There are a slew of things that we take for granted in our modern world each and every day because for the most part you can count on them working correctly day in and day out, and while there are plenty of resources that we would be loath to lose the use of for even a partial day, one of the foremost items that we would be most troubling to lose is water. While we can quibble and argue that the most essential element for life itself is air, the fact of the matter is, with the exception of the most dire of emergencies you can find yourself good or at a minimum adequate air, but nearly one billion people upon this great planet lack reasonable access to safe drinking water and without safe water your health, and your life itself is seriously imperiled.
According to nicoletwater.com, "90 percent of Americans receive drinking water from a public water supply, such as a city, town or county water department." On the surface that appears to be wonderful news, except for the fact that there are significant logistics involved in bringing that safe drinking water to our homes. The first issue is that the water has to be safe--it cannot be compromised. We typically get our water from sources such as lakes, reservoirs, streams, and rivers, but that water isn't simply just piped into our homes as is, it has to be diverted first into and then typically pumped into a holding pond which will then have the water treated with chemicals, then the usage of filters to screen out sediments, and finally a more thorough filtration will be utilized. Next, further cleaning chemicals will be used to destroy bacteria and other harmful elements, than tests will be run to assure that the water has been properly purified before that water is stored pending its delivery to the population.
Now with the safe water being stored typically in a water tower it is available for distribution but that brings in a host of other items needed for that distribution. Water must flow through pipes to arrive at your home, it must also have the energy needed to flow through those pipes, while part of that movement of water will come from gravity, part also comes from the flow of water through the mechanism of high pressure to low pressure, but in order to accomplish that, that necessitates electrical energy. A water supply without appropriate power and without necessary pressure is stagnant water in which the quality of that water will be become suspect in a very short period of time due to the possible contamination of the water by bacteria. You may still have access to the water, but now it must be treated, typically by boiling the water for a period of time, before you can use it. Should your access to water be completely cut off, you are at the mercy to any previous storage of water that you may or may not have. Without safe and clean water, the quality of your life deteriorates rapidly, and chaos & panic will quickly ensue.
For millions of people around the world, that do not have either safe or a clean water supply available to them, and therefore they must either use water that is convenient but contaminated, or travel long distances to procure hopefully safe water in which the transport of water is neither convenient, easy, or reliable, since the weight of only one gallon of water is about eight pounds. Without an easy, affordable, and steady supply of safe drinking water, your life, your livelihood, your sanitation, and your health is on the wrong side of the line drawn in the sand.