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Water is a source of life. I think that’s quite clear – no living thing can survive without it. I grew up in such a culture that it was taken for granted. I never thought about where the water comes from or if it might run out.
However, I’ve lived in developing countries such as Indonesia and Africa and there is never enough water to go around. Often, it is simple lack of quality infrastructure and resources. The water table can be low in times of drought and one must wait for the rains to come or perhaps the electric pumps break down to get the water flowing to every needed place.
This brings about times of water rationing. So if you are one who relies on the city water supply it could happen that your water supply is turned off for several hours per day or sometimes longer and in turn everyone is meant to share the water supply – taking their turn. This is not new to our family who have lived in developing countries at different times of our life.
Just now, we’ve returned to Africa after 3 years of constant water supply in the USA. Upon our arrival we were reminded of the vigilance in always checking ” the tank” before taking a long hot shower or doing the laundry. I’m not gonna lie, I kinda forgot. I knew it, but I hadn’t thought about it while I happily took my water supply for granted while living stateside.
So hopefully by now I’ve caught your interest and allow me to explain this vigilant system of which we are now taking part. Here is ” the tank” .
The city water is pumped into our own tank on our property. Tanks are used to automatically provide some reserve in case of shortage. (Unlike a typical house in the USA where the water is constantly pumped straight into your taps without need for a reserve. ) THEN, once our main tank is full our own small pump pushes the water up in the extra reserve tank as seen here.
You might wonder why is our regular tank on the ground and the extra reserve tank up so high. Great question. On any given day when everything is working just the way it should our regular tank on the ground is full and our own pump sends the water into the house. However, it is expected in a developing country that the system will break down. Say the power is cut off. Then the pump won’t run. So how do we get water?
The extra reserve is placed so high so that in the event we need to use it then GRAVITY will send the water into the house and trickles in to our taps. At this point we become simply grateful for water and never would be heard grumbling at the lack of water pressure (insert sarcasm). Note tho that the theme of this post is not only the mechanics of having water here but also the gratefulness of something otherwise taken for granted and the efforts to provide even the trickling of water.
Now, what happens when all the tanks run empty. There are solutions. Water by the liter is sold quite everywhere for drinking purposes and in a pinch could be used for household purposes. The ultimate idea is that your vigilance does not allow for the tanks to run dry. Of course, it can happen. In our present location we are blessed with yet another option. We have access to a borehole (well) .
This is a very smart solution overall. Not everyone is able to have a borehole but the Seminary campus does have one and so in these times of water rationing we are able to dip into the well water. This pic shows how it’s done. On this particular day my hubby and son drove the pickup over to the well, filled up the tank which is secured on barrels. WHY? Gravity–remember ?
At this point the water can be siphoned using gravity from the tank in the pickup into our regular reserve tank. Honestly, the phrase ” WHERE THERE’S A WILL THERE’s A WAY” comes to mind. Doesn’t it?
I am in awe of this system, grateful for this system, yes some grumbling happens from time to time but it’s a way of life here and one simply cannot take water for granted. It’s needed for life and God supplies all our needs. It’s quite a system whichever way you get it.
One last word about water and it’s uses. I’ll give you 5 seconds to think of as many ways as you can that we use water in our daily life. 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 !!
NOW, prioritize those uses. What did you come up with? There’s dishes to wash, laundry a plenty, showers to be taken, water for cooking, cleaning and most importantly DRINKING ! We are able, as I said, to purchase drinking water in 10 liter bottles. There’s enough in the stores. And when our shipment arrives,
I’ll have my beautiful BERKEY water filter. A must have! I can turn any water, even rain water, into drinkable water. Interested? Check out The Berkey and get a 5% discount from me:)
But for now we had about 100 ish liters of “NON drinkable” water in 10 liter bottles sitting in the kitchen as another source of reserve. I had dishes piled up, laundry from our week long trip to Malawi, we all needed showers. So we worked out what took the most water. Can you guess?
Laundry was our top choice.
Turns out a medium load takes 60 and a bit more liters – and that just for the washing. An additional 60 for the rinsing ! Wow, that’s a lot of water. Dishes is a sinkful and a quick rinse. Showers can be a splash here and there with a washcloth.
I don’t write this to complain – but to share something interesting and in this season of THANKSGIVING remind us all of a resource to be grateful for – water ! So pour yourself a glass – add a drop of grapefruit or lemon essential oil and say a prayer of thanks for God’s creation and it’s many wonderful uses. And AMEN!