Tag Archives: water

Water Woes

15 Mar


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I arrived home yesterday to this message that started a conversation among the residents in my ten-unit condominium.

What the heck? How can that be? I wondered as I hustled to the kitchen and turned on the faucet. Nothing.

I shot off an email letting people know my water was off too and called the water bureau’s emergency line. Apparently, a contractor in our neighborhood had hit a water main and created a “water emergency”. Well, that would explain the work crew and the “road closed” sign I’d  seen down the block when I got home. The woman I spoke with wouldn’t say when work would be finished. When I told her I was thinking I should go to the grocery store and get some water she said that they anticipated the repair would be done by evening.

Okay. Maybe I don’t have to make a water run, but I decided to take stock of what I had.


No bottles of water. No three-day emergency supply. Not even ice cubes I could melt. I did have some cans of flavored mineral water in the fridge… I was failing basic preparedness.

What would I do if it took longer, and I couldn’t shower tomorrow morning? What would Lucy drink?

I thought about all the comedies I’d seen where water is cut off and the characters use water from the toilet bowl. They never think about the water in the tank, which could be boiled. Is that potable? I could boil it to be sure there was water for Lucy. Could I bathe in that? The ick factor is high, even from the tank. So many unanswered questions.

Fortunately, the water came back on just after seven.  I am glad I won’t have to shower in toilet water, but I think I should get some emergency water. Maybe I should start building a real emergency kit while I am at it.



Water footprints

10 Jun


Our first heat wave of the year seems to have broken and we are on our way to more normal temperatures for early June. I can’t tell you how thankful I am. Fiona was drinking a lot more and I was awoken through the night all week as she lapped up water in the middle of the night. The tomato plants I just potted needed extra watering. I let the kids drink at will in my classroom and more water bottles appeared on desks.

This morning, the air is cool and fresh as I air out the house and share with you this way cool book:


Your Water Footprint: The Shocking Facts About How Much Water We Use to Make Everyday Products, by Stephen Leahy, is an amazing collection of info graphics that tell just what the title says. The book gives ab overview of the world’s water situation in the chapter entitled “The Big Picture”. Subsequent chapters focus on specific areas of water usage: home, food production, farming and manufacturing.

I am wearing a different school t-shirt everyday this week. Here are some shocking stats about t-shirts


As much as I hate polyester, should I give up the cotton tees I love so much? And the food stats might make you think twice about what you eat.

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 This is an excellent book for focusing on Common Core standards that emphasize the integration of text and graphics in both reading and writing.

It’s hot, so here are some cool books about water

6 Jul

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I am not a fan of hot weather. There. I’ve said it. I love the cool spring & Fall we have here in the Pacific Northwest.  Fiona has a really hard time in the heat and sometimes I soak a towel and lay it on top of her to help her out. The two books above tell about water related problems and what you can do to help.

Plastic Ahoy! Investigating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch by Patricia Newman does what the title suggests. It follows a team of researchers, all young women, explored the area of the Pacific where millions of pieces of plastic have collected. A lot of it has broken into tiny confetti-sized pieces and they wanted to know how those pieces were affecting ocean life. This narrative non-fiction book is well-organized. The  first three chapters give background information about the project, the garbage situation and the area of the Pacific they will be visiting. The next three chapters tell the project each of the three are investigating: “Miriam’s Hitchkikers”, Darcy Follows Phytoplankyon”  and “Chelsea’s Plastic Puzzle”. The final chapter “Charting the Answers” brings it all together. Backmatter includes source notes, glossary, bibliography for further reading and an index. This is an excellent book: highly engaging, very readable and chock full of photos that enhance the text and let young readers see scientists in action.

Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home by Michelle Mulder sheds light on the fact that, in many parts of the world,  finding clean water is a daily challenge, and kids are often the ones responsible for carrying water to their homes. It  tells of the journey our water has taken to reach our water faucets or toilets. This book, filled with colorful photographs and stories, provides some of the history behind wells, reservoirs, and waste water treatment plants as well as making clear the laborious process of hauling water home every day. It is a short book that covers a lot in a highly engaging and readable manner. Like  Plastic Ahoy!, this book also has amusing chapter titles.

I suggest reading these in the shade of big old tree, with a nice glass of cool water handy to refresh yourself.

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