AUSTIN (KXAN) — An impromptu, grassroots effort, fueled by volunteers and nonprofits in the Central Texas region, have delivered more than 100,000 gallons of water to people in need over the past week and a half.
Austinneedswater.com was founded by several local organizations which have combined resources to gather donations and deliver to those without running water. It has also set up a live submission portal for people to share their exact locations and needs so organizers can pinpoint and strategize the most effective way to deliver needed resources.
On Sunday, Austin Needs Water distributed more than 20 pallets of water at the temporary headquarters at the Long Center, equating to roughly 10,000 water bottles distributed per hour.
“I have never seen anywhere close to the quantity of highly dedicated and extremely talented and resourceful volunteers, all pulling their resources and efforts together under one operation, to be able to execute a crisis relief operation. It’s been a humbling experience, honestly,” said Romteen Farasat, the incident commander of Austin Needs Water.
The group says it is having sit-down discussions with City of Austin emergency officials in order to accelerate the efforts. Massive tanks, most commonly used for food storage, are being repurposed and placed outside stagnant apartment complexes to provide fresh water to residents.
Alexis Garcia said she and her six-year-old haven’t had running water in a week and a half. She was thankful the water tanks and bottled water supply were delivered to her complex, satisfying her basic human needs.
“Even though we may not be rich, we are still people, we still have value,” Garcia said. “We have to step up and help each other out as best as we can.”
If you are without running water, you can visit austinneedswater.com. You can create an updated request and leadership will consolidate the requests in order to efficiently deliver resources.