Yesterday, I was doing something in my kitchen when I heard a crack, then what sounded like someone dragging the sheets from our clothesline to the ground. But when I looked out the window, I saw that a branch had snapped off the tree in our courtyard.
Twigs from the branch were brittle like dead, dry wood. I don't know this for sure, but it seems as if our water shortage is so severe that live wood is drying out. A scary thought.
Israel is a dry country, but this water shortage is more severe than normal. We're like people who live off of credit cards and realize they're nearing their credit limit. We've taken for granted that the red line on the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) can move lower and lower, but now we're beginning to wonder if the water left might not be enough.
In the US, I sometimes experienced droughts-- the spring on my family's farm would dry up and we would switch to well water, and then we'd get a big storm and the water would return. But what we considered a drought in rainy Pennsylvania is a way of life in Israel. We don't get rain all summer here, so we depend on winter rains... and continue to live beyond our water means.
Next time, I'm going to post about how to wash dishes in a water shortage-- complete with pictures of my dirty dishes! (Actually, you might not want to check back for that.)
For now, one of our favorite new water-saving tricks: we put a bucket in our shower to collect the cold water that runs while we wait for the water to turn warm. (Not "gray" run-off water-- clean water that otherwise goes wasted.) Then, I've been using this water to water plants and mop floors. Honestly, there's too much of it-- I now have a full bucket of water that I'm not sure what to do with. We might start using it to flush our toilets, although that sounds a little tricky. Or I might just buy more herbs for my window boxes and revel in the fact that I don't need to feel guilty when I water my plants. Any other ideas?
Free Offer for All CNN and BBC Journalists
18 hours ago