A few years ago I was reading about the clean water problem that we all will face sooner or later on the planet Earth. I remember myself wondering whether I will experience that or it will happen already in my great-grandchildren’s life. Then I moved to Mexico City. And suddenly my world turned upside down. My internet connection was more stable than my water connection. Sometimes it disappeared for a few weeks. Then it would appear for 20 minutes and disappear again for a few days. So I learned how to take showers with a small amount of drinking water. It actually became a habit to stop at the nearest corner shop for 5 litres water bottle on the way home from my morning run in the park Espana. Of course, there were times when water returned and everything went back to normal. Well, not everything. I appreciated every single drop that came out of the tap so the habit to go make a cup of morning coffee while the water was getting hot in the shower became unforgivable now.
But it seems like it was not enough. I moved from one of the world’s biggest cities to the untouched beach on the Caribbean coast of Mexico and faced a new water situation. As we lived 8,5 km into the jungle from the nearest town, there were no water or electricity connections. So all the water we used we pumped from underground rivers. But to turn on the pump, you need power. To have power you need the sun to charge the solar panels. To have a lot of power, you need a lot of solar panels. We didn’t. So the mathematics was very simple. Use as less power as possible, my technology generation friends. And that means as less water as possible as well. So I learned to take even quicker showers. I learned to soap dry dishes and then rinse them all together. I even learned not to flush the toilet if I knew that there was somebody outside waiting after me… And the tap water was salty because we lived 200 metres from the ocean. So for the dogs and plants we collected the rainwater. The drinking and cooking water we bought dead in plastic bottles. The most alive fresh water was filtered by palm trees and hidden inside the coconuts. It was beautiful and sad at the same time.
And at the moment when I thought that now I really understood everything, a big storm came, the solar panels were not charging, the water pump was not working and the empty pool was half full in one night! So, next time you leave your shower on to get the water hot, imagine me in a yellow rubber coat fighting with rain in the dark and bringing water buckets full of rainwater from the pool to the roof of your house to give you a shower. Because that’s exactly what happened. Because every water drop used some resources to get into your tap. And we are about to save resources here, remember?
And yes, the future is now. Without my great-grandchildren.