So the water to our house got cut the other day. It wasn't a big deal, really; in Bahrain, you get used to random water or electricity cuts every now and then, especially during the summer periods. However, this wasn't your average "few hours" disconnection. No. The problem actually lasted a few days; besides just disconnecting the water, turns out the main pipe coming in from the Ministry of Works had some sort of huge leak, and it took them a good 4 days to fix it.
So here we are without water. No big deal, the ministry said the problem would be solved quickly. We could handle it; the first day, we bought a few extra water bottles for the small requirements (washing your face, brushing your teeth etc), and the next day when we realised it still wasn't fixed, we called in a water company to bring in a big load to fill in our water tank/container (enough to last a day or so).
Third day, still no progress, more water bottles. Same situation on the fourth day.
Finally we got the water back, but something had changed. Most of us usually take the water supply coming in for granted, and use it like there's no tommorow. However, when you're using a very limited resource, your usage habits change. When you know theres hardly any water left in the water tank above your house, you really try to save every last drop. When you have a water bottle to wash your hands with, you can suprise yourself with how little water you actually need. Little things like leaving the tap on while you actually brush your teeth while the water just spills into the sink start to seem devastating.
Its amazing really, the way we misuse our resources, and the planet is already under pressure to keep pumping out clean water for our use. You see signs and posters everywhere; use water wisely, use electricity wisely, and so on. But do we care? It might seem like such a small issue if you switched off the tap while you brushed your teeth, and hardly something that could make a difference. But if you did it, your neighbor did it, your neighbourhood did it, your whole country did it, then yes, it does make a difference.
Well, problem is over now, and the water supply is back at full strength. I'm not using it the same way though, i'm not taking it for granted any more.
UPDATE; 8 Oct 2007
I have been contacted by Kim Bridges, a member of Water; Use it Wisely, a website dedicated to helping people learn not only why they should save water, but how they could save water. Its an excellent resource, I urge you all to visit: