{13/03/2012}   Appreciating water

20120313-074951.jpgAbout six and a half years ago I visited Tbilisi, Georgia and stayed in a flat. For two days there was no water. Similarly, while staying in Ghana with a friend’s mum we realised we were using water in a way that pretty much everyone in Africa couldn’t use it, namely long showers, tap running while cleaning teeth, etc. With the news that there is a drought in the more southerly areas of the UK and a hosepipe ban is about to be imposed, I thought again about the extent to which we take water for granted and the amount of things we use it for.

We liberally use water for, among other things, the following: filling a kettle, flushing the loo, watering plants, having a shower or bath, brushing teeth, washing hands, drinking, in cooking (pasta, potatoes, eggs), washing dishes, cleaning cars, washing floors and surfaces, cleaning mud off shoes …

Particularly in light of what I wrote about yesterday, namely hard times in the days of the Industrial Revolution, I am increasingly aware that there are too many things I take for granted. When I first went from paying a set annual fee for water to having a meter, I did become a little more aware of my water consumption. But I don’t really know what I can do to preserve and use less water.

I have started filling a massive plastic jug with water from my water bottle when I use it. This I keep by the bath and use to rinse the bath. I rarely have a bath and I’ve always been quite quick in the shower, ie I don’t usually stand under it in a daze. I have started turning off the tap while brushing my teeth and when doing non-sink-filling washing up. I never really know what to do with relatively clean water, eg from egg boiling water. That usually gets thrown down the sink or at least poured over dishes that need soaking in hot water. I just don’t have room to keep buckets of water around and I don’t have many plants that need watering. My cat has taken to, embarrassingly, drinking from the loo so I am less inclined to leave it unflushed and I am not in the habit of putting the lid down to stop her.

I do try my bit for environmental concerns, but where water is concerned I do struggle. I suppose deep down I know the odds of my being without water, or at least easy access to it, are slim to non-existent. While in a remote area in the Phillippines, we had to pump buckets of water to flush the toilet. It’s amazing how much more ready you are to “share” the toilet bowl before flushing when that’s the case. I didn’t stay in that area for long, unfortunately (but long enough to have lots of amazing adventures!), but circumstances do alter the way you do things and it surprises me how easily you can adapt to situations.

I don’t have a particular point about water usage but I want to do my bit for preserving water. I just find it difficult to do when I am not forced to do it and when it is so easy to get it. Maybe this is a good excuse to go to a developing country and have a holiday there to appreciate how lucky I am to have running water available, er, on tap!


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