Next morning I went out to check and found it filling up again, which was strange since it had stopped raining, and the floodwaters in the fields had receded. I lowered my new, expensive submersible pump into the water and pumped it out again. When the water got low enough, I saw the problem: a leak in the ancient pipes leading from the well to the pressure tanks. Then the drought: I called my aunts next door, and warned them that we had to turn off the well. We each filled pitchers to get us through until the water could be turned on again. Of course this happens on Memorial Day. In the morning I got a hold of Perry, who would come out later, although he already had a full day of work scheduled.
"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone?" Living without running water for a little while is not big deal. Dishes and laundry pile up, you can’t wash your hands properly, and you think that all you want to drink is some cold water. A nice hot shower sounds pretty good, too. These little inconveniences gave me a chance to reflect on the 1.3 billion people who don’t have clean, safe water to drink, the 2.5 billion who don’t have access to sanitation. I begin to see washing my hands as a luxury, and I ponder my connection to these people. Am I using more of my share? Perhaps not in my household usage (though I can certainly revisit ways to conserve at home), but Tara Lohan tells us in her Alternet article, “Our Drinkable Water Supply Is Vanishing” that 70% of the world’s water usage is agricultural. Is there a connection between that number and the half gallon packs of plump strawberries I see at the grocery store? Are they a product of irrigation? How many gallons of water are pumped to produce a gallon of strawberries?
|I ponder my connection.|