Water in summer

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By Erma M. Cuizon

Sun.Star Essay

Sunday, April 6, 2014


IT WAS during an overly hot summer, like one in our midst, that I realized how crucial water is. In the past as I recall, parents didn’t take time to talk to children about the importance of water in life.

There was a time I took my meals with coke the way others take milk, or with coffee! There’s still water there but not the healthy safe water needed in our body, not if taken too often, too much.

I’m not a water person, as friends put it with a playful sneer. With my meals, I still drink coke or any of the juices in town, and less than three glasses of drinking water a day so that I was rushed to the hospital at one time for dehydration. Some of my friends can drink 10 glasses of water a day, “For my health,” says Ms. Tetta.

In today's climate change, guess what happens next. It gets too hot, too rainy, shakey in aftershocks or too dry for want of water. We need water in our life. I remember a Toledo miner trapped under the earth some years ago, living on water that leaked down to where he was trapped for some days pending his rescue.

What happens if we run out of water?

There’s news of Metro Manila and Cavite experiencing in this coming week lack of water and the situation could be a good example of how it feels if we run out of water and water resources for not saving on it.

Maynilad will have a 3-day, a 2-day and a one-day water service interruption since the Department of Public Works and Highways is working on the flood control project and the only time to do it best is when it isn’t raining. Besides Manila, Maynilad includes the cities of Makati, Pasay and Caloocan. It will be like a water disaster time, as in the exercise of what to do when water runs out.

In Maynilad, one thing to be done is DPWH to construct an “interceptor drainage box” across some urban streets. The pipe realignment activity will interrupt the water available in Maynilad such that the best time to do it is during the Holy Week when most people leave the city for a fling out to alluring sea coasts and a summer play in wraps of natural green forest.

In scorching days, more clean water is needed by humans to meet the boil of heat.

But I should have had the idea of water as life.

This led me to look up water in a quick research as I never experienced before in the number of years I’ve lived with no true idea of how important water is. Of commercial water use, the demand grows in summer.

According to water refilling stations, drinking water consumption grows during summer and looks forward to an increase this time that soars even just in the beginning of the season.

The water market sees consumption of drinking water increasing by 40 percent while used by people in air-conditioned offices. This is doubled or tripled in the case of people working outside. The market is of bottled water, water in refilling stations or in what the community calls ATM, or automatic tubig machines. Bottled water, in particular, has grown at an average of 7.44 yearly, and still growing.

Water covers 71 per cent of the earth’s surface, not to talk of water (boiling?) in the flesh and bones of the earthy body. And it’s in our life as the water we know, and also in its solid state of ice, or gaseous state of steam (or water vapor). And there’s still water underground, in glaciers and ice caps. It’s also solid and liquid water particles suspended in the air.

All forms of life—man, animals, nature—depend on water for existence. But the thing is that millions of people are far from the sources of drinking water. The deaths due to lack of water in a community are equal to ten each day. Take the case of Africa where about 30 percent of the old-type water pumps don't function anymore.

We are talking about taking care of our water resources in the face of climate change. It's all about taking care of conserving, recycling, desalination, or else.

***

(rcuizon@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 06, 2014.

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