HEAR US Inc., my nonprofit.--chronicling lives of homeless families and teens.
I'm like most--taking water for granted--until I started my roaming. I faced a steep learning curve: how much water do I use? How often can I get to some place to re-fill? How do I economize, without stinking and piling up dirty dishes? Do I have enough for a shower? Is it going to dip below freezing? If I'm careful, that 40 gallons can last the week.
I became a bit squeamish. Dumping my waste tanks then filling up with the hose right next to the sewer--um, am I confident of the integrity of this arrangement? No. I decided my drinking water would best come from the filtered water dispensers that cost me between 20-49 cents a gallon, adding a gallon a day to my consumption.
Choices. Despite my unconventional lifestyle, with relatively modest financial resources, I am able to acquire the water I need to not only survive, but thrive. With a little planning and a lot of luck, I can get water.
Without resources, that privilege doesn't exist.
My Navy-short hot shower, with the slow-flowing stream, makes me smile, usually. I try to think about water-challenged people, how they'd be happy for a trickle for a shower, especially if it was hot. My patience can sometimes be tested by the slow-to-fill water tank, but I put on my head-brake, remembering that I have access to water. My slug of filtered water from my hopefully safe stainless steel bottle can often give me pause--gratitude for the gift of refreshing water.
Water experts will figure out the wisest way to ensure the world's water use is adequate for now and the future. We need to do our part--and for me, I'm learning to be patient with, and aware of, each drop that comes my way.
Seems to me that it's time to protect our precious resources. The first step for all of us is to realize that we share this finite resource with our sisters and brothers across the land.