Ding dong! Door opens with “No water until 6pm today, tomorrow and…?”
Welcome to the world of bucket baths, no water during the day and insufficient in mornings and evenings for normal daily use.
When my partner and I left for Canada and the UK in June, monsoon was just kicking off. We had hopes our time away would coincide with the worst of the torrential rains. Let’s face it – monsoon in Mumbai can be marvellous at first and then maddening as it carries on.
On our return in July, we were informed it hadn’t rained – not even once.
That’s seriously not good news.
Heavy monsoon rains are the lifeblood of the agricultural industry in these parts. It also fills reservoirs to see communities’ water supplies through til the next monsoon.
Has it rained since we returned? Sporadically. Somewhat. From time to time…
So… while it seems like a contradiction to hear talk of drought crisis while being drenched, it remains a distinct possibility.
Much of September had water restrictions – none between 10 am – 7 pm. Then it was lifted with caution to be very conservative.
Now again today, we are back to water cuts. While I selfishly hope this is not our new reality until next monsoon, the longer term challenge of water is very real.
Overall, urban India is today quite spoilt. When I lived in Delhi in the 90s, having water supply only for an hour – once in the morning and once in the evening – was the norm. As were power cuts – particularly painful when it is 48’c and you are sweltering without even an overhead fan.
Today, folks are surprised when there is a temporary power interruption or feel severely inconvenienced with water cuts.
Bottom line, there are too many people, too few resources, insufficient investment in solutions and limited efforts to change behaviour. It simply isn’t sustainable.
Here we are in Mumbai’s 2nd summer (October-November) and I miss monsoon. I want to wake up in the middle of the night to the pounding noise of heavy rains and smell of wet earth. Unfortunately I will likely need to wait until June 2016… sigh…