Thursday, May 6, 2010

Half a bucket of water

Every time I have a shower I am #thankfulfor the luxury of having a tap flowing with water and virtually no restrictions on the length of time I can keep the water flowing and have a bath.

Life was not always like this. Growing up in the Southern city of Chennai ( It was called Madras then) I would remember having “water duty” that consisted of placing an empty vessel in the line for drinking water that would come from the local city water supply tap down the street for about 2 to 3 hours a day. I am really not sure why but this ritual of filling up your vessels with water would take place at an ungodly hour of 4 to 5 in the morning. Luckily this was only for drinking water. The other water supply came from a well and was piped into overhead tanks.

This well water was in no way unlimited. The houses even had a pipe connected to the city’s municipal water supply but the amount of water from the Red Hills water reservoir was not enough for the city’s population. One summer the water level of the well dried up and there was a severe shortage of water and the summer holidays were spent playing and waiting for the water tanker to arrive and each family would get 3 to 4 buckets of water each. There would be fights where enterprising folks would try to get more on technicalities. Many a time the system was not fair as the size of the family did not dictate how much water you got.

The conservation of water was a lesson all of us learnt as a part of life. Everyday we would get half a bucket of hot water to have a bath and that was a luxury. Fast forward to today on trips back home to India , my parents live in Hyderabad. Water is still a luxury even though you get it 24 hours. Conservation and saving of water is usually taught to you instinctively and i remember that every day I am having a shower.

If this piece stirs any emotions please support your local Twestival or here is a list of water related charities from the Portland Water Bureau (OR)

2 comments:

Distorted Dogma said...

Growing up in Ohio we had some acreage that my Uncle owned. It was well wooded and a nice place to stay in the hotter summer months. It was always our chore to take the 8 gallon water cooler down the 3/4 mile path to a natural creek that had crystal clear and very cold water. The trip back with the full cooler on a sling between two of us was always the hardest.

Be Well.

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