Monday, January 29, 2007

Life without hot water

Even though it’s a warm winter, I decided to stop having cold showers; I have been warned that excessive cold showering may lead to repressive personality complexes. The last cold shower was in November.

These days I go for the bucket system. Two kettle-full of boiling water, together with cold water, is all that I need to have a nice shower, and even wash my not so long hair . It takes less time than an average shower, and much less water: around 8-10 litres per bucket, compared with 30-50 litres of a 'real' shower, and 80 litres for a bath.

Modern domestic water facilities, which we have come to expect as a natural element of our living conditions - the flushing toilet, the sink, the shower - make us use much more water than our ancestors did. The global consumption of water rose sixfold between 1900 and 1995, double the rate of population growth. Most of this goes to agriculture; but water is a fluid form of power, privilege and money. When I read that the average de-lux hotel guest uses per night 700-1000 litres, I feel like closing a few taps.

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