Regular readers may recall that when Kunming's reservoirs get low (an annual occurrence over the last decade), the water pressure in the city gets lowered and our house ceases to get any running water. That's because our neighbourhood happens to be at the highest altitude in the city. A water truck will fill up our water tower about 6pm, once a day, but once that's gone (1-2 hours) we are back to using buckets. But a couple of months ago, we thought we'd cracked it. We bought and had installed a large water reservoir on the roof of our apartments which would get filled up during the 6-7pm window and then last us through the day. Instant running water! No more buckets! Little did we suspect though, that we were actually doing our neighbours a huge favour.
The pipes had been wrongly installed in the building during construction, and so it was our neighbours who suddenly found they had running water, whilst we were no better off. What's more, we'd been paying their bills for a decade and they ours! We complained to the neighbourhood officials and yesterday they finally, and reluctantly, sent workmen to reconfigure all the water pipes. Bingo! We think we'll now have running water all year round, while our neighbours will have to rely on their tears of envy! I wonder if our water bills will rise or fall, though?
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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