We Have Water!

One wouldn’t think this is remarkable, but today it is. The water has been shut off every day for a week, sometimes not coming back on until quite late at night. No one seems to know what is going on, just that someone is working on something.

We have adapted fairly easily to the situation since it isn’t new. There have been water outages since we arrived, usually lasting a part of a day. This is more common in the dry season and happens to everyone. Some people have had it much worse than we have. Some of the problem is growth. Areas are outgrowing their water supplies. Some of the problem is inadequate equipment or equipment in need of repair. Some of the problem is deforestation in the mountains. Without forests the water runs right off the mountains instead of soaking in and releasing slowly over time. Some of the problem is the recent long and dry summer season.

The authorities are aware of the problem. A fellow blogger wrote an article recently The Value of Water, about the planned improvements. Just a couple months ago, there were restrictions on electricity consumption because water levels were critically low and the hydroelectric plants couldn’t keep up. Who would think that this country of abundant rainfall would have water problems. But where there is rapid growth, there is a struggling infrastructure that needs to catch up. Hopefully there will also be more efforts to decrease consumption.

For us personally, it is only an inconvenience. We recycle gallon jugs and two liter bottles for water storage. We can “shower” each other with less than a gallon each. The toilets get flushed less, but when needed a gallon will do it. Clothes don’t get washed until the water comes back on. Dishes don’t get washed either unless they are really piled up. They can be done with water out of a jug but it’s not as easy. We keep a bowl of water on the counter for hand washing and it’s changed as needed.

My neighbors weren’t too happy to have their weekend cleaning plans thwarted. We did have some good downpours though, and some showered in the water coming off the roof. I have bathed in the river before, but it’s pretty muddy now with all the rain so the rainwater is a better idea.

How many people in the world never have running water? How many have to carry all their water home? When you think about that, it’s hard to complain. We only wait for the water to come back on, and then we run around and refill everything, toss in a load of clothes, and do the dishes. After a week of that though, it sure is nice to have water come out of the tap anytime we want it. When you consider the big picture, we are very spoiled.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Advertisements

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
This entry was posted in expat, Panama. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to We Have Water!

  1. Yes, when a community has their water rationed, we realize how quickly tempers can flare. It makes us aware of how scary life would get if we suddenly had no resources for fresh water. People’s true colors emerge fast. Food and water is a very important topic to consider. We always assume that we will always have access to those basic needs for life.

    I’m glad your water is restored!
    z

    Like

    • Kris says:

      The people here are surprisingly mellow about it – Lets go hang out under a tree and chat since we can’t clean the house today. In the US everyone would be on the phone demanding to know what’s going on and when they would have water back. By the next day it would be in the evening news. But yes, it would be scary to have basic needs threatened! Hopefully the measures in progress will prevent that.

      Like

  2. Water wars! They are coming. Even with an abundance of fresh water from our lake, we were without city water much of our dry season. We were forced to build a tall water tower with a maximum capacity tank at the top. When we do have city water, and the pressure is great enough ( usually in the evening), then our tank fills up. Even without water and electricity, our house is now gravity fed through the water tank. It is such a luxury to have running water all the time. Like you, we learned to conserve water and we will continue to do so, even with our water storage tank. It makes one appreciate the necessities of life, doesn’t it? We supply water to our neighbors, too. They have 3 small children and they desperately need water for their babies. Have you looked into a small water storage tank on your roof? It sure makes life easier with running water.

    Like

    • Kris says:

      We are renting, but planning to buy and build. When we do we will definitely have a water tank. They are common here and it would be nice to have running water all the time. I hope the planned improvements and efforts against deforestation keep water supplies here at least adequate.

      Like

  3. Anvil Gryffid says:

    Can you shower at a push button or are they out of water too?

    Like

    • Kris says:

      A lot of places have water tanks so when the water is out, you have use of the water in the tank. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess a pushbutton would have a water tank so their customers don’t have to do without. Last time out water was out it did cross our mind that maybe we could go there for a shower.

      Like

Comments are closed.