Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chacala's Town Water Pump: Missing

Today I want to write about why Chacala’s town water system (a year or so old) is no longer providing water to the town (and miscellaneous hanger-on-er’s like the gated development).
But first, I have to write out a quote from my favorite book. It’s the one I re-read every time I run out of books-written-in-English. It’s called “Extra Virgin”, by Annie Hawes. It’s the story of a couple of sisters living in rural Italy in a shack on a hillside of olive trees. Anyway, the quote is “But in the old days people understood many things. Lots of people couldn’t read, so they had to be more intelligent.” And presumably have better memories.I like that. It’s such a joke that we humans think we are getting better in living in the world. What we humans are getting better (or more efficient at) is polluting the universe and killing each other. Clever us.Anyway…..(these are just photos of things I like around Chacala. Well. All but one photos are things I like here. Chacala is just a beautiful place to be.
Back to Chacala’s water system. About a year ago the State government paid to have a well dug, pumped installed, and a four mile long waterline dug from the well to Chacala. And soon everyone had nice clean water for somewhere between 4 and 8 hours a day. Everyday. With just a couple of exceptions when something broke at the pump house.Before that the town water came from a muddy little seasonal creek nearby. It seemed to alternate between drying up and being muddy from rain. The water was usually brownish and you never knew when the water would come on. Or if it would come on at all.But the new system has been great. Nice clean water, lots of pressure, and water every day. Until a few days ago. I think it’s been four days since the water came on. I have two buckets of water left now, for the toilet, and a little left in the tinacho. I am going to flag the water truck guy down in the morning. He sells the blue five gallon jugs of water.Anyway, I went over and asked Aurora what was up with the water, and she started laughing. She was amazed I hadn’t heard that banditos had taken every bit of equipment from the pump house. Pump, pipes, wiring, total.The pump house is just off the paved road, about a mile from Las Varas, and I guess it’s not guarded at night.Anyway. Guillermo, the water master, is in Monterrey this week, and I have the feeling nothing is happening about replacing the equipment I can’t imagine how that will happen anyway. It will probably cost a fortune, plus installation.I guess no one is very surprised about all this. It’s not really unusual for bad guys to steal stuff I would never think of stealing. At least it would never occur to me that someone would steal a town’s water system. Clever thieves.

About once a year since I have been here, bad guys come from somewhere in boats and steal as many boats and motors as they can make off with.

Apparently no one wants to man a rotation of people staying over at the muelle at night, watching for the banditos. I guess I wouldn’t want to stay over there either. The bad guys probably have guns. Or are “connected” or whatever.Anyway. Most, but not all, of the cement block houses in Chacala have an underground water tank (made from cement) where water is stored for these “no water” occasions. That water is routinely pumped into the tinaco on the roof for house water. But this house doesn’t have a storage tank, just a small cement open tank next to the clothes washing area. There are often dead small animals in there and I don’t want to wash myself in that water.When there is no town water people in Chacala call up the guys who sell water from big tanker trucks. But most of those guys have pumps that can only pump a little bit uphill. And it’s about 24 feet up to my tinaco, so I am probably out of luck. Or water.

Back to the days of my of my second winter in Chacala, I was renting this place I am living at now, and the water situation at this house was horrible. A constant problem and always dirty. Ugh. Oh well, something will work out.

Update: Guess what? The whole town water system was restored in four days. I think that’s incredible. I don’t know how it happened but I am really thankful.

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