The scene looks familiar: A young mother and her daughters are setting out with plastic jugs to fetch their daily water supply (Freeze freezes pipe repairs, Feb. 25.
Usually the pictures we see are from a war-torn country, a drought-ravaged region or, to our shame, a northern community of our own province. But here we have a typical Winnipeg family in a typical Winnipeg neighbourhood, a household without water for eight days.
At some point, everyone has had a temporary problem with water supply, but eight days is not acceptable.
There's plenty of blame to pass around. The city blames the union, the union blames the city, and we can all blame the cold. And while eight days without even temporary service seems unbelievable, there are those in our province for whom this is the norm.
Early in the last century, the city built an aqueduct to Winnipeg from Indian Bay on Shoal Lake. Today, we expect the aqueduct to supply us faithfully with abundant clean water; our city can't survive without it.
If our engineers 100 years ago could find a way to pipe fresh, clear water from a remote reserve to serve the people of Winnipeg, why can't we provide the same quality of water to every reserve and community in the province?