I hear plenty of people confess that they take clean water "for granted", but what does this actually mean? Most people understand the problem from their perspective. They know that they simply have to turn on the tap and water comes out, and they rightly count their blessings.
What most people don't tend to think about is what would happen if they didn't have water? In fairness it's really hard to do. Ask most people what they would do if the tap ran dry, and they may think about buying drinking water from a shop, or filling a bucket from a neighbour or even getting water from a stand-pipe. But what if none of that was possible? What if all that infrastructure didn't exist.
We find it nearly impossible to think of walking miles to collect water, perhaps several times a day. We can't comprehend the choice between our children going to school and collecting water for the family. We struggle to imagine a situation where we would consume unsafe water because it's the only option available. It is inconceivable to us, that we could give our child a drink of water, and that could be the thing which kills them.
This is the reality of the situation for 663 million people World wide. Nearly one in ten of the World's population live without clean water. Dirty water kills more people globally than all forms of violence and nearly half of those are children under five. If you can't just turn on the tap, then the collection of water becomes the work of staying alive. Billions of hours are dedicated to the collection of water, these are hours when kids could be at school and adults could be creating an income. Much of the work of collecting water falls to women and girls who are both disadvantaged and often put at physical risk.
Clean water matters because clean water means that your children don't get sick. Clean water means that instead of spending hours collecting water you can be growing food, going to school, creating an income and making your life better. Clean water means that women and girls get a better chance to achieve their full potential. Clean water matters because clean water means life.