`Keep tap shut!! Water is money.

I enter a shop. The saleswoman is sitting with her hand on her cheek, usual state of idleness. I pay attention to the running water right next to her. After some seconds of looking at each other I say:
“The tap is open and the water is running”.
Probably she doesn’t expect me to say that and thinking that she has misheard says:
“I say the tap is open and the water is running”.
“Uhh… Yes, let it run and get a little bit colder”.
I look at her with no reaction.
“It won’t go to much waste”,- she hurries to add with a smile and I also reply to it with a slight artificial smile on my lips, making an attempt to admit her argumentation.

Five minutes pass. I can’t find what I look for, but the water is still running. It hasn’t get colder yet. More five minutes. She doesn’t even seem thirsty and the water is still going to waste thumping heavily over the wash-stand. I want to remind her that the water is the coldest already, but I kind of escape making any trouble this time. I simply cast a glance at the tap then the saleswoman and leave.

One may think Armenia is situated on a island in the middle of The Pacific ocean and it possess the whole amount of water surrounding it. This may be also assumed suggested by the huge amount of running water fountains in the city. No, the idea of having water fountains at every corner so that people can quench their thrust is great. This was also noted by one of the participants of “One nation, one culture” festival from Kazakhstan, who said that one may never find such water fountains in Alma-Ata and they have to buy water if they suddenly feel thirsty in the street.

So, they know the price of water and we don’t. Those water fountains also fall in waste as they run day in day out. Meanwhile the solution is simple: installing cock handles and when a person wants to drink, he revolves it and the water runs, then they revolve it back. But, wait. Again this argumentation – the water will not be cold then. Perhaps they’ll be so kind as to devote a little part of their precious time and wait for several seconds for the water to gain the coldness they desire. Someone said “Time is money”, and let me say: water is money as well.

Now I think that we never knew the price of clean running water, whereas most foreigners do, as there are no many countries who are privileged to drink water directly from the tap. Even with the water taxes spiraling upwards Armenians are not used to economizing water and shutting the trap when there’s no need of water, not even mentioning them thinking about economic problems. This drives me only to the idea that we like the noise water makes while falling to waste. Probably some people may have the sensation of being next to a river relishing their lives. Just they have forgotten to put on their swimsuits.

Don’t go deep into that water attraction, you may be drown one day and shut your taps!!! .


4 Responses to “`Keep tap shut!! Water is money.”

  1. Onnik Krikorian Says:

    No comment…

    Ok, well, maybe just one.

    Yeah, it’s something that strikes a lot of us in Armenia — total disregard or should I say a lack of education regarding respect for the environment. I’ve had my own experiences with the tap thing, that’s for sure, although the introduction of water meters has helped.

    However, even with charges for water introduced, wastage is still obvious, and not least from people who open up pipes to water the area outside their shops, or who just don’t care that a pipe has burst. Much better let it flood the street for days until someone bothers to take a look at it.

    Or the poorly constructed toilet for the cafe that devastated and destroyed the park opposite my apartment building. Just floods the street because the pipes aren’t in place properly. Not sure if the owners of the cafe pay for the water, but I suspect that they don’t.

    Meanwhile, to illustrate just one more contrast in typical everyday life in Armenia, 95 percent of homes in Kond lack any water or sanitation and people have to use the outside tap which doesn’t supply any water for more than a few hours in the day. Then the whole community is out with buckets to collect it.

    Anyway, education is as important as environmental protection legislation, especially as the latter is rarely enforced. I still have to admit that the way people discard rubbish in green areas is still sad. Here’s hoping that coming generations have a higher regard for the environment.

    BTW: For your interest, Zara, in England when there are problems with the threat of drought, the government or local authorities introduce bans on hoses and such like to preserve water. And this is in a country famous for the amount of rain we get. I’m glad to say that most of my friends and I understand why this is done, and we comply with the instruction.

    Like I said, it’s a matter of environmental education and awareness. Glad to see someone understands the situation, though. Unfortunately, you appear to be in the minority.

  2. Esoteric Says:

    Quite understated if you ask me. Water is such a vital resource and so over-looked. Australia’s state of NSW has technically been in a drought for I’m not sure how long. We should really take queue from the Spaniards, who have been in a drought for over a decade, but they mobilised so well and so fast, that they have truly made grounds against water waste.

    In general care for the environment, I’ve noticed that when a country’s major industry happens to be tourism, clealiness is paramount. How money will drive man, it’s a sad reason, but atleast it’s achieving it’s goal.

    Here in Australia, there are always anti-litter campaigns running. It’s quite admirable, however I’ve noticed the “green” nature-loving mentality Australians usually have has been slipping under the rule of the technically conservative Liberal party over the last 12 years.

  3. Zarchka Says:

    I remember me staying in the water queue being a 7-8 year girl and I wonder that many people quite forgot those years and think that water problems are never to appear in Armenia, meanwhile other houses are devoid of water at all.

    I think it is not even an education thing, but upbringing. For instance since my childhood I was thought to close the water tap and turn off the lights after me. And when repeated it becomes a conditioned reflex and gets into a habit. I even close the tap while teeth-brushing.

    One may be not educated, if the diploma is to define what education is, but they may be closer to the nature and society and understand its economical problems deeper and more practically than other people with diplomas may do. I think it must be in the nation’s culture to evaluate valuable things, keep and take care of them, be it a historical book embellished with gold letters or the water running from a shop tap. For me both of them have the same price, precious.

  4. Onnik Krikorian Says:

    Education, ppbringing or both. It’s the same in my books.

    Point about tourism is well made, which probably explains why the situation is still bad in Armenia. That is, apart froma few places around where tourists spend far too much to stay in hotels in the center, or drink and eat in cafes and restaurants in the same area, the city is quite messy. The situation in the regions is worse. Rubbish just dumped in huge piles on the sides of roads, and rivers covered in litter floating on the surface to such an extent.

    Makes you think that tourism is still in its infancy here since the collapse of the FSU, and that most tourists, especially from the Diaspora, rarely get out of the center of Yerevan.

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