CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Monday, 14 April 2008

For Human Consumption?

100_0072 The council put these signs up after erecting the wire fence around the water tanks in our lane. The reason for the fence, I was told, was to prevent people deliberately contaminating the water and, it's a testament to the scared, sick world we live in that the authorities even imagine someone might do that.

But they think a flimsy wire fence would prevent it? I have my doubts.

And telling outsiders they're prohibited from entering is likely to be just as effective as telling a two year old not to do something, in my 'umble opinion.

Then, almost like dangling a carrot, they actually announce what's inside, saying "Storage of water for human consumption". Look, if they're really that worried about "water terrorists", surely, it would be better not to advertise?

Or, maybe wire the fence up to the pylon that towers above the tanks! :)

As for "for human consumption", well, yes, my question mark still remains, because this is the same water that has an excess of fluoride and, that we had been told not to drink (in 2006). And, nobody has told us we can drink it yet.

Even if they did formally declare our tap water fit to drink, I certainly wouldn't, because it often looks milky, smells like a swimming pool and tastes utterly revolting. Last time I tried to stomach it, in an effort to avoid the wastage, not to mention lugging, of bottled water, the taste made me want to vomit.

Collecting WaterIt may be that the tap water is officially and technically clean and fit, but apart from tasting dreadful and the frequent floods, this tap water causes me a skin rash on my arms, has all but destroyed my fine hair, turns potatoes black during cooking and, won't rise in a stovetop coffee pot.

Honestly, I thought I was dreaming about the last one, until I was talking to a local, collecting water from the dornajo (horse trough) in our lane and they said they found the same thing. This obviously explains why, in 2008, local people still drive from all around the valley to fill up bottles with this water that comes direct from the galleries, to use for watering crops especially, but also for use in cooking, for coffee, etc. That water feels and tastes fresh, at least.

It certainly doesn't have chemicals added to it, though I've no idea if it might be coming down old lead pipes, for instance.

The bottles I use to collect it (for the animals to drink) do turn green after a few uses, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if it has bugs in it and I still wouldn't drink it myself, unless it was filtered, boiled or something.

Access to "the minimum essential food which is sufficient, nutritionally adequate and safe" as well as "sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible and affordable water" are considered human rights. Maybe walking to the horse trough to get free water or the store to buy bottled drinking water, counts as acceptable, physically accessible and affordable? I don't know. I'd expect better anywhere in Spain, even this rural end of this island, which is supposed to be part of the "first world" and especially in the 21st Century, wouldn't you?

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