Tired after a day of travel, I picked up my towel, still wet from the night before, and headed for the shower. Pushing every button, I could find, I tried my hardest to figure out how to get the water on. It couldn’t be that hard to turn on a shower, I thought. I was shocked to find out, the water had been shut off two hours earlier. Water is something we often take for granted. Because water is so easily accessible, after a stressful day we come home and take a long hot shower. Or we leave the water running while we brush our teeth and wash our face. In Ireland, even being an island, there is not much fresh water to spare. In the beginning of our journey in Ireland we stayed at the eco village. The eco village opened our eyes to see how spoiled we are, and how we frequently misuse the readily available fresh water. In the shower at the eco village, you had to press a button to get about eighteen seconds of water. Having to continuously press the button to get more water, made me realized how we are so used to taking long showers. I tried personally, to press the button the least amount of times, resulting in a quicker shower. I learned to shampoo my hair then turn the water on to rinse. Later, on the island of Inishmore we discovered the hard way that the water shortage causes the island to turn the water off between 11pm and 8:30am. I spoke with a man in the lobby of the hostel and he said, “I’ve been living here for seventeen years and it has never been this bad. It also hasn’t rained in two months”.  Even when rain falls on the islands, it often arrives in brief bursts and quickly continues onto the mainland. The brief bursts of rainfall have not been enough to get the island out of its water deficit situation. After Inishmore, we then went to Inis Oirr where they have the same water shortage as well. The hours on the Inis Oirr island were 8:30pm to 8:30am. After learning about the hours of water restrictions, we learned how to adjust. So many of us students have a showering schedule that we are used to. People prefer showering at different times, but personally I like to shower at night. When we were on Inishmore and the water shut off without a warning, I had to learn to adjust. I woke up earlier to take a shower the next day. This situation opened my eyes to show that we are so fortunate to shower whenever we please and can flush the toilet in the middle of the night. Although many places in the U.S. are experiencing droughts also, they do not take as extensive measures as the islands here off Ireland.


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