Charity: water celebrates World Water Day with 407 awe-inspiring human profiles

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There are currently 663 million people around the world living without clean water, and 18-year-old Hiwot of Adi Etot, Ethiopia was one of them.

Hiwot used to spend up to six hours a day collecting one Jerry Can of water for her family. And Hiwot's story of balancing farm work, raising her child and collecting water for her family is not uncommon in her small Ethiopian community. 22-year-old Haymanot, 19-year-old Berey, 21-year-old Frewoyini -- each of these women shared the same story of putting aside education to focus on chores each dependent on the task of acquiring water.

As 26-year-old Muzey's bio states, "It upsets her to give dirty water to her children, but she has no other choice."

The outside world would likely know nothing of these human stories, if not for charity: water's new "Someone Like You," campaign, which was fully released today in conjunction with World Water Day.

RELATED: A look at charity: water's trip to Adi Etot

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World Water Day has been observed annually on March 22 since the United Nations General Assembly designated the international celebration in 1993. Charity: water -- a non-profit with the mission of bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries -- is celebrating this year's annual event with 407 profiles on the people they just brought clean water to in Adi Etot for the first time.

The New York-based non-profit had originally planned an October 2016 trip to Ethiopia in sync with the organization's "charity: ball," at which fundraiser attendees some 6,685 miles away from Adi Etot were able to view the human profiles of someone in the impacted African community.

"While we were there it became so personal," said charity: water branded content lead Tyler Riewer, who was on site in Adi Etot during the October trip. "You start to get a sense of how everybody there resembles somebody that you know."

Riewer mentioned one person in particular had reminded him of his late grandfather, and said his team wanted to give that intimate experience to the rest of the world.

SEE ALSO: Somalia says 110 dead in 48 hours due to drought

The group spent two weeks in Adi Etot in October, and then prepared for the big December gala at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

After people were offered the opportunity to donate $30 each (which charity: water cites as the amount it takes to bring one person in a developing country clean water), the audience was surprised with an Adi Etot live stream, where they watched as water erupted from the community's ground for the first time.

"Everyone had gotten up early to walk in the dark to watch water erupt from the ground for the first time," said Riewer, who described singing and dancing in Adi Etot at the site of the water's eruption. Tyler was able to return to Adi Etot for the December groundbreaking, and was featured on the event live stream.

He emphasized the joy of being in Ethiopia for the event, noting, "I would say I had the better seat in the house."

WATCH: See the emotional gala reveal of Adi Etot's new water source

Today, 1.8 billion people around the world use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces -- putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio. This fact, Riewer says, is hard for most people in developing nations to process.

"There are people who have lived in [the Adi Etot] community for 91 or 85 years who have never known a life with clean water," said Riewer. "It's so hard to fathom what a life without clean water looks like...to imagine what my local water source would be if I didn't have access to clean water."

That, in so many ways, is what the "Someone Like You" campaign is getting at -- the often-felt disconnect between those affected by a global health and environmental crisis and those safe from harm. Using the charity: water interface, anyone can enter their age, values and a little information about how they spend their time, and these answers will generate a profile of someone who is most similar to them.

Where 1-in-10 people lack access to safe water around the world, Riewer says this 1-on-1 connection allows people to "get a sense of how our community can help change the lives of this community."

"The opportunity for us is to try and paint that picture and show people, connect people with people just like us who were unfortunately born in a place where this is their water source," Riewer said.

A recent Yale study shows 70 percent of Americans believe global warming is happening, but only 50 percent think it will affect them personally. With that in mind, one might assume at first that Americans don't care about water pollution. According to water-challenge.com, though, the U.S. doesn't even break the Top 10 in countries with cleanest drinking in the world, and this was evidenced with the escalation of Flint, Michigan's water crisis last January.

