Public Water Distribution System

Public Water Distribution System

Central America and Guatemala especially have an abundance of water resources, many are groundwater. La Antigua Guatemala is located in a valley irrigated with over six months of a rainy season per year. La Antigua Guatemala is surrounded by mountains and volcanoes that collect even more water. Much of this collected rain ends up as groundwater.

Water belongs to the Guatemalan people and it’s managed by the government; national and local government. In theory, Guatemalans don’t pay for the water itself, but for the distribution system; that is the electricity to pump it and the distribution pipes. The water bill can vary a lot from zone to zone for the same amount of distributed water.

Water is always available in the wealthy neighborhood homes. Water is rarely available in the poor neighborhood homes. Water is not even available in many villages homes. This reality is what brings us to today’s picture. This public water faucet is located in San Pedro Las Huertas, one the villages that belong to La Antigua Guatemala county (municipio in Spanish). That people actually use this public tap water faucet makes me believe that water is not available in all the houses in this community.

How’s the water situation in your neck of the woods?

Disclaimer: I write the above the best of my knowledge, which is not much. So if you know better or can provide actual facts and statistics, please, do so. This web site and all of us benefit from your input.

© 2007 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • When I was a kid my mom used to keep huge buckets of water in Guatemala. When the water was gone, we didn’t panic, we would go to our buckets. I thought it was the norm and when I grew up abroad, we kept a bucket in the bathtub (more out of custom than need I suppose). We would pour the water into the bucket and shower using that water. The Water Department inquired as to how we saved so much water; our water bill was very low…Did people actually live in our house?!
    La necesidad es la madre de la invención dice.
    The lady in this picture exemplifies this saying.

  • Well… as far as I know (I use your disclaimer) Lake Ontario provides the City of Toronto with water. The city, originally, was located between two rivers and their respective valleys. (This sounds like a future post for my own blog once I do my fact checking). It seems there is no water problem in the city. However, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) is constituted by other “Regional Municipalities” which in turn are composed of towns and cities. I used to live near York Region, and during the Summer they do restrict water consumption, particularly outdoors (water the lawn, wash your car, etc) because it becomes scarce. I also heard some friends who are buying a house in York Region to say something about having to “rent” the water tank they have to install in their new home. Again, limited knowledge because I have never had to pay for water… “all inclusive” rent they call it. A prerogative of living with limited resources 🙂

    Rudy: I am liking this “realist” period of your work. It reflects life in Guate, just as it is. Maybe La Antigua is not Guatemala, but it is under siege by it.

  • sompopo

    Here in Atlanta Georgia we are under very tight water restrictions due to a very severe shortage of rainfall. Some of the smaller towns have dried up completely and have to truck water in for the residents to use. Our current water deficit is 17 inches or more. Fines for useing water outside the home start at a thousand dollars after the first warning. Third warning and they remove the water meter from your property.

  • LB

    In the Dominican Republic, water availability is very different. If you live in the city and can afford it, water comes in a truck and is kept in a large tank on your roof. In the country (a mere 10 miles outside the city) you must find your own water, usually a creek that everyone uses to bathe, water there animals and wash their motor cycles in. In a few villages missionaries have dug water wells that the community walks to and carries water home in whatever jugs they can find. It definitely makes me appreciate being able to turn the tap on and get fresh water whenever I want.

  • Rosa Lopez

    my parents juan lopez n my mom irma leticia sosa juarez de lopez are from guatemala. they moved to the u.s. about 18yrs. ago n i have never visited guatemala which i would love to do!!!!
    my mom told me that she use to carry about 3 big buckets of water about 5 miles every day!!!!!!!

  • Aside from the back-breaking reality of hauling water — it is a great candid photo. This woman looks like she would be a friendly and warm neighbor. Thanks for always having realism — however difficult — in your blog.

  • Pirata Cojo

    Esta y la anterior imagen nos muestran la otra Guatebuenita, la de los olvidados y marginados. Gracias expositor Rudylio

  • Glenda

    I have never heard the term “Guatebuenita”. How charming. Is it used a lot??

  • Jerry T

    Water is readily available here in ths part of Texas, although at times there are limits on how much we can use for outdoor use, like watering our yards or in swimming pools (not me!)Overuse of water can get very expensive, since our water system will hit large users with a higher rate. Seeing this photo reminds me again of how blessed I am.

  • Carmen, it looks like more people should use buckets to bathe themselves. 😉

    Manolo, I look forward to reading about the water system form the GTA.

    Sompopo, see I did not know about the tight water restrictions in Atlanta Georgia. I just assumed water was wasted through out the U.S. (see one should never assumed anything).

    LB, I am sure water availability in DR is similar to Guatemala’s; if you have the money, water is there.

    Rosa, what your mom told you it is not unheard of in Guatemala. I am sorry to say in many places, it is still the same as when she lived here.

    Lessie, thanks for your continued visits and awesome feedback.

    Pirata Cojo, manten tu navegador sintonizado… hay más de este tipo de imágenes de Guatebuenita.

    Glenda, GuateWhatever is used often.

    Jerry T, certainly you are fortunate.

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