Illustration by Denis Shifrin

It was a hot day when I discovered I needed some distilled water for the car. Once, somebody told me (my memory isn’t what it never was, and never has been – forgive me!), something about water from the air-conditioner coming out distilled. So down the stairs I went, carrying an empty plastic container.

Of course all the air- conditioners were going like crazy (it was a hot day – oh, I think I said that already – my memory, you know). A simple solution – I held the liter container under the nearest pipe, and half an hour later I had nearly half- a- liter of water – enough for my purposes.

Then a miracle occurred: I suddenly started thinking about water!

Say there are four air- conditioners going on this side of my building (actually there are more), with each pipe dripping a liter of water every hour. This means that each air- conditioner is producing eight liters of water (eight hours of use – also a minimum figure) every day. Let’s see, 4 ´ 8 = 32 liters. Okay, that’s one side of our entrance – what about the other side. Obviously the same story – 32 liters of water is dripping into the garden, or on the paving stones or on the tar, every day.

Aha, now this is interesting! There are eight entrances to this building, and on this hot day every air- conditioner is showing off. Eight entrances, 64 liters to each entrance (for one day, remember) makes – mmm, bzz (arithmetic has never been my strong point, where’s that computer), aha – 512 liters. Not bad, not bad.

Wait a mo’, there’s another block- of- flats across the lawn from us, all this being part of the same building- complex. They’re also producing (at a minimum, remember) 512 liters of water every day.

Things start to get interesting. We’ve got, mmm, bzz (damn computer, the batteries must be flat). Oh well, over 1,000 liters of water, every day. And all this in two blocks- of- flats. I must tell my neighbors. We could build our own swimming- pool and keep it full the whole summer through.

Hey, wait! There are others living in this humid city of Tel Aviv. Their air- conditioners are also working (unless they prefer sitting in front of an open fridge – no, cancel that thought).

Enough now! The mind starts to boggle. I think I’ve made my point. Or is it the water which has made the point? Where’s the nearest chair!

Who says it doesn’t rain in summer?

 

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About the author

Mike Porter

Mike Porter was born in South Africa. In Johannesburg he became a newspaper reporter on the Rand Daily Mail, besides writing for the Sunday Times, Zionist Record and, years later, for the EP Herald...
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