I first learned about water conservation in Tegucigalpa when we visited our daughter, Hannah, in Tegucigalpa. She would run around like Wonder Woman on days that the city released water to their house. Now that we have lived in the city for a year, we know full well what it is like to not have running water, like for days.
When it comes on, you make a mad dash to your washing machine and you wash as many loads as you can all day while at the same time flushing toilets, running water down all the sinks/showers to flush the strong sewage smell out of the house, mopping floors, cleaning surfaces, washing dishes, etc. Oh, and you also get to take an amazing shower without the fear that you will be stranded with shampoo or conditioner in your hair.
We are ever so grateful for precious water - even when it is just a small stream of cold water. Our anxiety level over water will reduce somewhat in the coming days thanks to two huge water tanks that will together have the capacity for 5,000 liters of water. Believe me, when these are installed, we will still be conservative and even more grateful.
The reason we will have even a greater appreciation for water is that even though we think our situation was inconvenient, it really was not in comparison to others in the city. While visiting the home of a friend in a marginal neighborhood this evening, we discovered that no one in the neighborhood has access to running water. I don't have any data to back this up, but the neighborhood must have over 1,000 people living there. On our way out, we noticed several big water tank trunks in various locations. I haven't decided if these water truck companies are providing a good service to the people or if they are taking advantage of the poor people in some way.
We pay roughly $9 per month for all of the water that we can store/use. The poor people in the neighborhood we visited have to buy barrels and fill them with water. Not sure how much their barrels cost, but 50 gallons of water costs L25 ($1.10).
See that tiny barrel in the pic below? Our friend uses about 5 barrels per month. Over the course of one year, she will use a lot less water than us, yet she will spend roughly $18-19 more than us.