The turquoise, deep blue water surrounds the land. The bright green grass covers the land itself. The clear, clean water comes out of the faucet filling our glasses. Yet I found myself walking to the convenience stores to buy 1 liter plastic water bottles during my time in Ireland.
Ireland’s water in most of the country is drinkable right from the faucet with no filter in which amazed me coming from an urban area. I was shocked that we could fill our bottles right from the sink and pubs and that restaurants gave us tap water. However, I still found myself at the store buying huge plastic water bottles. Every store I entered nowhere in sight was there a reusable water bottle, which is shocking as Ireland’s goal is to be greener and reduce waste. Buying plastic water bottles are also cheaper if the bottle is bigger, 1 liter vs 16 oz. What was even more shocking was that the most beautiful turquoise, deep blue water I saw was on this islands, also surrounded solely by water, yet it was the only place on the western side of Ireland that had a water shortage. “How is it possible to have a water shortage when surrounded by water?” is the only question I could ask. Linda the hostel manager in Innis Oirr, the smallest island, said that it had not rained in months and the water in the reservoir was not enough for its residents and tourist to use, which is why the water was turned off for 12 hours a day, 830pm – 830am. When the drops of water began to fall from the sky the island residents were happy and wanted it to continue as the tourist all wanted it to stop, seeing it as a disadvantage. This island appreciated any little water that fell as they had so little, while in the United States, New Englanders despise when it rains.