It was not long ago when James Leitner had a hard decision to make. He stood at the edge of Salt Lake City with full camping gear and 10 gallons of water. He had to walk 100 miles on the infamous Salt Flats to make it into Nevada. There was no houses, stores, or buildings for 100 miles. Only salt. Fearful, he began mile 1.

It took James Leitner 143 days to walk across the United States. He walked 3,250 miles or the same distance a woman or child will walk in a year in Africa to just get water. He pulled 10 gallons of water the entire time to symbolize the amount of water a family needs for one day. The reality of clean water is shocking to most considering most people always have water. Walking 3,250 miles was a choice for James, no one was telling him he had to do this. 
Every single day a child or woman is waking up early because they have to get water for their family. Walking multiple times, carrying water, missing out on the chance to go to school or work. 

School at a United States public school is typically 180 days long. Imagine having to miss 143 of those days. No child can gain a proper education. 

Now imagine gaining 143 days to a year. The opportunities are endless and can change a community, child, or woman's life. It is time to work together and be the change.

What does Kaliini Primary School and NASA have in common?

An astronaut will stay on the International Space Station (ISS) for an average of 6 months. Since they are in space, they can not resupply regularly. They need a way to clean and reuse the limited supply of water they have. The system they use has many complicated moving parts but uses the same filtration system the Kaliini Primary School uses, ultraviolet (UV) Filtration.

In November 2017, our founder has the chance to visit the Kaliini Primary School in Kenya with the nonprofit organization, Well Aware. This project catches rainwater off the roofs of the school and uses a small UV filter to clean the water. Many people have a misconception of rainwater. It is clear, so it must be clean. Imagine all of the dirt, bird droppings, and dust that collects on the roof. If not cleaned, all of that can make a person sick. 

Of course, the NASA system is high tech, very expensive, and has multiple patents. They needed to create a chemical-free system that could not lead to a hazardous environment in the ISS. UV light is the best alternative because of the few moving parts. Final testing will take place in March 2018 because it is utilized in the ISS.

Why We Run

The first MissionCleanWater Running Club members are starting to train for their March races. They have been runners for many years, but have found a new reason to run.  Not only are they trying to accomplish personal records, they are providing clean water and sanitation to communities in need. All they have to do is run and share. 

When we run, we represent the women and children walking for water every day. They have no water to cook with, to wash their clothes, to bath, or to drink. Someone has to go and find water. Depending on the season, most water sources can become dry. Some spend 2-4 hours walking every day to get water forcing them to miss out on school or other opportunities. 
When someone signs up for the running club they providing a new life to a community. A life with accessible, clean water and sanitation. Women and children are not walking all day to get water. They can use this freedom to go to school or take care of their family. Waterborne diseases almost disappear.  Life completely transforms.

Signing up is a big start in providing accessible clean drinking water. We will help you every step of the way. Contact us at MissionCleanWater.org for more information.

A City Without Water: Capetown, South Africa

Capetown is running out of water. The 2010 World Cup host does not have enough water for its citizens. Over the past 20 years, population growth has nearly doubled and city planners did not prepare for it. 4 million people will be out of clean water. There is not enough water storage to supply everyone with the water they need.  South Africa has been under a prolonged drought ever since the last rainy season brought zero rain.

 Day Zero has been predicted for April 29th, the day all of Capetown's dams and groundwater will go dry. What is Capetown doing to prepare for this? Once all dams reach 13%, they will be shut down for municipal water supply besides for essential services such as hospitals and schools. The city will be opening up 200 municipal water points where citizens can go to collect water. 4 million people have to go 200 collection points guarded by armed police where they can only collect 6.6 gallons of water a day. This includes water for drinking, washing, and cleaning.  

To conserve water, the city has asked household to limit themselves to 23 gallons of water a day. Only 54% of the citizens are hitting the target while others are consuming more than double and triple that amount. The City is hastily trying to pursue desalination projects (very expensive) and new groundwater opportunities. 

On April 29th, we will see what happens.

What does Dirty Water Look Like?

Imagine. You are 7 years old and your family does not have clean water. Your mom has to take care of  your younger sibling while your brother has to get ready to go to school. You can't go to school because it is your job to get water for your family. No house chores or tasks can be completed until your family has water. The only source is hand dug wells on the bottom of a dried up river. You take your 5 gallon jug and begin the journey. 

The journey is not to far, it takes about an hour. The river is dotted with hand dug wells. People dig holes a few feet deep to try and get water that has seeped into the ground during the wet season. The water is filled with dirt and soil but it is better then nothing. You know it might make you or your family sick, but it is all you have. You make the journey back home but this time it takes you 2 hours because the 5 gallon jug is so much heavier. Once home, you have to make the journey two more times to get enough water for your entire family.

You are done getting water for the day but know tomorrow, you will have to do it again. It has been a few months since you have been able to attend school. The water you are bringing back has made you sick but for now, it will have to do. Hopefully soon, a new water source can change all of this.