Before moving to Panama, I never gave a thought about tap water.  You turn the faucet and highly chlorinated water came out.  In Boquete, it is very different.  Water is an issue that people discuss in the grocery store, at the animal clinic, at the recent charity golf tournament, on Facebook, just about anywhere there are 2 or more people.  It’s worse in the summer – verano, which is now.  It’s dry season.

The Boquete population has increased steadily in the last 10 years or so but its water system has seen few upgrades.  We have 2 – 500 gallon tanks that should be full even in dry season.  But in December, we ran out of water.  We had a major leak that was repaired quickly.  Then, in February,  we noticed the water level in the tanks getting lower and lower.  Water was not filling them except for a little at night.

Our friends offered us their showers, washers and bottles of agua.  That’s just what people do here in Panama.  We have offered our shower when our friends have had water issues too.  We were lucky that we noticed the lack of water before it became a huge problem.

We still prioritized what would be laundered.  We took quicker showers.  Our lawn got brown.  We were getting a little nervous since there’s at least 2 more months before rainy season.

Earlier this week David talked to Alex, our next door neighbor.  He told us that he has 3 sources of water while we only had one.  If that one pipe broke (which it did) we would have to go without water until it was repaired.  That could take months.  So our contractor, Gene, got his guys out to find more pipes.  And they did!

Now we also have 3 sources of water.  Two go directly into our tanks and water is pumped from there for the house, hoses and sprinkler system.  The third source goes directly to the backyard spigot.

The sound you hear is the giant sucking sound of dry dirt under the brown grass getting water for the first time in months.

The sound you hear is the giant sucking sound of dry dirt under the brown grass getting water for the first time in months.

Fast forward 3 days – Our clothes are clean.  Our dishes are clean.  Our floors are clean.  Our yard is getting green.

We have it easy since we have pipes that we can tap into. It only took a few man-hours and our problem was solved.   Many areas in Boquete just don’t get water for days or, sometimes, weeks.

Living in Panama is simpler in many ways.  It also makes you adjust.  If you can’t adjust, you don’t make it here.

Live here is different but we’ve adjusted well.  We had our second scorpion in the house.  The lot behind us was on fire two nights ago.  Internet, electricity and television aren’t perfect. On the other hand, I’ve never had better medical or dental care.  I eat healthier, fresher food.  Every single day I admire my beautiful surroundings.   And at the end of the day,  the good far outweighs the few discomforts.

Rainy season is just a few weeks away.




living in Panama

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4 thoughts on “Water

  1. Great post. 3 water sources. I’m so jealous. No water here at Finca Verdad. Short shower, NO laundry, and my new plants are a little sad that there is no daily drink for them.

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