[86] Siquijor – no water, so what?

No water, in his fall, no water in our place. As always, only in the absence of something (or someone) can grow the missing of it. As applies to Siquijor, another island of the Philippines.

Looking for a place to stay, I end up in a hostel without water. Or at least, there is no water in the shower, nor in the toilet, but there is one tap that works. You can fill a bucket and consume the water out of there. Instead of letting it flow without being aware of your water consumption.


A Bucket

The good thing is, it makes you conscious of your water use. How many times do you actually need to flush the toilet? How much water do you really need to use for that? If you have but one bucket in your room for any kind of water needs, you’ll make your decisions fast.

How much water do you need to brush your teeth? To wash your face? How much water do you actually need to shower? How much water do you actually need on a daily base? Just one day using a bucket and you see you don’t need it all that much. It is our convenience of having access to tap water that makes us consume more.

Moreover, what kind of water do you need to use for these tasks? Flushing the toilet and showering, even washing clothes, is in many western countries still done with potable water. Imagine, while some countries nearly have access to potable water, others are flushing the toilet with it. That is like decadence, pure insanity and injustice to me.


Do you have to cut your water taps and start using buckets as from now on? Not yet, but be aware of your water consumption and if you really want to reduce it, here are some easy tricks that do not require any effort, and save water. Of course, try to change to rain water wherever you can (toilets, washing, cleaning). For the toilet, use a system that reduces your water consumption. No worries, this does not have to be expensive, nor invasive. You can simply place a bottle filled with sand or another heavy object in the water tank of the toilet. So, every time after flushing, when the water tank fills up itself, it will stop sooner, because it notices to be already filled – while you actually saved a couple of litres every re-fill.

Next, place a bucket – sorry I was not going to talk about the bucket – in the corner of your shower, it will catch a part of the water while showering that otherwise just will run away. You can use this water to flush the toilet as well, or clean the floor for instance.


Leave Nothing Behind

Take it a step further. The water we use will be purified in a water treatment plant, but what if the water we use does not go there. What if the water goes back to nature? The golden rule for borrowing stuff from others is to give it back as you received it. The golden rule for travelling is not to leave anything behind but footprints. The golden rule with water should be the same, try to give it back as much in the same condition as you received it. This means no chemical cleaning products or washing products, go for ecologic biodegradable products. For you, it does not make too much a difference to use one bottle or another, but for nature it does a lot.


Back to Siquijor

As a tarzan he sweeps a couple of meters above the rocks before he lets go and dives into the natural pool below the waterfall. He is one of the volunteers that turned the mud pit into a beautiful natural swimming pool under the waterfall. He makes flips, backwards, forwards, he must know every millimetre of the waterfalls and the little lake.

He knows as well how the flow of the waterfall is blocked nowadays. Its power is reduced to but a fraction of its full potential. It is rice season. The coming months the waterflow to the waterfall is blocked. The river is deviated towards the rice fields and serves as an irrigation channel.

There is not as much water in his waterfall, making him aware of the full potential of this marvel of nature normally. Making us aware of the water consumption of the rice fields. Of the scarcity of water in general. If the water consumption of one source implicates that there is no sufficient water for another one, that means that water is an infinite source, that there is no abundant flow which we can overconsume as many of us are used to… still.

[This reminds me of a story in Peru, last year, where a village run out of water every time the fish factory nearby speeded up its production, which you can read here.]


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