillage under a hot sun. And that’s assuming you’re lucky enough to find five gallons of water—many families are forced to make do on much less.

    The act of collecting and transporting water has a significant impact on gender equality in developing nations. Water gathering prevents women from engaging in income-producing work. Girls who would otherwise be in school are prevented by the responsibility of providing the family with water. Women who would otherwise be caring for their families have limited time to do so.

    Somewhere in a developing country, a girl is carrying water. She might have the potential to be a great scientist, or a poet, or a world leader, but she won’t get that chance because her family needs water, and their only access to water is miles away from home.

    Life doesn’t have to be this way for her. With proper management, technological applications, and a financial investment, access to water can be easier across the globe. It won’t happen overnight, but it can happen.

    In the meantime, be thankful the next time you turn on the tap. It’s one of our greatest luxuries, and one that shouldn’t be taken for granted.