Today it finally cooled down on Vancouver Island. Finally. I’m so grateful. I wasn’t dealing with the heat well at all.

The combination of extreme heat with very little rain and a low snow pack means we’ve been in drought conditions in the Cowichan Valley for most of the summer.

The funny thing is, you wouldn’t know it unless you knew what signs to look for. There are brown lawns in people’s yards (except for the ones who refuse to follow water restriction rules and keep watering theirs to a lush green), there are autumn leaves on trees (but it’s not autumn yet, it’s drought stress), and the low, low rivers. So low tubing down them isn’t quite as free flowing as usual, and getting up to walk over especially shallow sections is a regular part of the float.

It got me really thinking about how essential water is.

It’s a resource we literally need for survival. Without drinking water, our bodies will die within a few weeks.

I’ve also been thinking about water because a few days ago I helped my landlords set up a fundraiser for a project they’ve been steadily carrying out for the last 4 or 5 years.

Every couple years they fundraise enough money to go to a small rural area in Tanzania where there are 3 villages they’ve been assisting to get potable water. Without clean running water the villagers (mostly women) walk about 3 hours a day simply to fetch mostly unclean water to use for their needs.

They’ve been working with the village council, municipality and entire village to put the fundraised money to use setting up systems to make life easier.

This is the kind of easier life that we’d still consider a hardship. Please consider donating (even just $5 makes a difference) to the Water For Life project. Or share this information forward. That’s a big help too!

I’ve been taking the ease of my own life for granted (running water, washing machine, sinks, refrigerators, a car), and this is a very small way to contribute to improving the lives of thousands of people in a very concrete way.

So, I’ve found a few bit of media to enjoy your Sunday with:

How someone found Newfoundland, and peace.

A few years ago I wrote about my relationship to water in a different way. You can read it here.

Logging and the landscape. This is a very real visual on Vancouver Island. And this artist Ann Rose Georgeson beautifully paints how the land is changed by logging. (UPDATE: this link is no longer available)

And, of course, I’m wondering what kind of relationship you have to water. Tell me more.