RELATED: Inside Flint, Michigan's water crisis

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People wait in line to attend a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy about the tainted water in Flint, Michigan, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, March 17, 2016. / AFP / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 23: A volunteer walks by cases of bottled water at the St. Mark Baptist Church in Flint, Mich., that serves as a water distribution area, February 23, 2016. The water supply was not properly treated after being switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River and now contains lead and iron. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 23: From left, Immanuel Stinson, Tirrell Mills, Walter Simmons, and Charles Reid, man a water distribution area at the St. Mark Baptist Church in Flint, Mich., February 23, 2016. The water supply was not properly treated after being switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River and now contains lead and iron. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 26: Matt Hopper holds and comforts Nyla Hopper, age 5 of Flint, after she has her blood drawn to be tested for lead on January 26, 2016 at Eisenhower Elementary School in Flint, Michigan. Free lead screenings are performed for Flint children 6-years-old and younger, one of several events sponsored by Molina Healthcare following the city's water contamination and federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Flint residents Gladyes Williamson (C) holds a bottle full of contaminated water, and a clump of her hair, alongside Jessica Owens (R), holding a baby bottle full of contaminated water, during a news conference after attending a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Flint, Michigan water crisis on Capitol Hill February 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. Williamson, and Owens traveled to Washington by bus with other flint familes to attend the House hearing on the crisis, and demand that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder be brought before Congress to testify under oath. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Flint resident Jessica Owens holds a baby bottle full of contaminated water, during a news conference after attending a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Flint, Michigan water crisis on Capitol Hill February 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. Owens and other Flint families traveled to Washington by bus to attend a House hearing on the crisis and demand that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder be brought before Congress to testify under oath. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Flint residents call for justice during a news conference, after attending a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Flint, Michigan water crisis on Capitol Hill February 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. A group of Flint families traveled to Washington by bus to attend a House hearing on the crisis and demand that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder be brought before Congress to testify under oath. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: Flint resident Leroy Jackson attends a news conference with Flint families after attending a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Flint, Michigan water crisis on Capitol Hill February 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. Jackson and other Flint families traveled to Washington by bus to attend a House hearing and demand that Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder be brought before Congress to testify under oath. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - FEBRUARY 3: From left, Marc Edwards, Charles P. Lundsford Professor of Environmental and Water Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, looks on as LeeAnne Walters, Flint resident who helped expose the lead crisis, testifies during the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Examining Federal Administration of the Safe Drinking Water Act in Flint, Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 27: A sign at a local restaurant reassures customers that they are not on Flint water but on uncontaminated water pulled from Detroit on January 27, 2016 at Westside Diner in Flint, Michigan. Local restaurants have faced concerns following the contamination of Flint's water and subsequent federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 24: Matt Krol speaks to protestors and citizens about the Flint Water Crisis on January 24, 2016 at Flint City Hall in Flint, Michigan. The event was organized by Genesee County Volunteer Militia to protest corruption they see in government related to the Flint water crisis that resulted in a federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 24: A shirt worn by a man during a rally displays a poisonous logo alongside the text 'City of Flint MI Water Dept.' on January 24, 2016 at Flint City Hall in Flint, Michigan. The event was organized by Genesee County Volunteer Militia to protest corruption they see in government related to the Flint water crisis that resulted in a federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 24: Protestors hold signs and listen as Dave McKellar speaks about the troubles facing Flint at a rally on January 24, 2016 at Flint City Hall in Flint, Michigan. The event was organized by Genesee County Volunteer Militia to protest corruption they see in government related to the Flint water crisis that resulted in a federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 24: Darius Simpson, an Eastern Michigan University student from Akron, Ohio, carries water he brought to donate for Flint residents during a rally on January 24, 2016 at Flint City Hall in Flint, Michigan. The event was organized by Genesee County Volunteer Militia to protest corruption they see in government related to the Flint water crisis that resulted in a federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 23: A water collection device is handed out to citizens of Flint for testing contaminated water on January 23, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. A federal state of emergency has been declared due to the city's water supply being contaminated. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 24: Arthur Woodson, self proclaimed 'Water Warrior' from Flint, Michigan, speaks about the Flint Water Crisis on January 24, 2016 at Flint City Hall in Flint, Michigan. The event was organized by Genesee County Volunteer Militia to protest corruption they see in government related to the Flint water crisis that resulted in a federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 27: Signs for a local restaurant reassure customers that they are not on Flint water but on uncontaminated water pulled from Detroit on January 27, 2016 at Westside Diner in Flint, Michigan. Local restaurants have faced concerns following the contamination of Flint's water and subsequent federal state of emergency. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 27: Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wears pins as he speaks to the media regarding the status of the Flint water crisis on January 27, 2016 at Flint City Hall in Flint, Michigan. A federal state of emergency has been declared in Flint related to the city's water becoming contaminated. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 23: National Guard members distributing water to citizens of Flint on January 23, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. Water is being handed out for free to citizens of Flint following a federal state of emergency being declared due to the city's water supply becoming contaminated. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 17: Justin Roberson (L), age 6, of Flint, Michigan and Mychal Adams, age 1, of Flint wait on a stack of bottled water at a rally where the Rev. Jesse Jackson was speaking about about the water crises at the Heavenly Host Baptist Church January 17, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. U.S. President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Michigan, which will free up federal aid to help the city of Flint with lead contaminated drinking water. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested emergency and disaster declarations after activating the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to residents. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 17: A sign on a the front of a building warns residents to filter their water January 17, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. U.S. President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Michigan, which will free up federal aid to help the city of Flint with lead contaminated drinking water. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested emergency and disaster declarations after activating the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to residents. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 17: The Flint River flows in downtown January 17, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. U.S. President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Michigan, which will free up federal aid to help the city of Flint with lead contaminated drinking water. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested emergency and disaster declarations after activating the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to residents. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 17: Soldiers from the Michigan Army National Guard Flint hand out bottled water at a fire station January 17, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. U.S. President Barack Obama declared a federal emergency in Michigan, which will free up federal aid to help the city of Flint with lead contaminated drinking water. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder requested emergency and disaster declarations after activating the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to residents. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 13: A sign points the ay for Flint residents to get bottled water, water testing kits, and water filters at a Flint Fire Station January 13, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder activated the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to Flint residents to help them deal with the lead contamination that is in the City of Flint's water supply. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 13: Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant Steve Kiger of Beaverton, Michigan, welcomes Flint, Michigan residents as they arrive at a Flint Fire Station to get bottled water January 13, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder activated the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to Flint residents to help them deal with the lead contamination that is in the City of Flint's water supply. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 13: The Flint Water Plant tower is shown January 13, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder activated the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to Flint residents to help them deal with the lead contamination that is in the City of Flint's water supply. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
FLINT, MI - JANUARY 13: Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant William Phillips (right) of Birch Run, Michigan, helps a worker unload a pallet of bottled water at a Flint Fire Station January 13, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder activated the National Guard to help the American Red Cross distribute water to Flint residents to help them deal with the lead contamination that is in the City of Flint's water supply. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
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According to a March 2016 poll conducted just two months after the National Guard was mobilized to help distribute clean water in Flint, a reported 61 percent of Americans said they were worried "a great deal" about pollution of drinking water.

