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De Anza Cove Water Disaster, 2011/10/26:13:55

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The residents of De Anza cove have been without water since 8:30am Monday morning. It is now Wednesday 1:30pm. We were told that the water would be back on yesterday afternoon (we were also told it would be back on by Monday afternoon), but we were also informed that they were bringing in portable shower stalls. That didn't seem like a promising note.

I haven't had a shower since Sunday morning. Eric carried buckets of water from the water truck down the block so that we could flush the toilet. He really didn't want to bike to class last night, given that we were already several days unwashed and would have no way to clean up afterward. I cavalierly went to the gym to lift and then to the beach to run before class, because of course the water would be back on by the time I got home, right? My hair is so dirty and greasy that I am beginning to smell like a dog. Vigorous aerobic exercise is not usually a part of my camping trips.

And actually, most campgrounds do have running water, some of them hot running water, so we're worse off at home and have less nature to boot. If we'd suspected that we would be living in "primitive campground" conditions for a few days, we would have stored up a lot more water, and bought some huge bottles to tote more back to our "campsite".

Dishes are piled up in the sink--again, because we thought we'd be able to put them into the dishwasher eventually, and weren't in camping/dish-conservation mode. I have a wet bathing suit and socks with rotting ocean water in them, because I just knew the water would be coming back on any second now. Neither of us feels like cooking, since cooking generally requires water at some point (what do you do with the raw egg on your fingers after you make a simple breakfast, hunh? You never think about that sort of thing when the tap is working). We're now in lock-down mode: we're not doing anything messy, energetic, or even urgent. The rat cage needs to be repainted because the rats badly need a bigger space but how do you clean up after painting if there's no water? Laundry was already overdue on Saturday, and now we'll have a lot of competition at the laundry when the water is finally on again.

I usually clean the loose tea out of my teapots by pouring the leaves and water into a big saucepan. That way I can clean several pots using the same water. It's a way for me to conserve a little water, doing my part to reduce waste. Then I dump leaves and water into the garden for precious moisture and nutrition. Now even that little bit of tea water has become a precious resource with which to just barely rinse out a milk glass or yogurt dish. I'm also considering making new tea with the tea-pot-rinsing water--it's kind of ridiculous.

This isn't the end of the world. We've deliberately camped like this, and some people live like this all the time. But this is San Diego proper, not the back country wilderness, and not the third world. This problem could be addressed. I know for a fact that this would not be happening in La Jolla, except in the event of a huge earthquake, and only then because the earthquake had taken out a large area of the city such that temporary piping could not be laid. We can has temporary pipings, plz?

I'm heading out to get a shower after posting this. As Eric said, the porta-potties and portable showers are a great opportunity to meet the neighbors!
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