With 70% of the World covered with water only 3% of it is classed as drinking water without needing to be processed.
Prior to leaving the UK we lived in Malvern, home to natural spring water, that we used to collect in bottles to drink. Sadly the spring water became infected with bacteria and now it is advised that this water also should be boiled before drinking.
We've travelled far and wide and have always followed the advice for drinking local water, avoiding ice cubes and fruits with high water content such as melons and cucumbers. But we've never worried about bathing or cleaning our teeth. On a camping trip in Canada in 2015, we boiled the water from the lakes in Algonquin to drink, but not to brush our teeth. In Luxor last year we completely forgot about whether we should ask if the water was safe to drink and on family holidays to Turkey and Tunisia in the past decade, we spent the first few days telling the kids not to drink from the tap, but then we just gave up and no one got ill. The only times I've ever been ill due to poor hygiene was on a camping trip in 2000 when I contracted meningitis during a very wet and muddy April and from many visits to townships in South Africa where I was given food at facilities I visited and it would've been considered very rude to have turned it down, despite there being no water let alone refrigeration.
Our only real problem we've ever had with water is the taste and the temperature. In Dubai in summer, the water was coming out the cold tap at over 40c, so we bought bottled water to use in a water cooler. We've moved house now, and our water tank is under the ground, rather than on the roof, but we're still using the bottled water for the kettle and cold drinks, why? because the tap water here tastes different, a bit woody. When I travel back to the UK I notice the tap water tastes different depending on what part of the country I'm visiting. The water from the tank on the roof or when it's not been used for a while does comes out the tap brown.
Water temp left from the hot water tank that is insulated and the temp on the right from the cold water tap in summer.
Many parts of South Africa go without water on a daily basis, having worked with children's charities in Gauteng and Bushbuckridge near Kruger National park, I've seen first hand how hard communities have struggled without access to water on a daily basis without relying on government water trucks delivering supplies to townships or people having to walk several miles a day to get fresh water. Families getting ill from drinking river water, not being able to keep themselves clean and washing clothes in rivers and streams often highly polluted.
In a world where most of us take water for granted, I think it's time we thought a bit more about our natural resources and what we can all do to reduce the amount of water we use. It might seem a bit extreme in a developed country to think we'd ever run out of water but all one has to do is think about Cape Town being the first city in the world to face having it's water run out in 2018.
Really interesting post. I think about water quite a lot as it goes perhaps because my father was in the Navy but whatever the reason, it is on my mind a lot. I reflect how it can be so vital to life and yet sometimes such a threat to life too via floods and so on. I have often thought of contacting WaterAid to see if I could help them in some way. Thanks for making me think as you always do and keep putting that Best Boot ForwardReplyDelete
thank you for commenting, my reason for conserving water in Dubai is that I'm very aware that I'm lucky to have free access to it, although 'free' comes at a very high cost, so we reuse where we can due to the cost. We pay on average £200 a month for water and electricity in the winter and that doubles in the summer with the air conDelete
One day last year I woke up to no running water as there were emergency works being done in the area. That soon taught me not to take water for granted!ReplyDelete
When we lived in South Africa, we could go for a week without water and electricity, we soon learnt there was no point complaining,Delete
It's amazing that in the UK we take water for granted. Our water had to be switched off for a few hours, a few years back. It's amazing how suddenly, you really miss it. You can't just boil the tap when you want too, or give the house plants a drink. Suddenly, everything you never gave much thought about before... becomes a huge planned task. And that was just for a few hours!ReplyDelete
flushing the toilet would be a big issue for me, more so than actually being able to showerDelete
This is such an informative post - I had no idea about Cape Town! Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!ReplyDelete
This is opposed to osmuda fiber and sphagnum which will tend to retain more moisture and require less frequent watering otherwise you will be inviting root rot to set in.blow up spaReplyDelete
This is interesting! Living in the US, I don't often think about my drinking water. We've always had a well at whatever house we've lived in. And, when traveling in the US, we've never had to worry about whether water is safe. #triumphantTalesReplyDelete
we had a bore hole in our first house in Dubai, but it ran dry sadlyDelete
Suzanne, parts of the US are very dry and are now in a severe, longstanding drought; but clean water is not an issue. With that and the dire situation in South Africa and other parts of the world, we should all think about not wasting water. I'm afraid I would have gone ahead and been considered terribly rude by turning down that food. I have eaten lots of things, including things I find quite revolting (such as alligator), in the interests of being polite. But when it comes to my health, I have to draw the line. I would say something like, "Ohhh, that smells marvelous, wish I could have some, but I have a condition that requires a restricted diet." Not a lie, if you think about it -- "restricted" to clean food! :-)ReplyDelete
normally I would say I was vegetarian, but we'd been out all day and we were so tired and probably dehydrated from lack of fluids we really weren't thinking straightDelete
This is so interesting and not something you immediately think of even when thinking about conserving water. My daughter has done a little on this at school recently so I'll show her this (your blog is proving very educational for her and I!) as it's a good insight as to the extent of problems faced in other parts of the world. You never know, she may even remember to turn the tap off when she brushes her teeth...ReplyDelete
It's an important issue and one I think that needs more publicity! Thanks for linkin gup with #BestBootForward as always.
are the turning off of the tap when teeth brushing, something I'm guilty of not doing. Glad my blog is helping your daughterDelete