You don't know what you've got til it's gone

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Water. I sign petitions for clean water in other countries, I donate and sponsor via World vision. I believe that as a world with the knowledge and resources we have we should be able to ensure at a bare minimum that everyone on the planet has access to clean water. But it’s not until you wake up to a burst water main and no water (as we did this morning) that you realise the enormity of having no water.

And of course we do have some water, in the loft tank, in the toilet cisterns (don’t flush!! We need to keep them full as long as possible until the water is back on so it’s all a bit ‘festival loos’ here in the heat!) But hand washing? Luckily we have wet wipes and hand gels but many germs need soap and water to remove them properly. And we have a bit of water in the kettle..

Should we clean our teeth or is the water more usefully saved for drinking on this scorching hot day? No showers or hair washing certainly, no clothes washing. I was lucky and popped out to buy some clean bottled water, I have a car so could nip to the shops before work and there were still (a very few) bottles on the shelves. I managed to buy 5 small bottles. I didn’t have to carry a heavy bucket. For me water collection was a brief inconvenience but imagine if I had to do it every day…

I remember the long hot summer of 1976, standpipes in the street, water rationing, cleaning your teeth with coca-cola (I may have made that up) but I’d forgotten it until today. I also think it might do us good to experience things like that more often, a quick reminder of actually how many amazing things we just take for granted.

So today, a hot day by the coast, schools are closed, some shops, cafes and other businesses will no doubt also have to close due to ‘health and safety” when they have no water, no toilet or washing facilities. Could you cope with no water? For how long? And if you have the luxury of a car and money to buy it bottled had you realised what a luxury that was? I’m not sure I had.
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Today I’m at work, with water, leaving hubby at home, with no water. We have already popped next door to check on the lady that lives there, We will share some of our water with her, she is in her 90s.

So today I’m thinking about water. Let’s make the most of what we have, and share what we can. If you are having a cup of tea as you read this, count yourself lucky, and enjoy.

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