1 in every 6 people on the planet doesn't have access to clean water. The Blue Planet Run Foundation has made it their mission to make a dent in that number by implementing sustainable water projects around the world.

Their documentary book Blue Planet Run: The Race to Provide Safe Drinking Water to the World, created by Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt, visualizes the world's water crisis, the organization's efforts, and what we can do in our everyday lives to help. These photographs show the personal impact of water shortages and unsafe drinking water, as well as the progress that's been made by applying new innovations.
50 percent: The number of people who don't have access to the quality of water available to the citizens of Rome 2,000 years ago
The Aral Sea, once a glistening body of water, has lost two-thirds of its volume because its source rivers were diverted for cotton irrigation during the Soviet era. Previously the fourth-largest lake in the world -- the size of Southern California -- much of it is now a dry graveyard of rusting shipwrecks. This desertification has produced toxic dust, resulting in respiratory diseases and cancers in communities downwind of the lake.
40 billion: The number of hours spent each year in Africa due to the need to collect and haul water
Kenyan villagers on low-lying Pate Island gather brackish drinking water from small holes in the sand, less than 300 feet from the ocean. More than 2 billion people around the world rely on wells for their water. Clean water has become an increasingly scarce resource as water tables continue to drop at an alarming rate.
1.1 billion: The number of people worldwide--1 in every 6--without access to clean water
With its population of 18 million growing by 400,000 per year, the water needs of Mumbai, India, are staggering. Because water is prohibitively expensive, many of the poor rely on leaks found - or created - in the massive pipelines carrying water to more affluent neighborhoods. Mumbai's have-nots avoid garbage and human waste surrounding their dwellings by walking on top of the pipelines. Worldwide, fresh water losses from leakage are as high as 70% in some major cities.
5.3 billion: The number of people--two-thirds of the world's population--who will suffer from water shortages by 2025
The Jai Hind Camp, in the heart of Delhi, India, is home to more than 4,000 migrant workers, all dependent on daily deliveries from public and private water trucks. The middle class in India, which receives water via home faucets, pays a tenth of what their poor neighbors pay for their water delivered by truck. India has nearly 17% of the world's population but only about 4% of its freshwater resources.
1.8 million: The number of children who die every year from waterborne diseases--one every 15 seconds
These fifth-grade students in Beijing are quickly discovering that the environment is paying a steep price for their nation's booming economy: China's water and air are becoming increasingly toxic. Seventy percent of the country's major rivers no longer support life, and 25 to 33% of the population -- more than 300 million people -- do not have access to safe drinking water.
1.8 million: The number of children who die every year from waterborne diseases--one every 15 seconds
In 2007, the Foundation held its first awareness and fundraising event, the Blue Planet Run, the first-ever around-the-world relay run.

Vermont attorney Dot Helling, 57, has run more than 100 marathons in her career, but her dash along the Great Wall of China during one of the more exotic legs of the 15,200-mile Blue Planet Run was by far the highlight of her journey. "The Chinese were fascinated by my team outfit and my muscles -- they made me feel like a celebrity. In fact, some thought I was there to train for the Olympics."
1.8 million: The number of children who die every year from waterborne diseases--one every 15 seconds
Tran Quoc Xu spent much of his day fetching water. Today a water system in his Vietnamese hamlet means villagers no longer have to travel great distances for water or pay high prices to have it delivered.
1.8 million: The number of children who die every year from waterborne diseases--one every 15 seconds
Jagganath Mule, a farmer in the Sindhi Kalegoan village in southwest India, has dramatically increased the yield of his vegetable crop thanks to a low-cost drip irrigation system based on "pepsees." The system was invented by an Indian farmer who had a side business selling frozen Popsicles. One day he realized that he could wind long, uncut rolls of durable Popsicle wrappers along the rows of his crops and then pump water into the them. The holes in the perforations between each Popsicle wrapper acted as distribution points for the water in the tube.
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Water World: An Organization's Goal to Provide Water to 2 Million People

1 in every 6 people on the planet doesn't have access to clean water. The Blue Planet Run Foundation has made it their mission to make a dent in that number by implementing sustainable water projects around the world. These photographs show the personal impact of water shortages and unsafe drinking water, as well as the progress that's been made by applying new innovations.

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