My fellow blogger,Maddy, tells me it is World Water Week. The figure in Maddy’s post about women and children spending 140,000.000 hours every day collecting water really jumped out at me. All I do is turn a tap. I don’t have to walk miles or carry the water on my head.
Here in Canada water is a hot topic with Nestle being the target of much unrest because they seem to think they can sell the water with no cost to them. It’s a long story but this combined with much Native dispute about water rights, issues about water in our Canadian Tar Sands and a general distrust of our water treatment systems since an incident in Walterkerton Ontario 16 years ago has many Canadians concerned about the issue of water at home. Add to this the more global issues of fresh water being unavailable to so many people of the world and the issue seem like a torrent.
Even I have to boil my water. I live in a beautiful rural area of Southern Ontario but we are on an old farm with a 26 foot well and are surrounded by fruit farms which spray pesticides several times each season. In the spring of 2014 we had a great deal of rain and I suddenly started to get very ill. My partner has been a long time consumer of bottled water (which I disapprove of in most circumstances) and he wasn’t sick. The only thing we were not both consuming was water so I started to boil the well water I was drinking. I was better within two days. No more nausea and no more low grade fever. I’ve been boiling it ever since.
We who can turn on tap, are so immune to the real issues about water. It is so easy to take for granted it will always be there. When you live in the country with a shallow well or a cistern you tend to be a little more cautious. We have many rain barrels in our yard. These are used for watering the outdoor plants and during canning season this is the water that is used for boiling vegetables and for the canning bath. A system of water collection on the side of the barn so that if it is a dry season we have several barrels of water that can be transported to the vegetable garden for watering. The classic water saver on the farm which city folk have trouble dealing with is the don’t flush all the time concept. One farm home I used to visit had a pretty little sign above the toilet which read, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, If it’s brown flush it down.” A bit crass perhaps but it saves gallons of water and when you can easily run out of water every drop is precious.
Many years ago I learned some simple water saving techniques. Perhaps the most notable was not letting the water run while brushing my teeth. A friend of mine goes so far as to insist water is turned off in the shower while lathering up but I’m not quite up that one because in the winter it means getting a little chilly. I do know that the taking a shower uses much less water than a bath though which is fine with me because I’m not a big fan of the bath. If you don’t believe me, the next time you shower, put the plug in the tub and see how much you have when you are done. I can pretty much guarantee it wouldn’t be enough for a comfy bath.
In Canada this is not World Water week. That was back in March along with the UN World Water Day. No matter when the celebration of water is, it should always something we are careful for and mindful of. Join me in always trying to find another way to stop using so much water. Here’s a list of 100+ ways to save water to help you get started.