Friday, March 14, 2014

My Water Conservation

I can remember the drought of 1976-77, even though I was living overseas at the time. That's because the summer of 1977 my family was touring the Southwest National Parks - Zion, Grand Canyon, etc. I even remember we were somewhere in Arizona when we went to see Star Wars.

During our travel through California I can remember the signs at a few motels that told us to reuse our towels and not flush unless we did number 2.  I guess the saying is, "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down." 

I've carried that with me my entire life. I appreciate the need to conserve water. Maybe it's because I lived in the desert or maybe because I've traveled the world and seen where clean water is not readily accessible.

So I might be extreme in my water conservation during this drought. But since I live alone, I can be without annoying anyone in my household. Please know that most of this is done when I am alone and that when I have guests, I curtail these practices, for the most part.

1)  I've practiced the "If it's mellow" thing my whole adult life.  I do not flush every time I pee. Rest assured, this will not be the case if you are visiting.

2)  I don't have a front lawn. This is really due to the fact that I live across the street from a field of weeds and any attempt to grow a weed free lawn has been wasted.

3)  We all turn on the shower/tub faucets and wait for the water to get hot before we climb in. I catch that water in a bucket and use it to water plants or flush the toilet. 

Luckily I have an on-demand water heater in the attic above the bathroom, so it really only takes about half a bucket. On-demand heaters are the bomb! They save you money and water!

4) I've always taken short showers anyway. I don't see the point in just standing there wasting water just because it feels good.

5) I now keep a tub of water in the sink to soak dirty dishes til washing.

6) I only run the dishwasher about once a week when it is completely full, mostly because I rarely cook anymore.

7) Similar to #3, I catch the kitchen water in a pot and heat that on the stove versus waiting for the hot water to come through the faucet. I actually use less water because when you add the boiling water to some of the tub water, it's still hot without scalding, to wash your dishes by hand.

Extreme measure for many, but just the way I roll. I guess my large water use is when I occasionally give a good soaking to my gigantic lemon and grapefruit trees. But that's only once a month when there's no rain.

How do you save water during this drought?
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