My parents had immigrated to Vancouver, Canada in the 80’s from India. Water to us here in Vancouver is an abundant resource. Its everywhere. We interact with the water in our eco system, natural sources or even man made. We, as children, remember taking our first swimming lessons. I remember mine clearly. The chlorine was so intense that, my eyes would stay red for hours. The stench would linger on our bathing suits until we would come home. We were lucky enough to have a few creeks in our area so every summer we would go there and soak our feet or go swimming. Thinking about it now, interacting with water has become so second nature that we even manage to complain about the rain. Consistently.
I never fully grasped the idea of water being basic essential necessity until visiting India. When I was around 8 years old I remember being given a bottle of water when we arrived. My uncles sternly looking at me and saying don’t drink the tap water always keep a bottle with you. It wasn’t an issue but the taste of room temperature water in the dead heat of summer is gross. This business of bottled water became somewhat of a symbol of us visiting from abroad. Many extended family members considered us as being arrogant for wanting bottled water. We were made fun of because it made us look weak and fragile because we weren’t able to handle the e-coli riddled water.
Water rationing became a very evident instead of having a constant stream of hot water we had 20 gallons that would take 30 minutes per shower. Or you could bucket bathe out of a communal water bucket. Many families in India would receive water 2 times a day. So they would run pumps and fill up tanks to use throughout the day. I wouldn’t for once think that the status quo in North America have to go through those lengths to deal with water. Moving forward prevalent interaction of water started to pique my interest in water. Especially after I got sick.