Water. We drink it. Shower in it. Flavor it. Swim in it. Spray our lawns with it. To many of us, H2O is a readily accessible utility, often taken for granted. For 738 million people worldwide, that is not the case. They do not have the luxury to drink it, to shower in it, to flavor it, to swim in it, let alone spray their lawn with it. 783 million. That's the number that a group a four undergraduates at The Ohio State University wanted to change.

As people say, change rarely comes easy. But what people won’t tell you is that you don’t have to be a multi-million dollar 50-year-old organization to do it. You can be an undergrad student who just moved into your freshman dorm to make waves in the world. The Pure Water Access Project founders were just that. Our beginnings are humble but our impact is anything but. Since 2010, we have participated in various sustainable clean water projects worldwide, changing hundreds of lives.

To us, water is not a guarantee, summoned like an item at a restaurant. Water means a young girl gets to go to school instead of traveling miles to the nearest well. Water means thousands of young children’s lives will not tragically end due to water borne illnesses and improper sanitation. Water means a village has more time to devote to growing food or earning an income, fighting the obscene poverty they were born into. Water means a woman can jumpstart her own business, taking control of her future. Water means hope. This simple mix of hydrogen and oxygen shapes our world, it lies at the foundation of all that we do as humans. Yet we still underestimate its power.

In a constantly adapting, ever-changing world, sustainability is the key to ensuring that our efforts are not fruitless. In a rapidly evolving world that may sometimes look bleak, we are optimistic. We have succeeded before and we will do it again. With the help of donors, partners, and global communities, Pure Water Access is more than an idea. It’s our Project.


Fellow Olivia Adkins