Ireland’s landscapes consist of bright fields of green and deep blue waters.The Aran Islands are surrounded by light blue, very clear water. We arrived at our hostel in Inis Oirr and the first thing I noticed were the signs about wasting water. One of the flyers read “Water shortage on this island. Reduce water usage. Flush when needed.” My initial thought was that the hostel was trying to reduce the water bill, but the words “water shortage” made me question it. When I was walking back from the store one morning, I saw two ferries in a line, along the dock, and then an unfamiliar boat in front of them. This boat had no seats for passengers; instead it had a large basin on it. I did not know why it was there or what it was for, so I started to talking to Eoghan Poil, the man who produced and sold fudge on the island. Eoghan informed me that it was their water boat. This boat was how the island got their source of water. It traveled back and forth, from Inis Oirr to Galway, twice a day to deliver water to the island. The island uses this water system because it does not receive direct water fom the mainland.
Eoghan explained the political change in the past with the water industry and how it left the Irish people upset. What I found was interesting was that their electricity came to the island in the 2000s. The way their electricity is connected to the mainland is a setup that is under Galway Bay. The fudge man said that it would make sense to have the water and electricity both be delivered from under Galway Bay. Eoghan said “the Irish government will not go out of their way to change something that does not need to be changed, so there will not be a change until someone takes initiative.” I was shocked by the way Eoghan was so laid back about the change that was needed for a more reliable water system.
I later asked Linda about the water shortage on the island and how it affects living here and running a hostel. Linda said “as of now they are not in a water crisis so there are no set times when the water on the island is shut down, but we could find out tomorrow, next week or next month, that they will put on a water ban.” In the past, whenever the island was in a water crisis the water on the island would shut down from seven at night to seven in the morning. Linda was also very laid back and relaxed about the water situation on the island because she grew up with it. It became second nature to her, dealing with this water method and running a hostel in these conditions. The water situation is not looked at as a problem, but more of something that is the way it is.