In the developed world, where a glass of water is poured the second you sit down in a diner, water feels like an endless resource.
Globally, 1.1 billion people don't have that fluid luxury. Poverty, pollution, drought and poor sanitation stand between this vast chunk of humanity and a basic necessity.
Today, we TakePart in Blog Action Day.
The theme is "water." Specifically, how to make clean water available for the Earth's entire population, a goal that's as close to a moral imperative as it gets.
Here: Four ways you can pitch in to end a crisis that impacts more than a billion lives every single day.
Donate a Water Filter
Nearly 6,000 people will die from drinking unclean water in the next 24 hours. The LifeStraw, shown below, filters contaminated water and makes it safe and healthy to swallow. Donate here.
Help Build a Well in a Developing Country
In countries where water is not immediately available, people—often women—are required to walk several miles a day to obtain usable water. The task eats up so much time (109 million combined hours are wasted in Africa every day) that pursuing employment or an education can be impossible.
When he was 6 years old, Ryan Hreljac learned there were children in the world dying from a lack of clean water. He set his sights on raising money to make a difference. In 10 years, he has raised enough awareness—and money—to fund more than 500 well and sanitation projects in 16 countries. You can save children by joining Ryan in his simple solution. Support his project here.
Launch Your Own Water Challenge Fundraiser
Even if you don't have much of a philanthropic budget, you can be a big deal. Give up soda, juice, coffee—whatever your beverage of choice may be—for just two weeks. Then take the money you saved and donate it to clean water projects in developing countries. Think about it: giving up your Starbucks run alone could save, easily, $24.
You can take your efforts a step further by getting your friends, family, church group or classmates to TakePart. Find a free fundraising toolkit here.
Help Build Sanitary Toilets and Give Drinking Water for a Lifetime
Water.org works in developing countries to understand and meet the needs of locals, from accessing clean water to installing sanitation services—like toilets. With $25, you can give someone the gift of water for a lifetime. Go here to learn more.
Photo: Rick/Creative Commons via Flickr
Feature photo: Finbarr O'Reilly/Reuters