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.