Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Wasted Water

A few things fill me with as much gratitude and sense of abundance as a warm shower. Even after many years I do not take it for granted - maybe I never will. It must have to do with growing up in a country where water is scarce. We watched our domestic help filling up buckets, running helter skelter to get through the morning chores, cleaning, sweeping, washing before the taps ran dry.

Yet conservation is not quite in our collective gene. The same domestic would leave overflowing buckets unattended for hours as she chatted with her friend unable to see the direct relationship between waste and want. The notion of sustaining an ecosystem on wasted water is too sophisticated to be appreciated by an impoverished, illiterate person like her.

A lesson for her even if considerably declasse, is in order and long overdue. As the author says rightly "If the question was about water shortages, the answer probably lies in local solutions, micro successes, raising awareness, involving people and altering collective behavior."

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