Monday, February 22, 2016

The Day the Water Went Dry in Delhi

The first hint we got of an impending problem was a phone call from the Mission President’s wife about 4 pm Sunday: “The water may go dry tomorrow so fill up anything and everything you have with water--buckets, bathtubs, etc.” This was followed up 90 minutes later by a text from the Assistants to the Mission President to all the missionaries: “Elders and Sisters, There is a (problem) going on with the water supply in Delhi right now. It seems that there will be a water shortage possibly starting tomorrow and lasting 2 days. Please fill up buckets with water for showering and empty bottles for drinking and cooking water. You should already have 72 hour kits in your apartments. The internet is saying it will last 2 days so be prepared…”

So what did we do? Filled the bathtub,
plus 3 buckets for showering and flushing the toilets,
a few large covered bowls and a few extra bottles for drinking,
made our weekly soup (vegetable barley this week) a day early, washed our sheets (Monday is the usual day for washing but I had taken time on Saturday to do most of it), cooked up a pot of hot cereal, and watched a video on India before going to bed.
Our 72-hour supply of drinking water

Monday morning came—would we have water? Yup, so far so good. We both quickly showered after our bi-weekly skype session with 2 of our kids. We then went and did our usual weekly grocery shopping, hoping to get the produce sterilized before the water dried up. We ate a quick lunch, I did the dishes, and started filling the sink for sterilizing. The water turned brown—and then stopped. Oh dear, I shouldn’t have eaten lunch. The produce will just have to wait in the fridge for ‘2 days’ until the water comes back on.
I certainly hope their ‘2 days’ isn’t related to the ‘2 minutes’ expression used all the time in India—kind of like our ‘just a minute’ which can actually be quite a while.

I just read that Delhi gets about 543 million gallons of water a day from the canal that is having problems. Stay tuned!

P.S. Okay, so the Mission President's wife just informed me that they haven't run out of water yet and they live right next door. It appears that the guard didn't fill up one of our apartment building's two water tanks this morning so at this point it is a very limited and totally reversible drought! However, all the schools in Delhi didn't have classes today due to the threat of a water shortage.  It makes for a good story, don't you think?


  1. Great story and I hope you keep enough water to do what you need to. I imagine potentially shutting down water to a city that big would be a huge issue. Glad you have that bathtub.

  2. Ha ha ha! That's pretty funny. Well...your local issue. Kinda scary about the canal. We are pretty dependent on water. Hopefully it doesn't become a general problem.

  3. Thanks for this! I was worried about you when I heard about the canal on the news. -Amy

  4. Wow! Is your localized war issue going to be fixed before the generalized shortage kicks in?

    1. Well we woke up to water in our flat still. Not sure how long that will last. The news says 25% of the canal water has been restored. What a challenge. It's all part of the adventure!

  5. We are enjoying the news and adventures from India. We look forward to each one. Thanks for sharing and letting us experience a little of the world through you. We are grateful for your service and devotion!