Last week I talked about the challenges of having enough drinking water. This week let’s tackle the issue of just plain old having water come out of our faucets. It happens frequently enough to be a problem that we don’t have water. It gets switched off for hours or days at a time. I take my hat off to this town that can keep a pretty ancient set of pipes flowing water to our homes. Sometimes this breaks down. For instance we have a constant fountain of water in our backyard (SEE PHOTO) which is currently beautifully frozen over.
The times that the water is off begs the question: which is preferable: having no power or no water? Having taken this survey we pretty much agree that having no power for a day is easier to handle than no water. Of course, often we need both in order to have the things that we are dependent on water for: showers, washed clothes, hot water for washing dishes. When the dirt starts to pile up because these things can’t be done, it is really hard to keep your mind in a good place. We even stop using the indoor toilet and use the outhouse because without water to flush the porcelain throne it loses its usefulness.
Recently I very proudly washed a bunch of dishes with one bucket of water that I heated on the stove. I got so fed up waiting for the water to come back on, I broke down and heated the water myself. It had been 48 hours and we had had several guests, so we were fresh out of cups, silverware and anything that I hadn’t already reused a couple of times. Yes, in this kind of situation, you think of dishes as: slightly dirty (spoons used to measure spices or stir coffee), dirtier (cutting boards and knives that cut veggies) and super dirty (yeah, you can imagine this without the explanation)…. But when the water comes back on in fits and starts and massive air bubble explosions that can cover walls with splashes… it is a heavenly thing! Sometimes when the wait for a shower is too long we take off and go to the banya and get totally scrubbed down. The best thing banyas have going for them is that they usually have a reservoir and generators so no matter how bad the situation is at home, a hot shower, sauna and indoor plumbing are waiting.