Monday, January 25, 2010

Water, Water Everywhere...Except Here

We have a serious water shortage up on our hill, and the timing was really lousy. I had been putting off doing laundry for a couple of days, but when I realized that we had no more clean underwear after today, I decided I'd better get busy.

 I had the first load in the washing machine when Dennis called to report trouble with the pump on the deep well...and, to make matters even worse, the two huge (750 gallon) water tanks that collect and hold rain water were empty. Our house and Chuck and Tia's house have been using mainly rain water, while Dennis's house and several others are getting theirs from the well. When the rain tanks are empty or low, he refills them with well water. Well, that explained the lack of water pressure while filling the washer. In fact, I'm not sure there was ever enough water in the washer to fill it.

Dennis said the pump has been acting up, leaking and/or clogging the filter. He's repaired a leak in the pipe a couple of times already. He was heading in to town to get all the parts he would need to replace the pipe and calling an electrician to come out to work on it tomorrow. So, virtually no water until it is fixed. And we can only hope and pray that it gets fixed right the first time.

Hmmmm. So now I had a load of wet clothes through the wash cycle and ready to go into rinse mode, and no water. I took them over to our friends' house on the beach to rinse them and spin dry. And I washed out enough underwear by hand in water from our hot water tank to last us a few days.  Everything else will have to wait.

We picked up drinking water from our friend's house and we have enough hot water in the tank for a couple of quick showers, but we'll have to be very careful otherwise. Water is one of those things that we Americans take for granted, and we've been very blessed to have adequate water from the deep well and rain water up on our hill, courtesy of Dennis and Merlin. Others on this island are not so fortunate, especially on the beach where the water table is so low that often they cannot drill wells. In areas where there is community water available, it is often not safe to drink. In the colonias, where mainland Hondurans are establishing communities, water is a big problem. There are water ministries who are attempting to dig community wells for them, but with hundreds of families sharing the water, conservation is still vital. Most people on the island buy their drinking water in 5 gallon jugs and use community water, if it is available, for washing, laundry, and cleaning.

So, while life on an island is a dream come true in many ways, there are still challenges associated with living here. Hopefully our water crisis will be resolved in a day or two and I can finish the laundry. Until then, I'm making every drop count.


  1. Showering together conserves water!

  2. a daily snorkel solves the showering problem. Unless of course you actually wanted your hair to look nice;) Hope it is fixed tomorrow!!!