Written by Holly Korn, 4-in-24 Water Challenge Participant.
Water runs in the family. Holly is the proud mom to our own, Matt Korn, PWW’s Executive Director.
During my tenure as an upper elementary teacher, the line “water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink” could have been the title of a unit on water that I shared with my students. Living in Southeast Ohio, an area known for coal mining from the early 1800’s through about 1960, I wanted my students to understand why many of our streams are rust colored; to understand the importance of water and the consequences of the actions we take, immediate and future, at home and globally.
Therefore, when I saw that PWW was launching the 4-in-24 Water Challenge on October 4, I knew I had to be a part of the challenge. Something about it intrigued me and I kept thinking about how I would respond and how I would present the challenge to my friends. After all, PWW offered the facts and I already had some expertise in water research. I decided I’d try it out, only 4 gallons of water to be used on a Saturday.
What a humbling experience! My “expertise” was literally flushed down the toilet and every sink in my house. And what about my garden? And what about the 8 cups of water I’m supposed to drink everyday?
As soon as I turned on the faucet, the first issue emerged. It was just so easy to turn on full blast–a long standing habit. Even if the water was turned off quickly, why not turn on a trickle instead?
Dishes? I spent 30 minutes researching the most energy efficient ways of washing them with no result that was really going to help with stretching those 4 gallons.
A shower? Out of the question.
Water my garden? The nozzle to my hose did not fit properly, dripping and spraying everywhere. I just hadn’t gotten around to getting a new one. And why hadn’t I planted all drought resistant flowers and perennials or at least, more vegetables?
Flushing the toilet? I’m not even going there.
The challenges grew along with my awareness of my privilege, responsibility and waste of this precious, diminishing resource. With that shift came the complicated thoughts of the fundamental importance of water to health and safety. And that brought my thoughts to PWW and its mission to bring sustainable health and safety to thousands of men, women and children in Haiti and Honduras through WASH.
That trial Saturday ended with jumbled thoughts: very discouraged with my thoughtless water use, happy to think I might grow from this, thrilled to be an active, creative participant in the 4-in-24 Water Challenge along with my friends. (see Holly’s fundraising page)
I’m certainly no water expert, but a student, learning to use my privilege and knowledge to become a more responsible water user.
Thank you PWW. This is a life changing challenge for any and all ages!
Thank you, Holly, for taking the plunge and sharing your trial run! We look forward to the 4-in-24 Water Challenge touching other participants in the same impactful way. Little by little, drop by drop, we can work together to bring awareness to the global water reality and provide much-needed safe water solutions to the more than two billion people who currently live without reliable access to this most precious element for life.