Once upon another world, there was a young boy named Hiroki, the only son of two Chinese farmers. He’s 13, just like you and I. But for him, water may as well as be gold. Callous ignorance coupled with uncaring industries turned the skies gray and made the rivers bleed ink. In this world, his days are numbered, and the moment the well runs dry so does his family’s livelihood.
In China, it’s 2025 and water scarcity is an immense issue. All the rivers, lakes, and aquifers are either completely dried up or polluted carrying many diseases. Hiroki's father worked in the farming industry. Unfortunately for Hiroki, most of the family's water went straight to maintaining the crops at the family farm leaving a sparse amount of water behind for his family.
Being a 13-year-old, you wouldn’t expect Hiroki to worry about his family's struggles, but that just not the case. The only thoughts that go through Hiroki’s mind are “Will I get food tonight? What about water? How many crops did my dad grow today? Did he even get water to grow any?”. With clean water being treated like gold, running a whole farm is growing tougher everyday for Hiroki’s father and he fears one day he might lose his job.
It was a Tuesday, and because Hiroki was rushing in the morning to go to school he forgot to take his lunch. As he was walking home his stomach growled. He entered his house and ran to the kitchen. “Mom! What’s for dinner? I’m so hungry!” he exclaimed while dragging his backpack around. He waited, but all he heard was silence. He called her name again when he saw her mother walk into the kitchen with a heavy-hearted face. He asked “what’s wrong mom?” with a worried look on his face. “The water is too expensive for us to afford. Our farm along with many others will need to shut down” she said despairingly. Hiroki had a bitter face but proceeded to look for something to eat as his stomach wouldn't stop growling. “And because so many farms are shutting down, it is tough to buy foods now so we will need to cut down our eating too” explained his mother in a wistful voice.
Not only is Hiroki's family in a state of overwrought, but the whole country faces the same helplessness.
In a state of such crisis, the population divided into lower class and upper class. Many inequalities developed between the middle, now lower class and upper class. Hiroki's Family didn’t have money to buy such expensive water or a way to filter their water like the upper class. As much as Hiroki didn’t want to admit it, his family was poor and didn’t have a way to filter or even buy their water. The rich had very expensive filtering systems to clean their water, hence having uncontaminated food to eat as well. This gave Hiroki an idea. If he was able to create a cheap water filter with the materials around him, he could have a small amount of clean water for himself and his family.
Hiroki thought about how to create a cheap filter. Hiroki always thought that there was too much garbage and dirt. Then it came to him that he could grab an old used water bottle from the river and grab an old rag from his house, he would be able to create a filter.
He put the rag over the mouthpiece of the bottle and held it on with a rubber band. The rag had small holes in it already, which make sure only water gets in and leaves out any dirt or garbage. Hiroaki wanted to test out his new contraption, But Hiroki wasn’t sure the water was safe, but drank the water anyways.
A few days later Hiroki got horribly sick. He figured that there must have still been pollution or disease in the water. Hiroki’s father had an idea. He thought that if we could filter out the dirt, which Hiroki had already done, then the water would be good enough for his crops at the least, if not for his family.
After a couple of days, the crops started to come back to life. His corn started to grow! Hiroki’s father was so proud of his son. His father had almost lost hope. But Hiroki had brought it back. A few months later, the family was almost happy. Hiroaki had clean food to eat. But his water was still contaminated. Hiroaki had an idea. His family could now fund a campaign, to open up the Chinese government’s eyes, and bring their attention to the water they were forced to drink. Hiroaki rounded up all his friends and the community, and soon the streets were marching with campaigners.
A few years later, the rivers were clean, the lakes were spotless, and most of all, everyone had crystal clear water to drink, whenever and wherever they liked. Hiroki did not need to worry anymore, for he was the hero of his generation. He had led the country of china, to prosperity.