We might give out about our wet summer days and wish we had weeks of never ending blue skies but the current heat wave tells us too much of a good thing is not so great after all. The thing is we need our rain and we should be thanking our bonus luck of the Irish for it. We do not have the same level of huge industrial chimney output that other countries might have but our flatulent cows make up for this. A lot of drought ridden countries would dearly love to have the torrential showers we get and our grass is not greener for nothing. The climate crisis is fast tracking a lot of far flung sunny clime areas to further dessert. Places like South Africa and California are having real issues. Ireland as a little island with its temperate climate is at the other end of this water shortage scale. We may even end up exporting it to the world water table.
The serious thing is water will be a very precious commodity in the very near future and we are swimming in the stuff. Our reservoirs just about manage to fill up each year to keep us lubricated and our rivers and lakes are slowly starting to get the urgent attention the EU has been screaming at us for years to address. We still dump a lot of human waste into the sea too never mind the plastics so little old Ireland is not as green as it should be. Then when the lowlands get flooded we give out for all the building that was allowed on the floodplains, clue is in the name. Irish Water has a mammoth task as well to fix our ancient rusting pipes. Don’t be moaning about hose pipe bans either if we get another long hot spell.
For drinking though we still want to buy it bottled which is not as pure as you might think, have a look at the label next time you stack up the shopping trolley. The French were onto this in the seventies and the rest of the world was soon on the bottled water train. The local authority water that comes out of our taps can be good and bad depending on where you live, mine is luckily excellent and as good as anything in the bottles. I actually serve it to visitors and they are shocked to hear it is from the tap. The council does not go to all that trouble and expense cleaning it up for it not to be potable. Okay some areas are plagued with years of substandard or none at all but it is getting better if too slowly. It is a hassle if you are in a hard water area having to filter it further to stop kettles and other equipment from being ruined.
Now if you are out in the country off the mains network then it’s your own well or community system that will be supplying you. The days of going to the nearest river or natural well and spring cannot be fully trusted anymore with the risk of contamination from animal or human waste and chemicals. You need to be quite informed and disciplined if supplying yourself. Considering we have just learned that half the rural septic tanks would fail an environmental compliance test then it is a concern on that front. You will know all about it if you fall ill from bad water. The boil notices are not to be ignored.
So we cannot live without water and we really need to conserve it as much as possible. After oxygen it is our principal requirement. It is still the best liquid to drink and we need to be downing at least a couple of litres of it every day even if not in its pure form. You would be surprised how high the water content is in some fruit and vegetables at over 90%. It is a tonic for the skin and tissue, it is needed for all the chemical activity and our digestive system really needs its daily flushing. After all our bodies are mostly made up of water also. So let’s hear it for the rain gods shining on Ireland.