As a public policy student who has always been interested in the field of “social” policy and fighting for those who have given the most to society but have received the least, I always think about the underlying causes of the system that has not only created inequality at all levels, but managed to exacerbate it.

What are the systemic mechanisms paving the way for unequal distribution of wealth that leave millions of Americans no choice but to grapple with poverty? What would happen if policymakers put “communities” at the center of policy design, identified the needs of each region in a meticulous manner, and used innovative tailored solutions to kickstart bottom-up development? These were some of the questions I had been thinking about when I came across Blue Access. The community-oriented approach to one of the most important issues people face enticed me to join other change-makers at Blue Access.

The implications of increased access to water include economic empowerment through the emergence of new industries, expanded opportunities in the job market, and the creation of a sustainable future for upcoming generations. I am thrilled to be a part of something bigger than I am. Coming from a country (Turkey) where drinking water is only sold in bottles, but not accessible from the tap, water equity transcends borders and I am personally committed to this important pursuit—equitable access to water—in the realm of public policy, to ensure that policymakers pay more attention to water accessibility issues.

Every aspect of our lives depends on water. People need water to survive, businesses need water to operate, and communities need access to water to flourish. Yet, current research shows that poverty and inequality are inextricably linked to water insecurity. A World Bank report demonstrates the severity of water inequality by emphasizing the fact that there are 2.2 billion people around the world who do not have access to safe drinking water and water services, and 4.2 billion people are living without sanitations services.

The disparities between water accessibility and growing populations are halting development and economic progress globally. During these poignant times, it is apparent that water policy has never mattered more. To address these complex problems, Blue Access is amplifying voices in local communities, and forming alliances with regional organizations to identify and implement sustainable solutions to achieve water equity.

Image: Sunset over the Potomac River