Just as Adi Etot suffers from a dry season, California spent most of 2016 in a state of drought. While the National Drought Mitigation Center says more than three-quarters of California is now out of the drought, Jeremy Miller writes for the New Yorker that the golden state's water troubles are far from over.

This year's World Water Day theme, "Wastewater," focuses on solutions around reducing and reusing waste water that comes from homes, industries and cities around the world. The theme for 2016 was "Water and Jobs," while 2018's annual event will focus on "Nature-based Solutions for Water."

Charity: water's international projects are nothing new. According to their own figures, the non-profit has funded over 22,000 water projects in 24 countries -- impacting over 7 million people. They even publicly track their project coordinates using Google Maps.

The organization also maintains a model where 100 percent of public donations go directly to someone in need of clean water.

SEE ALSO: Scientists report that the Great Barrier Reef will never recover from the impact of warm water

"Dirty water means walking to a source that's far away, often waiting in line, taking nearly half the day," Riewer explained, saying this time-suck leads to women dropping out of school and the work force, and fosters a global cycle of poverty.

While the health benefits of Adi Etot's new water source will take hold immediately, Riewer said his team hopes to return to Ethiopia later in 2017 when the substantial long-term impact can be seen.

"World Water Day is an awesome opportunity because it's a day when the entire planet turns their attention to the world water crisis," said Riewer. "It's just a really cool opportunity for us to share, spread awareness."

RELATED: A look at how people around the world get water

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A look at how people around the world get water
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A look at how people around the world get water
A child drinks water from a cup in drought-hit Masvingo, Zimbabwe, June 1, 2016. Picture taken June 1, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
A woman carries a jug with water after Hurricane Matthew in Les Anglais, Haiti, October 13, 2016. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares
A special forces member gives bottles of water to displaced children, who just fled their homes, at their base as Iraqi forces battle with Islamic State militants, in western Mosul, Iraq February 28, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
A girl carries a jerry can of water from a shallow well dug from the sand along the Shabelle River bed, which is dry due to drought in Somalia's Shabelle region, March 19, 2016. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
Juba, South Sudan - February 28th, 2012: Unidentified people prepare plastic containers to collect water in refugee camp, Juba, South Sudan, February 28, 2012.
AGARTALA, INDIA - MARCH 21: A workers fills plastic barrels with water to distribute them to the restaurants, on the eve of the World Water Day in Agartala, capital of Tripura state of India on March 21, 2017. World Water Day is marked on 22 March every year to raise awareness of the water crisis facing much of the world's population. The UN estimates that more than 663 million people do not have a safe water supply close to home. (Photo by Abhisek Saha/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An elderly woman carries bottles of water she received from Iraqi security forces in Antesaar neighborhood of Mosul, Iraq, January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani
SATKHIRA, BANGLADESH - JANUARY 20: Local seen with bicycle on dried lake on January 20, 2016 in Satkhira, Bangladesh. PHOTOGRAPH BY Zakir Chowdhury / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Zakir Chowdhury/Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Michigan National Guard Staff Sergeant William Phillips (R) assists a Flint resident with bottled water at a fire station in Flint, Michigan January 13, 2016. Michigan National Guard members were set to arrive in Flint as soon as Wednesday to join door-to-door efforts to distribute bottled water and other supplies to residents coping with the city's crisis over lead-contaminated drinking water. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook
Women stand next to rain water buckets during a water drought season in Chasquipampa, La Paz, Bolivia, November 28, 2016. REUTERS/David Mercado
People do laundry in the Palca river during a water drought season in Palca near La Paz, Bolivia, November 28, 2016. REUTERS/David Mercado
People fill drinking water into gallon jugs, in the rebel-held besieged area of Aleppo, Syria November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
A supermarket employee moves water bottles while people flock to the supermarket to take care of last minute shopping as Hurricane Matthew approaches in Kingston, Jamaica October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero
Villagers collect water from a dry river bed in drought hit Masvingo, Zimbabwe, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo
People queue to collect water from a tank as water to homes has been cut off due to the drought in KwaMsane, northeast of Durban, January 20, 2016. REUTERS/Rogan Ward
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