Mina Guli is the Australian CEO of water conservation organisation Thirst and she is on a mission to show that water will be the next big flashpoint in the world. Last year, the World Economic Forum called water scarcity the number one risk that society faces and Guli has embarked on a mission to change that with 40 marathons in seven weeks on all seven continents.

In all, she will be running 1688 km through seven major deserts around the world. So far, she has run the Tabernas Desert in Spain, the Arabian Desert in Jordan and Antarctica. After the Simpson Desert, she will tackle the Karoo Desert in South Africa, the Atacama Desert in Chile, and finally, the Mojave Desert in the U.S.

Her run has been documented with brilliant pictures on Twitter and earlier this week she arrived back in Australia to finish her run through the Simpson Desert. Up ahead are marathons in South Africa, Chile and the United States.

Running in the exquisite Tabernas Desert in Spain. [tap the screen for sound]

A video posted by Thirst (@thirst_4_water) on

Now based out of Beijing, Guli has worked in climate change policy at the World Bank, before the issue of water scarcity led to the founding of Thirst in 2012. “I had always thought growing up in Australia through years of drought that water was an issue we were solving by putting buckets under the tap,” she told Mashable.

Amazingly, she has not suffered any foot injuries so far thanks to customised shoes. “We’ve been making bets after each desert how many toenails I’d be down,” she said. “So far, three deserts and I’ve got 10 toenails and zero blisters.”

So what keeps her going in the face of brutal conditions? “We can’t afford to ignore [water scarcity]. It’s so important and so urgent, I have to do something,” she told the report. “My work is not finished. I want to make saving water famous and I’m not going to stop until I do. If that means more running, that means more running,” she added.

All images courtesy Thirst

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