Save Water?

This article was first created on the 6th of May, 2016 and last updated on the 8th of May, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.

Sometime back, I was browsing around Facebook when a video appeared on my news feed. It was a video about a pretty little invention or contraption that would “save the world a lot of water”. If you don’t laugh out loud at this moment, then you probably aren’t at my level of intelligence. But I’ll forgive you: most people aren’t.

For those of you who are not familiar with the water cycle, let me put it in simplified terms for you. The water on the earth’s surface is changed into water vapor by the action of the sun’s heat. The water vapor, because it is lighter than air, rises to higher regions of the atmosphere; in other words, into the clouds. The fact is, clouds are really a form of water preparing to return to the earth as rain. After the water vapor reaches a point high above the earth where it becomes cool enough, it “condenses” and falls as rain.

The white clouds are water vapor which had just ascended to the upper strata of the earth’s atmosphere. The darker clouds have been there for a longer time and are closer to being converted back into liquid water.
The sun’s heat vaporizes water from every aspect of the earth’s surface: the oceans, the seas, the rivers, the puddles on the road, the damp sands, the trees, the house tops, drains, cracks, crevices…the list goes on.

The water cycle reminds me of the law of the conservation of mass and energy, which states that “matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed (by man) but changes from one form to another”. In the same way, “water” can neither be created nor destroyed, but changes from one form to the other.

Then why do people use the expression “save water”? The simple answer: they’re stupid. I remember when I was about eight years old, or ever since I was a kid, I would see a big sign on a huge water storage facility that reads “Water is Life: Save It”. And up to this day, I wonder what that means! That was a message from the “Guyana Water Authority”.

Imagine, the company whose business is to sell water to the entire population telling the population to use less of it. It just doesn’t get any better. Unlike Pringles and Coca Cola, these guys are not after your money! Or are they? You can’t complain that they’re trying to rip you off, or could you? By the way, I should mention that back in the days, you had to join a line for about one hour to get a jar of water in some places. And then the water would be so saturated with red particles (about 25 percent) which you saw when it settled the next day, that you would wonder if it’s a “run off” of the Pharaoh’s plague.

But let’s not complain too much, it’s all part of the development of a country. And before you could get to point B, you must first be at point A.
So the water was not so good, and they were selling. All fine and dandy. And they were advising you not to waste it: whatever the hell that means.
Maybe some days, some of the Guyana Water Authority’s workers came in so exhausted and collapsed to the floor that they had to call an ambulance. After reviving them they asked “what happened?” Then the workers related how hard they struggled to dig the last water well so that the people could have water. After that they collapsed again. So now they have to appeal to the masses to save water by putting up a big sign that says “water is life: save it”.

But I still don’t understand what that means. How about “Water is Life: Help us Dig Some Wells”.

Related: What rain can’t fill, dew can’t fill: How much water can you really save?
Related: Turn off your lights, conserve energy: A message from the Guyana Power and Light.

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