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One Child Dies Every 20 Seconds From This—And How You Can Help

Walkers can choose to carry buckets to experience a bit of what it's really like to make the trek. (Photo courtesy of Walk for Water)

Every 20 seconds, one child dies from consuming contaminated water. It's easy to forget—with such easy access to bottled H2O and clean water flowing from the tap—that more than one billion people worldwide lack access to clean drinking water. But the startling facts remain:

  • Unclean water leads to more deaths each year than war and causes 80 percent of the world's diseases
  • Those in regions without clean water may need to walk as many as six miles each day to obtain the 40 to 80 pounds of water needed for their family
  • All of this water-gathering time, which adds up to about 10 years of life, can't be spent at work, school or caring for family

This weekend, Positive Community Impact (PCI) is hosting their fourth annual 5K Walk for Water in San Diego, California to help raise money for this important cause. Free on Sunday at 10 a.m.? Register to spend a bit of time walking in the footsteps of all of those in water-deprived regions—money from the student-run event supports important projects in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa. (One PCI staff member traveled to Tanzania last year to help build a well for residents.) If you can't make it to the walk, here are five "steps" you can take today to start conserving water:

  1. Shorten your shower...Save 2.5 gallons/minute
  2. Wash only full loads of laundry...Save 15-50 gallons/load
  3. Replace your old toilet with a low-flow model...Save 2.2-3.8 gallons/flush
  4. Install flow-restricting aerators on faucets...Save 4.7 gallons/day
  5. Turn off the faucet while washing dishes or brushing teeth...Save 2.5 gallons/minute