Water tales

Ettie Flax, Sea Point

I would like to mention how East London managed the drought in the early 1950s.

I was a schoolgirl in East London then, and we had been enduring a horrific drought that had been ongoing for some years.

The council then decided to import water from Durban.

Luckily there was a brand-new oil tanker available, called the Athol Crown, if my memory is correct.

The water was piped ashore to augment our meagre fresh water supplies (men were to use no more than half a mug of water for shaving).

The council also had installed on every street corner, a large canvas dinghy filled with sea water.

We had to go out all the time to collect buckets of sea water to flush the toilets.

One day, walking home from school, my younger brother did not look where he was going as he waved to me, and promptly fell into the sea water pool, school bag and all. It must have been about 10 feet wide and two feet deep but no harm done.

When eventually the drought broke, it poured and poured for days.

The dams filled up, and all was well – until the next time.

My daughter writes from Israel that they have four desalination plants, and that the overflow gets piped to the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinneret).

Can we rely on a good winter rainfall? I sincerely hope so.