The Running Water Problem We're Not Talking About Enough

December 2nd 2016

Laura Donovan

It's easy to take water for granted when you never have to worry about running out of it.

But not all Americans have running water.

About 1.6 million Americans lack access to full indoor plumbing, according to an April 2014 report in The Washington Post.

Water access is a struggle known to many Native Americans. Navajo-born individuals are 67 times more likely to lack access to running water in their homes, Connecticut public media resource WNPR reported In January 2015.

People living on reservations lack access to water because Native Americans couldn't vote until 1948 in Arizona and New Mexico, so they weren't part of the city planning process for getting plumbing and water into their communities, Dan McCool — a University of Utah political science professor who has studied Native American water rights — told CBS Sunday Morning in August 2015.

"They did not have a voice," McCool said. "They were not in line politically when the money, the funding, the projects, and the water [were] being allocated."

Nonprofit organization DigDeep is fighting back by providing clean water to communities in need, both in the U.S. and outside of it.

DigDeep digs wells and brings clean water to the Navajo Nation via truck, ATTN: noted in a recent video.

DigDeep started the Navajo Water Project to help the Navajo Nation.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe faces a water challenge of its own right now.

Thousands of people have come together at the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota to protest the North Dakota Access Pipeline, arguing that the proposed pipeline could jeopardize the water supply of the Sioux tribe should a leak of crude oil contaminate the Missouri River.

The pipeline would carry more than 470,000 barrels of crude oil daily between North Dakota and Illinois.

Protests against the pipeline are ongoing. The Army Corps of Engineers wrote a letter to the Sioux tribe on the day after Thanksgiving ordering protesters to leave the area by Dec. 5; protest leaders vowed to remain despite the order.

Watch ATTN:'s video below about water access in the U.S.: