Monday, August 22, 2011

When it fails to rain

Beautiful fresh rainwater can fill a bucket quickly - but none fell this weekend.

The rainclouds swept heavily and darkly across my backyard all day Sunday, but released only a few sprinkles in all that time, not enough to even wet the bottom of my buckets set at the bottoms of downspouts on the house. Not enough to flush one toilet one time!

I went to the Slottjes' house for a tasty (home made! Go Helen!) supper on Saturday, had a long hot shower, and filled twelve jugs of water from their kitchen and bathroom taps. As he lugged the jugs out to my car David said, "It would do some people a lot of good to have to live like this for a while."

Of course, most of the world's people do live like this -- in fact much worse -- drinking, washing and cooking with polluted water -- when they can get it.

David was referring to New Yorkers and other pro-gasaholics who are convinced that using our precious clean fresh water for gas fracking is a great energy bargain for the country and planet. If they had to live on water in jugs and showers at friends' houses, they might begin to understand the true (overwhelming) value of water in the gas-water equation.

I got back to the house with my twelve jugs of water wealth, and ran around setting up the downspout buckets for all the rain that was supposed to show up on Sunday. I went to bed Saturday night thinking that I was going to be rich - water to drink, wash dishes with, water for the tomatoes in the garden, and flush the toilet twice a day!

I used up almost three gallons of the jug water wealth on Sunday to wash two sinkfulls of dishes that had built up -- and there was an almighty stink of putrefaction in the drain due to no soapy water having rinsed its gullet for five days.

And then, no rain all day Sunday. A month into having no running water, I kept thinking about what the Atlanta sewer and water authority guy said at that conference: "Try to do without it for an afternoon!"

Sadly, the new advice is to call in a well driller expert to help diagnose the problem. Uh oh.

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