Water. Our need for it. Our use of it. And our world’s growing shortage of it. This has been the focal point of our journey, on bicycles, across the southern United States of America.

What if I told you that in California we are using up our ground water supplies way faster than the rains can even dream of replenishing them? Because we are. Or what if I told you that the Rio Grande and the mighty Colorado, due to overuse by cities and agriculture, no longer reach the sea? Because they don’t.

I think sometimes we Americans feel numb. Separate. Invincible, almost, from the problems affecting the rest of the world. But this time it’s different. We, too, are incapable of living without water. And we, too, are in crisis. In fact, the whole world over, none of us can live without it. And the longer we ignore this global catastrophe, the worse it will become. And fast.

What if I told you that millions of women and children spend most of their lives walking, for hours on end, every day, in the unforgiving desert sun, to fetch water from filthy ponds and seeps? Because they do. And this water kills them. And their children. 4,000 children die every day from water-related causes such as hookworms and dysentery. 4,000. Every day. But it’s the only water they have. And humans need water. So they are left with no choice.

This three month journey has not only been about raising money for WaterAid International. It has also been about raising awareness. About uniting us all in this common need. This basic human right… Water. Because water IS life.

Ready access to clean water is the first step to eradicating poverty. And if we have this knowledge, and we know of the need, how can we NOT help each other? And if we know there is a way to live more gently and harmoniously with the earth, here at home, on our own soil, how can we NOT? We must. We MUST help. And we must change. We all depend on it, more than we can even begin to realize…