In response to this, a few years ago I decided to try and get to the bottom of this issue – I wanted to know as much as possible about the role water plays in our lives – where it comes from, how it gets to us, how much we use and why and how these processes can go wrong.
Perhaps the most startling thing I’ve learnt so far is that we are all going to have to use a lot less water in our day-to-day lives in the future (and by this i mean the near future, not way off in decades to come).
I think we are already starting to see the signs of this. We had a significant dry spell in 2018 (which nearly became a drought) and we have just had the driest April ever recorded in 2020, which left many reservoirs worryingly low.
Also, for the first time this summer we have received messages from our local water provider urging us all to try and use a bit less water day-to-day – in one message they asked us to reduce our water use by 5% and in the other by 5 litres a day (which is significantly less than 5% by the way).
So, what are we normal folks supposed to make of all this – how is are these things going to affect our lives and what (if anything) can we do to reduce the potential impact on us, our communities and our way of life…? I don’t think we really know and it doesn’t really seem as though anyone is talking about it that much either – what I don’t understand is why not…?
So, to get to the bottom of all this, I have decided to go on a mission. A mission to investigate the whole issue of water and water resilience (as its often referred to). I have decided to try and discover how we are going to be affected by water-related issues in the future and what, if anything, we can do to prepare for it.
This is why I have established the WaterTight Communities Project and it’s why I have also decided to undertake an experiment to see what it’s like to live for 2 months as if there was a water shortage (a bit like the one my parents experienced in 1976 and that we nearly had in 2018).
So that is what I am going to do. I am going to live for the next 2 months as if I am in a water shortage future scenario. By doing this I hope to get a profound insight into what life might be like for us all over the coming decades.
To make it work, I am going to have to assess exactly how much water I currently use in every aspect of my life and then explore all the things I can do to reduce that water use each day. There are going to be some big challenges along the way and I suspect there are going to be some tough conversations with other members of my family, but i am determined to do it…I simply have to find out if I can do it…!!