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The Running Water Tap – And a flood of memories

Welcome to Day Five of my bloggingchallenge. Today is Saturday, and for this post the theme is Sustainability. Today, I will talk about an incident that brought back memories from several decades ago.

Many of you may be aware by now that I walk Buddy very early in the mornings- around 4 AM. Today,as we reached the main entrance to the apartment complex where we live, I saw that water was flowing out of a pipe because of a tap or valve left open. Water running onto the street, and eroding the soil in the process. The flowing water brought back a flood of memories from the mid 1980’s when I was a child growing up in Ahmedabad, and it became the trigger for this post.

Click below for the audio version of this post

The piping may indicate that this is the outflow from the Rainwater Harvesting tanks. Thankfully, not potable water, or worse, raw sewage.

Running Water Tap – the Trigger for this post

One of my earliest memories as a child growing up in Ahmedabad revolves around the issue of water. Rather, lack of it. Back then, river bed of the Sabarmati River used to be bone dry during the summer months. Kids used to play cricket, and while crossing Ellis Bridge (or one of the other bridges connecting the old and the new city), I used to excitedly tell my mother “That is Sabarmati Stadium!”

 

Water Carts on the Sabarmati River
Water Carts on Sabarmati River, 1890s. Image: British Library/ Flickr

The same area has a beautiful river front today, and the river has a lot of water flowing, thanks to the Narmada River Project.

Sabarmati Riverfront in recent times
Sabarmati Riverfront, 2011. Image:Hardik Jadeja, Wikipedia. Creative Commons CC by 3.0

Water Conservation – the greatest learning

A line that has stayed with me was from a sign in our school. There was a room near our classrooms, where they used to keep pitchers of clay filled with water. During the break, one visit that room and drink water. There was a small board, with white background and blue text, which used to read,

“Let Us Save Water, Water Will Save Us”

I may have forgotten most of what I learnt in school during those years: my age was in mere single digits back then. But the importance of saving water became a learning for a lifetime..
I also have vivid memories of graffiti on the walls, which used to read “We want water tanks for Rajkot”. This was one of the first sentences in the English language,I managed to read on my own, and the one that remains etched in memory.

Water crisis may yet impact us

Several decades have passed since we left Ahmedabad. And time has changed so much with it. But what has not changed are the concerns around water. The water supply situation across most of the country is significantly better now. And we’ve had several years of good monsoons. In some cases, excess rains. But that may not last forever.


The habit I am cultivating these days is that I write the draft for Blog of the Day before we head out for a walk. That is not possible every day because the habit formation is still a work in progress. Today, the walk was delayed by a few minutes because I was preparing the draft for the post that was intended to be published originally. Around 4:30 A.M, the draft was ready, and I was planning to hit publish once we returned from the walk. The topic, incidentally, was on conserving water. That post will see the light of the day at a different time.

Water flowing from a pipeBlog by Amar Vyas


Water flowing from a pipe onto city street. Image: Amar Vyas

About this post: The theme of my blog for Saturdays is called “Sustainable Saturdays“.  This post is written as a part of my #bloggingchallenge for the month of February 2022. I intend to write a multi part series on water management in the coming weeks.

Word count: 500 words. Time taken for writing, editing, publishing and images: 30 minutes.