One of my friend has a saying: “water does not come from the tap”……
How many will answer “yes it does”…?
I do agree with him, this statement is true. Even though we use water from a tap, whether it is at home or from a well/borehole. Think about it differently… Ultimately, this water does not just appear at the tap. The tap is only a convenient way of using/obtaining the water, not the producing device 🙂 (you would be surprised of how many people think that water will always be there as long as there is a tap….)
In recent years, a large number of people have experienced water shortage due to the drought in Southern Africa. And if you ask them: “Is there water at the tap?”, the answer can be “no”.
Last year in Windhoek, this year in Cape Town (to name the most known places)… the taps are running dry… the source of the water serving the cities is depleting. And so, while there is still water at the tap for now, this is not a given forever… we need to cherish every drops that are coming out of those taps, wherever we are, however we get that water…
During the month I was in Cape Town this year (April), water restrictions were already high. The dam was running so low that at the time, there was about 100 left before total shortage.
Since, there has been some rain – and people start using more water again… but those rains are nowhere sufficient enough to re-fill up to the level needed. They were just a tiny drop in the ‘pool’. Think about an outdoor swimming pool: how often have you seen one overflowing because of the rain? I have to admit, I have never seen it happen… It might, I don’t know, but this is not a common occurrence. So how would a dam fill-up after a few days of rain, even if they are heavy rains?
At the end of June, there was still a risk that Cape Town will experience no water at the tap shortly. And this will be dramatic. The restrictions are now at their highest level.
When you have to get water from a distance, you take a closer look at your usage. You tend to be more careful about it as it involves efforts to bring it home. Yet, as soon as there is a tap, we (humans) turn it on full speed and waste it. While I am trying to be careful, I am not the last one to use more from the tap than when I have to fill up my bottles & buckets. And paradoxally, I have seen people carrying 25 litres drum on their head (try, you will see how heavy this is) and yet they do not necessarily use it wisely…
I have looked at my water consumption as I often don’t have the benefit of a nearby tap or a sink. Check how much I can use if I have to – as a vital minimum for health and comfort.
How much water do we need? How much water do we use?