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Houston Woman Uses Rain Water to Bath for Two Years

For the past two years, a 75-year-old woman has been taking baths with rain water after a pipe burst in her Houston home.

Houston Woman Uses Rain Water to Bath for Two Years

With no money to fix the pipe, Angelica Pena has been without running water, as first reported by ABC13. ABC13 footage shows that Pena, an amputee with diabetes, collects rainwater running off of her roof into several buckets. Footage shows that Pena uses the rainwater for flushing the toilet and washing her dishes. For Pena, a hot shower has been out of the question since 2021. Her caretaker, Albert Flores, has organized a GoFundMe so Pena can afford the repairs.

The fundraiser has raised over $9,000. News of her predicament has led to many Houston area plumbers offering to help her circumstance. Unfortunately, Pena’s situation is not unique in the United States. Pena is one of 2.2 million Americans without access to running water, according to the World Economic Forum. Inadequate and unsafe water systems reportedly affect more than 44 million Americans. Water access is a crisis and is costing the United States economy around $8.6 billion each year, according to DigDeep CEO and founder George McGraw. According to Tami McVay, director of Emergency Services, Self-Help Enterprises, “severe environmental conditions impact the quality, quantity, availability and access to clean drinking water.” Since 2015, there have been eight major natural disasters declared in Houston, according to the City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department.

The report notes that the 2021 winter storm caused a loss in drinking water and significant plumbing and electrical damages, and FEMA estimated $39,306,713 in verified residential loss for Houston. It is unknown if Pena’s burst pipe was due to damage caused by the 2021 winter storm.

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