Drowning in a Drop of Water

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I never went to boarding school and I did not think I missed much. That is,  until the week we had a water shortage at Uni. I was standing in the bathroom staring at the dry tap for the second morning in a row. Then I heard the unmistakable splash of water as my room-mate had a bath in the next shower cubicle. It was a tiny splash but I could not miss it!  I shouted over the wall: ‘Where did you get that?’ ‘I have a bowl of water’, she shouted back.  A bowl of water? What can you do with a bowl of water? A few minutes later, I heard her rinse out and squeeze an item of clothing and then she went into the loo.  ‘No way is that just a bowl of water!!’ I thought. She must have a secret supply. I gave a long forlorn look at the tap, had a top and tail, doused myself generously with my body lotion and went off to class.



The next day I was intent on catching her at whatever game she was playing. I would not have others smelling fresh and showered while I was having to make do with moisturizers and deodorant. As she got out of bed that morning, I tip-toed after her. I watched her pour about 4 litres of water into a bowl from the big can we had outside the door and she went into the bathroom. Again, I heard the tiny splish-plash, then the sound of wringing a wet piece of cloth. Shortly afterwards, she went into the toilet and after a few minutes, there came a flushing sound!!!!! 
Okay, out with it’ I said to her, really mad now and certain she had some patented secret formula for extracting water from the dry taps.   ‘I told you. It’s the bowl of water’. ‘I HAVE a bowl of water’, said I. ‘A bowl of water is plenty’. ‘For brushing my teeth?!’ I asked incredulously  ‘You can have a decent shower, wash your lingerie and flush the toilet with that bowl of water’. ‘Puh-leazze’ I scoffed. ‘ Fine, don’t tell me how you get the water’,


Are you serious?’ I asked when I saw the look on her face. ‘Didn’t you go to boarding school?’ Was her response to my question.  ‘Er, no’. ‘Small wonder. Let me show you’, she said.  ‘You take your precious bowl of water, step into a wide basin and wash into it. That way you don’t lose any of the water you have used. Depending on what you need, you can re-cycle it.  I wash myself all over, rinse my face and private bits with clean water, rinse my feet with the water I wash out my underwear in and then I take my full basin of used bath water and flush the loo with it’. The disgusted look slowly left my face as I considered the possibility and weighed it against the option of going one more day with my face towel and moisturizer.

After two days of topping, tailing and dry-washing, I had to try it. As it turned out much to my surprise, my bowl of water went a long way!


Editor's note:

97% of planet Earth's water supply comprises saltwater. Fresh water used by humans is only 3% of the planet's natural water supply. As global population rises, world-wide demand for water increases; doubling every 21 years. 80% of the world's population (5.6 billion in 2011) live in areas with threats to water security. 884 million people have inadequate access to safe drinking water and 2.5billion people do not have adequate access to water for sanitary uses. People of African descent in the nations of Sudan (12.3 million), Venezuela (5.0 million), Ethiopia (2.7 million), Tunisia (2.1 million) and Cuba (1.3 million) are the worst hit.

- Source: World Bank, Wiki

Last Updated on Sunday, 27 December 2015 10:45
Written by Lola Balola

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