If you are reading this online, you are probably one of the world’s super rich (comparatively speaking). Your country has significant infrastructure, schools, multi vehicle homes, you may even have more than $50 to your name right now. Awesome. But most importantly, you get to poop in clean water.

No, seriously, if your city, state, country, etc. treats your water, they probably treat it all to the same exacting standards. It probably meets or exceeds The World Health Organization standards. This is because some people in your country are too poor to have running water in their home. They go to public faucets or wells to get what they need. Your country tries to make sure they have drinkable water.
But no one is going to make two separate treatment facilities and all that infrastructure, one for drinking and one for everything else. So all that water is good…relatively speaking. And you poop in it.

Millions of people on the planet have not even seen a five gallon bottle filled with purified water. Some may never get to drink clean water. And you poop in it.

Why? Because you can. Because we are ashamed of the waste we create and because we are distanced from the cost.
Everyone with pipes bringing water to their home pays to support the infrastructure, taxes, tuition, all that. So your water bill looks like just $30-50 a month. Not the true energy, infrastructure, environmental and labor costs.
Our opaque walls don’t let us see the millions of gallons in the pipes in buildings, and streets. Think of Septic tanks, swimming pools, water towers, baby diaper and sanitary pad gels that trap water, car radiators, the list goes on. Who is that water stolen/borrowed from? The water in the water Cycle cools the entire planet…or it is supposed to. So are we stealing from everyone?
And how much is that really? Flushing a 4 gallon toilet 3 times a day for 32 years is 140,256 gallons and that is on the low side. 500,000 people would use 6,000,000 gallons in one day at that rate.
So yeah, when you think of those people suffering from a drought, the raging wildfires, lack of access to clean water, think of how much water does not run through the rivers and streams, because it runs through your pipes. How many clouds are trapped in your pipes? How many rain clouds have you pooped in?

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio