Getting Clean Water Is No Problem In The United States, Right?

Access to clean water isn't a luxury. It's a necessity. See what one Najavo community is doing to make sure everybody can get it for their families.

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Narrator: Most people assumed that everyone in the U.S. can just turn on their tap and get clean water whenever they want it, but that's not true.

Resident: My brother-in-law used to haul water for us with our wagon.

Resident: Sometimes we would get a snow and let it melt on the stove.

Narrator: Smith Lake is a small town in New Mexico in the middle of the Navajo Reservation. Like any other American town, it has roads, a school, a ZIP Code. But most people in Smith Lake don't have running water at home. For generations, they've gotten water with a can, sometimes even carrying it home on their backs from open ponds.

Last year, Dig Deep began work in with St. Bonaventure Indian Mission. Since 1974, they've ran a school near Smith Lake and provided essential services to Navajo families, like water delivery.

Cindy Howe: My name is Cindy Howe. I work for St. Bonaventure Indian Mission. Part of my duties here at the mission is to ensure that the Navajo people have the services that they need.

Resident: We used to use the snow for drinking water.

Narrator: Many people don't have a way to get clean water for themselves. They depend on the water truck to deliver every drop they need during the day. But St. Bonaventure has reached its limit. With just one truck and over 250 homes to visit, there's never enough to go around.

Cindy Howe: At times, we were not able to get the water to the people that are really in need.

Narrator: This is Darlene Arviso. Every day she wakes up at 6:00 a.m. to drive the school bus. After dropping the kids off, she warms up the water truck, fills the tank and delivers clean water, stopping by every home she can on a 70-mile radius.

Cindy Howe: I've never met anybody like that and I would not be able to do that. The people that she serves, they love her to death. She is the eyes and the ears for St. Bonaventure in the mission. She also tells us, "This person needs blankets" or "This person needs jackets or food" and she delivers those,

Narrator: Dig Deep is working with St. Bonaventure and Darlene to bring enough safe, clean drinking water to every home in Smith Lake for the first time ever. We'll start by drilling a new well at the center of the community with free clean water taps for emergencies. And each home, we'll build systems to take water from buckets on the front porch to elevated tanks that can power taps and toilets inside. From the new well, Darlene's truck and more like it, will be bale to reach everyone with enough clean water to live normal, healthy lives.

We believe that every person has a right to clean water. This year, help Dig Deep and Darlene bring clean water to over 250 American homes because water poverty isn't as far away as you think. Visit DigDeepWater.org/Navajo to learn more.

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Published:
Jul 30, 2014

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