Friday, October 17, 2014

The Gift of Water


When the second big earthquake struck Canterbury in February 2011, many areas were without running water supplies. Farmers drove tankers into town and stopped at schools and parks, where residents queued to fill buckets and containers. In some areas, old capped wells and springs burst open - inconveniently in the middle of living rooms, or more conveniently in front gardens, where some benevolent home owners rigged up pipes and taps so that passers by could fill up on clean fresh artesian water.

Eventually we had water running in our pipes again (I can still remember the utter joy of turning on a tap to find water flowing freely out of it). After even more weeks, we were told it was safe to drink without boiling first. And after another few months, the City Council were able to stop adding chlorine to the water supply in order to make it bug free.

Still, quite a few people seem to have developed a taste for the artesian water that flows from the springs. This one in the photo above is still flowing in Ernle Terrace, near the reserve where I went for a walk today. I never pass by without seeing a stream of people arriving to fill bottles transported there in car boots. Walkers fill their smaller water bottles, and those walking dogs will sometimes set down the dog's dish so that their canine companion can refresh himself.

It was a hot day, I hadn't taken a water bottle but I did stop on the way into the reserve and again on the way out to scoop water into my hands and quench my thirst.

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