Surrounded by water

Water is everywhere you look in Ireland. Whether it’s a tiny lake, pond, or view of the ocean, it is part of every vista. Although Ireland is surrounded by water, there are shortages of drinking water, and restrictions on water usage on many of the western islands. This requires the people living and visiting the islands to become more conscious of how they treat and use their water.

Achill island has a lot of large mountains surrounded by ocean. In Ireland many people buy bottled water over recycled water bottles to fill up. This is because there is a water shortage in many places in Ireland, therefore purified water is difficult to come by. There are many small sets of water on the islands filled with non drinkable water, so it may appear as the islands have a larger supply of water then they really do. When traveling through Ireland our coach driver, Des, told us that there is an island that disappeared for hundreds of years and just came back. It is located in a bay type area with large hills right behind it. The tan sand and rocks reach out to the crystal clear ocean. There are large cliffs that overlook this reappeared beach. Scientists do not have the answer yet as to why the beach has reappeared.

Another popular island destination in Ireland is the Aran islands. There are a total of three of the Aran islands, Inisheer, Inishmaan, and Inishmore. On a tour in Inisheer our tour guide, Stiofan, drove along the coast to show us the rocky side of the Cliffs of Moher. Stiofan laughed while explaining to us how the smallest of the three islands is surrounded by water and has “1 gas station, 1 doctor, 1 nurse and 3 bars” showing how compact the island really is. Not all of the islands are reachable by bridge. Therefore, one of the islands have one airway that has planes fly in from Galway a few times a day with resources. This is just a short flight and Stiofan said it is very handy sense the island is only reachable otherwise by ferry. Many of the Irish islands have to use different ways of transportation such as airplane or ferry because they are surrounded by water which leads to many restrictions. Another restriction would be water shortages on the islands. The water is turned off early evenings and turned back on early mornings. Throughout our travels, you could hear the sound of panic from non-natives spread throughout the island when it came close to the times the water would turn off. I would hear “I haven’t showered yet!” or “I need to fill up my water bottle!” This lifestyle took a bit of adjusting for many people who were not use to having to watch their water usage. This was done to help save water on the island rather than to keep the water constantly flowing through all the water systems. This is done in many island communities to help make a bigger difference.

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