Saturday, July 12, 2008

Water by Kat Magendie

Of course we all appreciate our water. But today I am really appreciating my personal water. Anyone who knows me has probably heard, or will hear me talk about how I think “water will be the new oil.” Really, we can do without oil if we had to; meaning, if we suddenly were out of oil, or it was quite scarce, we would find ways to do without, or do the things we needed with another resource. But, if we are without water or water is scarce, then we are in trouble. We have to have liquid water to survive as a species. Most, if not all, of life does. Much of our planet is water. Most of our bodies are water.

So, what has me thinking so hard about water this beautiful mountain morning is the lack of it in our house. No, not the drought conditions that have plagued our area, I’m talking about our personal water. Yesterday, the water company called and said, “Your meter is going wild. It’s turning really fast. You’ve used (some astronomical number here) units.” I screeched, “We’ve used what? Our meter is what?” Upon checking, we saw indeed that our meter was turning crazily fast. We turned off all water sources and called a plumber. This is a small town. There are not a gazillion plumbers to call. We had two. One, a plumber who has been here before, and happens to be in Florida, but will return in two days. Two days. Huhn. The other plumber doesn’t have all the equipment he needs if there is digging to do, so he suggests waiting for the other plumber. Huhn.

We turn the water back on just long enough to fill containers with enough water to drink, brush teeth, wash hands, etc. Then we settle in for the wait. I am writing this at day one and a half. Every so often, I turn the handle to the sink, and nothing comes out but a hollow gurgle. I say, “Oh yeah…” and use the water I’ve saved. It feels almost pioneerish, this care with water, and it makes me recognize how much water we waste in a day. We turn the water on again to take quick showers—a “luxury” I am not willing to do without—and to refill any emptied containers. When the water is shut down, one has an awareness of how much we take our liquid water for granted. Therefore, my gratitude today is for good old cold clear clean liquid water. Water I bathe in, drink, wash my hands, veggies and fruit, make coffee with, and the list goes on. What would we do without clean water? Better think hard about that. Real hard.

(Update: Our "two days" turned into five, but, once we found a routine around it, we were fine. Sure is nice to be spoiled again, though. The leak was found and fixed!)

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