Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Oh, thank dog for running water

I don't know how I lived like this. I haven't had hot water in the shower for over a month. I haven't been able to take a shower, flush the toilet unless I filled the cistern with rain water, do laundry, or wash dishes for nearly a week. My handyman did what he could this evening, and I am now back to where I started: water everywhere but in the tub. I can turn on the hot water tap and possibly the cold with a wrench and get a shower out of it, but I have my doubts.

How do people live without running water? Well, they don't. Many die due to drinking contaminated water. But if you are dying of thirst, what do you drink? Whatever there is. This is from Wikipedia: "Throughout most of the world the most common contamination of raw water sources is from human sewage and in particular human faecal pathogens and parasites. In 2006, waterborne diseases were estimated to cause 1.8 million deaths each year while about 1.1 billion people lacked proper drinking water." And that was 3 years ago; probably more now.

Canada is one of the richest fresh-water countries in the world. And Canadians are doing what they can to help the world's people to get access to clean water. And are talking about selling our clean water to other countries, without, it seems, considering the consequences for future generations.

And many corporations, such as mine, are reviewing the consequences of providing water in plastic bottles when most tap water in Canada is practically free and uncontaminated (or filtered water is provided). The cost of bottled water (even when you buy a case at your local gas station it costs more than gas itself) typically doesn't include the cost of the bottles, the petroleum resources to manufacture the bottles and packaging materials, ship them to wholesale and retail outlets, and pay for either the garbage or recycling.

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