APFwebs: Letters from the Editor

World Water Day 2019 đź’§

In our 30 by 60 foot backyard, we have thirteen trees, all with roots long enough to have tasted our laundry water. You might think I enjoy laundry. Guess again.

Laundry time rears its ugly head about weekly. I seldom get it done all in a day. One day gets the bag to the garage. Wash and extra-spin, mañana. One last day to dry, fetch, and stow for another laundry. (These days may not be contiguous.) During this time, another load is well on its way.

The washer drains through a hose laced through a PVC pipe in our garage wall, whereby the backyard may suck up the joy of our laundry. The fabric of our lives. I can almost hear the washer singing: ♫ “The Laundry, the Laundry…” ♬ (a la Charles H. Hoyt and Percy Gaunt).

Nate McDowell of Los Alamos National Laboratory has suggested that New Mexico’s conifer forests will be gone by 2050. I guess I can’t do enough laundry to take care of the whole state: just—maybe—our backyard’s few trees. And probably not until 2050.

Drought’s popular these days. March 22 is World Water Day. In 2010, the UN recognized “the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.”

Yet 2.1 billion people live without safe water at home.[1] Drinking and sanitation… with “sanitation” including—you guessed it—laundry. Today, 1 in 9 people lack access to safe water and 1 in 3 people lack access to a toilet.[2]

We watch wildfires and then floods, harsh weather and temperature extremes, and long droughts. We suspect climate change, and we foresee water wars coming. (Shades of “The Water Knife”)

Bringing it home: due to climate change (periods of drought) and population growth, our good ol’ Santa Fe is near running on empty.[3] (We drove past our Heron and El Vado Lakes: they were dusty shells of their former selves.) Be fruitful and multiply, eh?

World Water Day? Think I’ll have a drink. (Before I fold the laundry.)