Geoff Walton – Director of Facilities – The Cape Eleuthera Foundation
I would not exist without water. All the water that I use to drink, wash, cook and flush my toilet with comes from the sky which is collected off of the roof of the building I live in and stored in a subterranean cistern (or more like an underground bunker for my water). I take water storage seriously.
The cistern where my water is stored consists of a concrete box, 2 feet thick on all side to make sure it does not crack and resides underneath my apartment building to keep the light out and to help it stay at a stable temperature to make sure algae does not grow in it. It is fed by four downspouts that are connected to the roof on my building and has an overflow pipe should it ever rain enough to completely fill the cistern so that water does not overflow into the living room. The living room (or more accurately my downstairs neighbors living room as I live in the upstairs apartment) has an inspection hatch that I can open to check the level of the water, or more often is the case, the of lack of water. I try to use a maximum of 10 gallons of water every day. There are nine of us living in our apartment building in four different units, collectively we use about 90 gallons of water used each day for the whole building. The average American uses between 75-100 gallons of water per person per day! Continue reading
Brady Wheatley – Teacher – The Island School
“Si claro gringita quiero ir a la escuela, pero mi trabajo en la casa es traer el agua.” Of course gringita I want to go to school, but it is my job in the house to bring the water. My world stood still in this second as I saw the expression of confusion on the five-year-old boy’s face. I had grown up in a world of plenty. There was always water when I turned on the tap, and on top of that- clean water. Researching the water wars in Bolivia I expected to encounter personally challenging moments in which my interviews didn’t go as planned, or maybe the roads would be blockaded and I couldn’t get through. What I never realized was that in my work examining the “culture of protest” related to the water wars I would have my world flipped upside down. Every day people told me their stories of water struggles- walking 2 hours to get dirty water, filling up buckets on the days the city turned on the water, or worse stories of burying their children for lack of access to clean water. I was naïve, I was spoiled and I was enraged. Continue reading
Sarah Sasek – Student – The Island School
Water—most of us take it for granted on a daily basis, while others cannot find any to drink or bathe in. It goes unnoticed when we leave the water running while brushing our teeth, wash our cars, and run the washing machine and dishwasher. Our busy lives do not have time to appreciate the nature around us; the elements that make the circle of life continue. We do not cherish the cooling sensation as water runs down our throats. Although we immerse ourselves in water in showers, and on hot days in the swimming pool, we ironically run for shelter whenever water rains from the sky.
Living the last month at The Island School, I have become conscious of the water surrounding me. Its value has increased as my perspective has changed towards recognizing it and appreciating it. Free diving in the Atlantic has awakened me to reconsider my perspective on water Continue reading