Hello again to all of our Clean Water Raingers!  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. When it was time to cook the turkey and the rest of our Thanksgiving meal, I was deep in thought while standing at the sink, washing fruit for our fruit salad. What was I thinking about?

I am very, very thankful for clean, running water. You turn on your faucet and out it comes; water to clean vegetables, fill a drinking glass, water your houseplants, do your dishes, wash your face, brush your teeth….you get the point. Many of the things we do inside our home involve clean, running water.


Have you ever thought about how many ways we use water every day? 

Most of the time, we don’t even think about the luxury of running water. It is fairly abundant and of good quality in our watershed and our neighboring watershed, the Beaver Lake Watershed. However, many people living in the world don’t have this luxury and getting enough potable water is a daily struggle.

What does potable mean? Drinking water or potable water is safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm.

Many people in the world must walk long distances to get water for their daily needs, and often the water is contaminated. These duties generally fall to the women. In the photo below, a woman fills her 5 gallon container from an open hole dug in a dry riverbed.

Tanzania Water Hole

Woman at waterhole in Tanzania

Can you imagine carrying 5 gallons of water for 3 miles or more? You know how much a gallon of milk weighs, right? Now imagine carrying 5 of them at the same time, down the street you live on for one block. Then imagine doing it 39 times, and that is about how far many of these women carry their water, sometimes on their head.

When I was young I spent two years in Belize, which is a country below Mexico in Central America. People often got sick from the water they drank out of the rivers. Very few people in the country had indoor plumbing or washing machines. I had to wash my white school uniform on a washboard and I can tell you that it was not fun. Many women living in the villages washed their clothes in the river, the same river their drinking water came from. I keep a picture of the woman washing clothes in the river next to my washing machine, just in case I forget how easy it is for me to do laundry.

Washing Clothes In River

 Washing clothes in the river (Photo by Ron Michaels)

Doing Laundry

A washing machine makes life much easier

So, while I was washing my fruit on Thanksgiving Day I thought about being thankful to be living in the United States, where most people have safe water. I was thankful for the clean, running water that makes our lives so much easier every day. And I hope you will always be thankful and mindful of your water resources.

Clean Water Raingers, I know that you will take care of your watershed and remember that for all living things …… Water Is Life !

If you want to share why you are thankful for clean, running water, you can do so in the comment area below!

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