If getting water is too difficult, start out on a planet with a little more naturally occurring water. Every planet type has its own challenges and opportunities, but buried in the manual is a section that talks about how much water you get simply from having access to a Sea hex, a lake hex, or even a river. As soon as you take over one hex adjacent to a sea, you get 5,000 water, which is enough to grow... PLENTY of food! And you don't have to build anything to tap into it or ever worry about running out.
If you're playing on a map with modest rainfall, I'm pretty sure just expanding your territory yields more Water as part of your organic zone production.
Even playing only one notch up from Beginner (is that "Normal"?), if I start out without enough water or food, it's a tough hole to dig out of. The only path to bootstrap myself up I've ever found is 1) Water & Food first; 2) Metal next; 3) Industry after that... In the games I've been playing (typically with at least 100mm/yr of rainfall), I find myself hosed if I can't find any Metal deposits in my first Zone, as I just can't afford to pay Worker salaries for all the Scavenger Zones to generate that much metal.