A Day Without Water

7 Apr

I’m sitting in the living room of my condo and all is quiet. The washing machine is still, despite the laundry bin piled high with clothes, sleeves trying to make a bid for freedom from under its lid. The dishwasher, full of dirty dinner plates and cups, is silent. By the sink is a neatly stacked pile of utensils and pans used to make last night’s dinner, waiting to have the rice and bits of stuck-on onion scrubbed off them so they can sparkle again. And I’m sitting on the sofa, waiting alongside them for the same thing – water. As of yesterday afternoon, we have no running water in the house.

All tap water in Bermuda comes from rainwater, which runs down limestone-treated roofs and is collected in large tanks, usually stored underground. Because the water is treated in the tank, it’s safe to drink straight from the tap and tastes fine. It’s an excellent way to conserve and reuse water and most of the time it works well. But unfortunately for the last two months there has been less rain than usual, and so the tank that we share with the other three condos in our area is now dry as a bone.

Very quickly you realise how much you need water to do anything around the house – washing, cooking, even flushing the loo! Usually when I have a morning off from volunteering, I’ll do a bit of aerobics or yoga. But with no option of a shower afterwards, and an event to help staff this afternoon, I don’t want to risk alienating people! Now I’m just waiting for the Water Supply Man (that’s his official title) to come along in his water truck and top up the empty tanks. Generally he arrives within 24 hours, but a day without water is a very long one when you’re used to taking it completely for granted.

In England we would be flabbergasted if we turned on the tap and nothing came out. I think the closest we have come to having scarce water, in my lifetime at least, has been the hosepipe ban during warm summers, and even then I suspect most people crept out into their gardens in the dark and secretly watered their flowerbeds with fully flowing water, rolling their eyes at Government overreactions and judgmental neighbours.

It’s been an important lesson not to take basic things for granted, and I hope when we return to the UK we have moments where Rich and I say to each other: “do you remember when we used to run out of water in Bermuda?” and be thankful for the water gushing out of the tap rather than just expecting it to be so.


2 Responses to “A Day Without Water”

  1. Hugga Mumma 7 April, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    Hi Suzanne
    A sobering thought indeed. We have a water leak in the kitchen a while back and were without it for a day or so. What a nuisance it was too. I was forced to visit Lakeside so that I could use their toilets and drink their cappuccino’s! Life was hard on that day!

    • suscatty 7 April, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

      Hi Hugga Mumma

      Oh how I wish I could have gone to Lakeside today! Retail therapy does fix everything after all 🙂 x

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