Clean Water: An Integral Part of Our Lives

Oct 26, 2020
Water is an integral part of our lives, whether we think about it or not. Read more on this, then support our neighbors in Warm Springs.

By Jana Hemphill


Think about all of the times that you take your clean tap water for granted. You wake up in the morning. You start your coffee maker. After breakfast, you brush your teeth. You fill up a water bottle before heading out for a walk. It’s supposed to be a warm day, so you add some ice cubes from the freezer. Throughout the day, you make an effort to drink those recommended eight glasses of water. You add a splash of water to what you’re cooking. Maybe you add a splash of water to that whiskey you’re drinking. You wash your dishes after you finish dinner. You make yourself a cup of herbal tea. Getting ready for sleep, you brush your teeth again. You wash your face. You put a glass of water by your bedside in case you wake up thirsty in the middle of the night. Water is an integral part of your day, whether you think about it or not.

Now, imagine this instead. You wake up in the morning. You bring your tap water to a rolling boil, boil for three minutes, and then let the water cool. Every time you want to drink water, brush your teeth, cook with water, and wash your dishes, you have to repeat this step. Every day. Sometimes the boil water notice is lifted, only to return months later. Sometimes, you don’t even have tap water. You drive to a water distribution center to get bottled water or refill water jugs. This time it’s been months with a boil water notice. You boil your water in the spring and in the fall. You boil your water when you have family in town visiting. You boil your water during a pandemic. You boil your water while wildfires threaten your community. Now do you think about how water is an integral part of your day? Are you still taking your water for granted?

Boiling water to wash dishes. Photo: Warm Springs Community Action Team.
Boiling water to wash dishes. Photo: Warm Springs Community Action Team.
The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs have been experiencing a water crisis for almost two years. Like in Flint, Michigan, there is not safe drinking water. This was caused by a water main line break, and there is no relief in sight. More than 60% of Warm Springs residents are without access to consistent, clean water. These are children, parents, neighbors, friends, and grandparents that are suffering. They are our neighbors.

What can you do to help? One of the best ways you can help is by donating to the Chúush Fund at the MRG Foundation. Making a gift in this way goes directly to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs as soon as possible and lets them work to restore their access and infrastructure. With an estimated repair of $200 million, every dollar makes a difference.

As a Central Oregon community, we are strong when we work together with our neighbors. Now is the time to show that strength once more. Because water is life and we all need access to clean water.

 

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