We need to talk about water, again

I have posted bits about water before, about the relation to rain, about the way and the road, but there is also the everyday need for and constant search for water.

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and we’re searching…

 

Recently, social media has been picking up an article from last summer from the guardian about plastic bottles.

The article and the response circles around the need to recycle the bottles, or call to companies to use recycled plastic in their bottles. The reporter also blames the want for a ‘western lifestyle’ for the bottled water consumption in countries like China.  This is both arrogant and helps hide the real problem.

The real problem is that practically all fresh water sources are being held hostage by governments or companies. When outside the system, you see this clearly, but seldom have a voice to point it out.

To get access to water, you need to buy your way into the system, one way or the other.  You need a house, or similar, either hooked up to a pipe system, or with large enough tanks to find and store water yourself. This water you either need to buy, indirectly by being at a caravan site or boat dock, or clean and filter yourself, something that also requires time, space and money. Or, of course, steal and risk being pushed even further away from the government-stolen necessities.

For now, I have the option of checking in to campsites now and then and fill the water tanks with safe, clean water, but not all do. Also, not all have a house or a car or anywhere to store water for longer periods of time.  Some gas stations will let you fill your tanks, but you need to get to them somehow. And means to transport the water. And water is bloody heavy.

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When poor and stuck in urban life, as a lot of people are, bottle water, expensive, polluting, and often not particularly good, is your only choice. Restaurants will leave bowls of water out for dogs, but not for poor people. Finding fresh water in a city can be a desperate search, and while food can be foraged in dumpsters, clean water can’t.

The fact that it has even gotten to this is the real tragedy and the real problem. And it won’t go away even if every single plastic bottle is recycled and reused. They should not exist in the first place.

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Purism and plastic, struggles with the self

I’m trying as far as possible to avoid using plastic for anything in the house. This is not merely an environmental statement, nor a result of the tactile visuality I so desire (Plastic reflects nothing, absorbs nothing, it is a dead material), but mostly that I’m just simply sick of it after years of coming across it everywhere. It’s a kind of aesthetic allergy.

I’m not denying that plastic as a material has its uses. It doesn’t rot, it’s waterproof (unlike my ceiling) and it’s lightweight. This last issue is of course a great concern of mine as every ounce counts when you live on wheels.

I’m trying not to get mental over this, but as long as I can find any other material than plastic, I will.

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Not plastic, but not really working very well

The biggest problem is the water tank. I have tried a wine barrel, but they’re quite heavy and gives the water a wooden flavor. I have tried a stainless-steel pot made for brewing beer, but they’re either too small or too large. Finding a stainless-steel water tank just made for storing water has proved ridiculously difficult, so it seems like I might be stuck with a plastic water container untill I stumble across a better option.