DIGDEEP Starts Defending Water Access in the US
Every few weeks, the DIGDEEP team fields project suggestions from family and friends. With nearly one billion thirsty people on this planet, it seems someone’s always finding a new school, church or community that needs our help in the field. When we can, we do.
A few months ago our friend Karen called with a suggestion of her own. Karen knows all about our field work in East Africa – she’s one of our biggest fans – but she wasn’t calling to tell us about an under-served elementary school in South Sudan. Karen was calling about a community much closer to LA, just 10 hours away in northern New Mexico.
Karen does incredible work with rural communities in the Southwest, and on one of her most recent trips, she stumbled upon something of an anomaly… a community of about 200 Navajo families without access to water. Except it wasn’t such an anomaly at all.
Data shows that nearly 1.8 million Americans lack access to safe water and/or waste water disposal. That’s only .6% of the US population, a number that skyrockets to nearly 13% on American Indian reservations. (data)
This week, we’re headed to Thoreau (pronounced through), New Mexico for a site visit. After a quick drive down Route 66, we’ll arrive at the Saint Bonaventure school and mission on the nation’s largest American Indian reservation.
When we arrive, we’ll meet with Karen, school leaders, Navajo officials and some community members to begin planning a water project. Step one is a long visit to better understand the lives and needs of the local community. By combining this experience with environmental data, engineering information, and a public health assessment, we can begin defending the human right to water in earnest. That’s what this trip is all about.
Our friend and volunteer photographer Heather Gildroy will be along to help.
You can follow the adventure this week on DIGDEEP’s twitter (#roadtrip), on the blog, and on facebook.
DIGDEEP is now working to defend your human right to water in the United States. Join us @ digdeepwater.org