Sunday, 17 August 2014


Living in India often makes me appreciate things I took for granted in the United States.  Tap water is one of them.  Turn on the water tap and clean water flows.  This is not necessarily so in India.

India has a water crisis.  Most of India’s lakes, rivers and ground water are contaminated. There are many causes: poor infrastructure, unregulated industry, unmanaged garbage and untreated sewage. More than one half of Indian households have no toilets. Water scarcity is another problem. This is cause by poor water management and a burgeoning population.

Patna.  Sadly this is not an exception

One would not expect to have to order a tanker of water in the middle of the monsoon.  However, it turns out in our neighbourhood a heavy rain causes sand to build up in the water pipes.  When this happens the water is simply shut off and the sand settles.  In a few days it is turned on again.  If we are lucky, we have enough water in our water storage tank that is below our house and will not have to order a water tanker.  This storage tank supplies our cottage and three others.  Last year this was not a problem. We were the only continuously occupied cottage.  This year the cottage above us was turned into a construction shack and home for the dozen or so construction workers.  Needless to say they go through the water faster than we do.  Whoever is more desperate for water orders and pays for the tanker.  If we wind up paying, we deduct the cost from our monthly rent.  Occasionally there is a dispute in the neighbourhood.  Someone will block the water supply line for spite.  Usually it doesn't take long to figure out where the blockage is and fix it.  The supply line is also located near the road and is not buried in places.  It often breaks when heavy trucks or buses run over it.

This water tanker is pumping water into our water storage tank below our cottage.  From there it is pumped up into the smaller black water storage tanks on the roof.  The pipes on the road behind the tanker are water supply lines.

This hose is feeding water from the tanker into the large storage tank below our cottage.

Large water storage tank located below our cottage.

Every morning we turn on the water pump to pump the water stored below up into the smaller storage tank on the roof. We know the roof tank is full when we hear the water overflowing.  This is difficult to hear during a hard rain.  Water is wasted when our neighbours or we forget to turn  the pump off.  We use this water for all of our water needs.  Monkeys often remove the cover from this tank.  I hate to think about how filthy the water could become.  Bird and monkey poop come to mind.  We boil then filter water used for cooking and drinking.   Ram had the lid replaced and wired shut.