People in the most rudimentary systems simply walk to a source and bring water back to their dwellings. Because it is free and does not require any infrastructure, this ancient distribution mechanism is still widely used in developing countries.
These systems have a significant impact on the workers tasked with transporting water, who are almost exclusively women. Water provision in this manner is physically demanding and time consuming—it may take several hours each day.
In a poor country, the average woman or girl treks six kilometers each day to fetch water. A typical 20-liter water container weighs around 20 pounds, which is the same as the standard airport luggage allowance. The burden of such a weight, which is often borne on the head, back, or hip, can have serious health consequences.
This time-consuming task also denies many women and girls the opportunity to receive an education, make a living, or participate in other efforts that may help them escape the cycle of poverty that is so prevalent in this sort of society.