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The Water We Consume

By Lara Strain

Water: Carrying the Burden - Child Carrying Water Bucket

If you recall from the previous post in this two-part series “Imagine Your Day Revolving Around Water Collection,” the minimum water necessary for survival amounts to a mere 2 gallons. That increases to 13 gallons if you desire clean clothes and thorough bathing and hygiene.

How Much Water Do We Use?

If you didn’t have ready access to water, how much would you really use? Because safe, drinkable water fills our glass at the simple turn of a faucet, we rarely consider the important role water plays in our daily lives. If we were required to physically collect the water we use daily, our consumption would scale down dramatically.

The graph shows some of the ways we use water.

Water: Carrying the Burden - How Much Water Do We Use?

People in the U.S. use approximately 100 gallons per person every day — at least 50 times more than required for survival!

What About Water-Poor Areas of the World?

Clearly, people everywhere have the same basic need for water. However, when one must walk miles to fetch water — and in some places very little can be found — conservation becomes high priority. When this is the case, people drink, cook, and carry out basic hygiene habits all on just 5 gallons a day. When a water source is close or more plentiful, people can indulge in doing laundry, irrigating gardens, and watering livestock. Yet streams, ponds, and rain pools can make the family sick because the water often contains harmful bacteria.

Water: Carrying the Burden - Woman Washing Dishes in Dirty Water

The Unto™ Clean Water Program provides deep water wells and filters, giving people access to safe drinking water in areas where water is scarce or supplies teem with contaminants. With a deep water well close by, community residents need not drink and cook with the same water they use to bathe, do laundry, or water animals. The burden of spending hours collecting and carrying water long distances becomes a thing of the past.

With the help of partners like you, Unto cares for the physical needs of people through clean water. At the same time, our staff teams in these difficult locations around the world demonstrate the kindness of Jesus to those who never have experienced His kind of love. Kindness leads people to receive the hope of Jesus. Where can you show kindness today?

Think About It

Use the following questions to begin a discussion with your family, or perhaps a class, about the importance of helping people have access to clean water:

What does it cost us to have water readily available?

Below is a list of how we use water daily. Can you think of others?

  • Drinking
  • Cooking
  • Bathing
  • Pets
  • Landscape
  • House plants
  • Dish washing
  • Toilet flushing
  • Hand washing
  • Teeth brushing
  • Laundry
  • House cleaning
  • Swimming pools
  • Car washing

What are some ways you can conserve water in your home?

You can show kindness through clean water. Maybe your family or group would like to raise funds toward clean water in some of the toughest places on earth.

Published July 25, 2017

Lara Strain is the Communications Team Lead for Unto. She has been an Unto staff member since June 2015.