My good friends Garrett Russell and Brittany App pedaled their bikes from California to Florida last year for one simple reason: water.
They wanted to raise awareness about the water crisis occurring in communities all over the world. nearly one billion people – about one in eight – lack access to clean water. More people in the world own cell phones than have access to toilets. Even those who do have access to water don't always have access to clean water - waterborne diseases cause 1.4 million child deaths every year, and half of the world’s hospitalizations are due to water-related disease.
Brittany and Garrett averaged 37 miles per day following the Southern Tier – a route established by the Adventure Cycling Association – covering 3,159 miles between San Diego, California and St. Augustine, Florida.
The duo raised $15,000 for WaterAid International along the way.
Brittany, photojournalist extraordinaire, wrote, photographed, and blog daily on their blog, Cycling for Water. She interviewed and photograph people along the way who have earned local or regional recognition for inspiring people to care about the planet. Garrett, film-maker extraordinaire, shot video throughout the journey, and now he's making a film about the water crisis, cycling, and how it's all connected. You can learn more about his film here.
I take water for granted. My daily showers, the dishwasher, and boiling pots of pasta and soup on the stove are things that I expect, and not things that I appreciate. Cycling for Water has made me realize the significance of every sip of clean water I swig. My friends have not only opened my eyes to the scarcity of clean water around the globe, but also informed me as to how I can help to improve this issue.
Please follow @watertension on Twitter to learn more about the progress of the film.
Please donate to the making of Garrett's film, Water Tension, on Kickstarter. He has until June 1st to raise $5,500, and he's already half way there. If he can produce and disperse information about water issues, even more people can get involved to make an impact.
Thank you for reading.