Perhaps your grocery shelves are bare of bottled water thanks to the numero 19 virus . The good news is that it flows in the pipes in your home. Is it nasty? Put a couple filters on it, like we do. We have the best-tasting agua in the neighborhood.
But should your water supply run low (perhaps you are out and about, as the CDC has scolded us not to, even though it’s Spring Break, and most breaks have now become four weeks instead of one, and no sane teenager is going to stay home for a one month vacation, so off to spread some virus they shall go), remember that Coors Light is basically the same thing. Just worse.
And the precip keep a’falling in the greater Austin area today. I’m thanking God I’m in the suburbs, as all of Austin is under a mandatory water boil notice, after the historic hill country flooding. Our lakes look like Nestle Quik.
Several of my friends’ lakeside homes have been destroyed. Many don’t have flood insurance because we’re lucky to get two drops of rain per year. This is a drought city. We go several months at 100 plus temps and not a drop of rain. Nearly every dang summer. It’s feast or famine.
And now it’s feasting time. You don’t realize how important clean water is until you need it. We have a whole house filter in our home, as well as a reverse osmosis on our fridge water, because I HATE the taste of nasty water. And our non-Austin, unfathomably overpriced city water tastes nasty. We’ve all been in restaurants with that chlorine-y water or at a relative’s house who serves ice that’s been sitting in her freezer for three months. Gross.
But Austinites would be happy for that nasty tap water today. All the local Starbucks are closed (though you’d think if any place could boil water, it’d be them), grocery stores have tossed all produce that was sprayed with city water, most eateries are closed (save the few that have workers coming in early to boil massive quantities of water to wash vegetables and clean dishes, while serving canned drinks), and no schoolchildren can drink from faucets. Needless to say, all of the plastic bottles have flown off the shells. Not a great time for such an environmentally-aware city.
And how are folks bathing? You’ve got me. They say it could last up to 14 days. Things could be worse, of course. But let’s never take clean water for granted.
The website cited above states that 99% of earth’s water is not drinkable. Most of you right now have a glass of water, or a mug of tea or coffee (made with clean water) adjacent to your keyboard. We are blessed, folks. The fortunate ones.
Inside my 11/5/51 LIFE magazine is this mostly beige page that reads
FATHER, DAUGHTER AND WATER BUFFALOES SOAK IN INDIA’S MUD-FILLED, BUT HOLY HOOGHLY RIVER
It’s an odd image, no? I’ve never found myself in similar circumstances. I wonder if there are more petite water buffaloes drowning just below the surface?
Interestingly, a 2009 Times of India article confirms the river’s sad state:
For a good part of the remaining section, the river is either made out of bounds by hideous rusting warehouses that are housed on its edge, or inexplicably hidden behind a high wall. The purpose, it appears, is to shield the city from a shame but what actually ought to have been its greatest asset and pride.
Americans are not immune to dirty rivers, either; soapboxie.com calls the Mississippi River “the Colon of America.” That’s a new one on me. The same site doesn’t even list the Hooghly River in the top 10 most polluted rivers. Their winner of the filthiest river on earth (as of May 2016) went to The Ganges River, the most sacred river in Hinduism and the third largest river (by discharge) in the world. In their words,
Many Hindus think the river’s water is so healthful they actually drink it as if it were an elixir. Be that as it may, the importance of the river cannot be overestimated, as it affects the lives of 400 million people who live near it. Unfortunately, people dump their waste into the Ganges as they use it for drinking, bathing and cooking, giving rise to many water-borne illnesses. In fact, people who can’t afford cremation throw corpses into the river. It’s hard to imagine a filthier river than the beloved Ganges.
Yikes! Makes me thankful for cleaned city water that we then push through a whole-house filter and then through another refrigerator filter to give us sparkling water. I’ll drink to that.