That's the reality for millions of people around the world, and it's the reality one local group of Wayne State University students are trying to change.
Abess Makki started the group National Student Water Association after hearing relatives in west Africa describe their difficulties getting clean water.
Thanks to social media, Abess' group has grown beyond just Wayne State University. Student ambassadors are now also at Michigan State, University of Michigan, Harvard and Yale.
The group is trying to raise money and awareness, but ultimately they're trying to come up with some innovative solutions.
You can lean more about the group and its initiative by watching the video report above, and by visiting www.studentwater.org.