Adaptability: A First-Hand Lesson

A few weeks back, we were hit by a lot of rain here on the island. School was cancelled one of the days because the roads were flooded and there were landslides, making it unsafe for us to get to school. I drove past the airport at one point of the morning and the whole interior was flooded with about a foot of water! The flooding caused water pipelines to burst, and the landslides pushed a lot of debris into the pipes, clogging them up. This caused damages to the pipes, and the water company had to shut off the supply in order to repair the pipes. The electricity was also out for a day due to power lines being damaged and the thunder/lightning. Living in a foreign country and not having any way of communication with the outside world – without electricity – is a crazy feeling.

Three days later after the worst of the storm, we are still experiencing issues with our water supply. This is where we had to get creative. We didn’t have any all on Saturday, and it finally came back on for a few hours that evening. We had to collect rain water in buckets outside and use that for cooking, use in the bathroom, water for the dogs, etc. Just to wash my hands, I had to go outside in the rain! I saw a group of people collecting water from a stream that was running off over the side of a cliff. I woke up on Sunday morning again with no water, and thankfully I have great friends here who are looking out for me and who allowed me to come over and fill up some water containers and take a shower. It seems just my neighborhood area is without water, because several of my friends haven’t had an issue with water. When we finally did get water back, I filled up the dog bowls more and they drank SO MUCH. I also filled up our water containers and stored them in the fridge, just in case something like this happens again soon. Water was in an out all weekend, and is still variable. We had to conserve what we had until we were able to fill up again, or able to get to the store.

This chain of events really opened my eyes to how much we take our day-to-day resources for granted. I recently was watching a documentary with my boyfriend called Human Planet and there was an episode on desert life. It showed how different groups of people around the world survive in the desert, and how they travel for days at a time just to reach a small well of water. There was also a group of people who dug 9 meters underground to make a series of tunnels that linked different areas with a steady supply of underground water flow. It’s crazy how a storm can cut off my supply of water for a brief amount of time and how much it affects my daily life.

Everything on Earth needs water to survive – humans, animals, plants… However, nearly 90% of water is undrinkable due to being in saltwater oceans. The same water that was present on Earth millions of years ago is what we are still using today. I read a statistic somewhere that the US alone uses 346,000 MILLION gallons of water – in one day! Water is an incredible resource that we need to protect and not take for granted. It is something we can’t live without, so let’s try to preserve it as long as we can!

 

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