Friday, May 15, 2009

Water, Water, Where Art Thou?

This is what we have been saying for the last several days. Truly, there has been some water in the form of rain falling from the sky many of those days. Yet there has been none coming from our faucets. We had been without water long enough that the water tank in the courtyard was empty. We keep two forty gallon tubs filled for use when we have no other source of water. We used all of one of these tubs and were very close to using all of the second. Definitely, we treated each drop of water as precious. Laundry remained in a mountain threatening to fill our porch and start taking over our apartment. The prospect of skipping showers in the warm climate of the Philippines and the six of us being in our cozy apartment was not too appealing. We started thinking of ways to collect the rain and then the skies seemed to be remarkingly sunny.

Water is not something we gave much thought to while living in the States. We had a well and when we turned on any faucet, water freely flowed. Because of our huge water heater, we did not even worry about running out of hot water. If we were thirsty, we filled a glass right from the tap.

Here we are conscious of water every day, all day long. We use purified water to drink and even brush our teeth. We need to be careful to keep a supply on hand. There is a place that purifies water about a five minute walk away but they are not always open. Random is the word and that applies to the businesses here. No set schedule of 9 to 5 Monday through Friday to plan by. Everytime we turn on the faucets and water actually comes out we are thankful. The only time we have hot water is from heating it on the stove, putting one of the small heaters in a bucket, or when the conditions are precisely right, for the heaters on our shower heads to work.

This week was the closest we had come to not having any water but before it got to the point of skipping showers we had water most of today. I did a few loads of laundry. We hurried to fill up the tubs on the porch and made sure the buckets in the bathrooms were full. You see a family of six uses a large amount of water in a day. There is laundry, washing vegetables, dishes and our bodies and tomorrow may be another time we are saying "Water, water, where art thou?"



  1. We have been on a few camping trips that really make you appreciate water. So in a small way I can understand. :~) How do you prepare fruits and veggies that you eat raw? Have you considered a Berkey water filter so that you can make your own purified water? I was just wondering. We have thought of shipping one over, but haven't decided to for sure.

    God bless you!
    Holly W.

  2. Holly, when we are going to eat raw fruits and veggies, we wash them in the tap water and then again in purified water. We do not have our own water purifier. Usually it is easy to obtain purified water from the nearby source and we can get about 5 gallons for only 40 pesos. We have used purifiers in the past when we have gone backpacking, before children. It worked fine for the two of us but I don't think we would want to spend the time purifying the amount of water the six of us would need to drink. Our biggest issue with water is not with drinking water but water for everything else!