Connor Rhodes, a senior political science major, listens as Andrea Simonelli, Ph.D., explains the rules for the week's water scarcity exercise.

For billions, clean water is scarce. For one week, it was for these VCU students too.

All water that Virginia Commonwealth University student Raphael Debraine has consumed over the past week — to drink, cook, wash his hands, make coffee, brush his teeth, wash dishes or shave — had to be drawn from an on-campus water fountain into a gallon jug, and then lugged home via a 20-minute walk to his apartment in the Fan.

“Oh, it sucks,” Debraine said. “It sucks so hard. It’s horrible.”

Debraine, a senior studying political science, and his classmates are taking the course Environmental Security, taught by Andrea Simonelli, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science in the College of Humanities and Sciences. The students were assigned to spend all last week on a tight water diet.

The idea is to provide insight into the daily struggles faced by the billions worldwide who lack easy access to clean drinking water.

VCU News has the full feature.