A regular refrain of mine on this blog is the single point of failure. Generally confined to transportation and infrastructure, it provides us with an instant reminder of how fragile the thread is that binds us to our daily lives.

We had a major burst water main recently in the local area. It took out the entire town and surrounding area, for more than 24 hours. No showers, no washing up, no toilet flushing. These are just household things, though, they’re easily manageable for a relatively short time.

But what about people running businesses? What about hospitals, veterinary establishments, garages, other things that rely critically on water? I hope they had – and have – a plan B.

Ironically, out here in the country, quite a few folk have their own wells, avoiding water bills and also drawing on Ireland’s plentiful – not to say incessant – rainwater supplies.

So, in some cases, the less civilised we are, in the sense of being city-tied, the more resistant we can make ourselves to the single point of failure.

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