Many of us see summer as a time for fun: vacations, the beach, barbecues and the occasional wedding. And, while many of us have access to swimming pools, people in the water-deprived villages of Asia, Africa and South America are literally dying for clean water, 1.8 million per year, according to the World Health Organization. People who, by some accident of birth, were born in a water-deprived village near the equator.
As the price of gold rises, little do people realize that there's a part of the globe where clean water is, in a sense, more precious than gold. Imagine living in a village where women and girls from each family must walk to a distant water source to fill containers with heavy water at least twice a day. Imagine that water source being a contaminated open well or a parasite-infested watering hole where animals bathe.
Of course, during the dry season, it may dry up partially or totally, then they must walk farther or do with less water. And they must collect water every day, always at risk of attack by wild animals, snakes or worse. The water collected must be for drinking, cooking, bathing, washing clothes, bathing livestock, etc.