Pretty timely re: my last post on water, this afternoon they declared a major water emergency in the Boston area, thanks to a huge water main break. One million people, including everyone in my town, are under a "boil water" order. I got a call from my local water district, a recorded message telling everyone not to use any water at all, not even lawn sprinklers, until they have it fixed. Since the water main break is dumping 8 million gallons of water per hour into the Charles River, doesn't sound like it'll be fixed very soon.
I make sure and keep backup water supplies at the house just for such eventualities, but I was curious, so about an hour after the emergency was declared I went over to the nearest grocery store, one of those that's so large you can get lost. And almost their entire supply of water was already gone. Empty shelves, almost everything grabbed, and people were milling around the aisle in front of the empty shelves looking around as if more water was going to be found. No panic or anything, people were nice enough, but wow nonetheless...
The phone message said something about the emergency taking only a "couple of hours", and people can boil water to drink, and yet this was still the immediate reaction. Can't imagine what would happen if something actually serious were to happen to the water supply.
Yep, water's "free".