This is Why You Conserve

Very interesting post on Workerette today on just how important water conservation is. She spotted two articles that I think are very important to read.

wasted water

The first is about a town in Tennessee that is out of water. The water is turned on in the town for just 3 hours a day. As you can imagine, those are 3 hectic hours.

The second is about the Georgia Aquarium, which is having to drain tanks because there is so little water available, and everyone is having to do what they can to cut way, way back on their water consumption.

These are issues that many states in the southeastern United States are dealing with. I won’t be surprised to see similar problems in a lot more states, and I am fully aware that southern California is reliant on other areas for water.

The suggestions for conserving water on the Workerette site are good. I do a lot of them already, although some aren’t possible for a renter. No choice about my washing machine, for example. But I do at least wash full loads whenever possible. And while the kids do still prefer baths, they take them together.

But I also like to think about outdoor water use. I don’t keep a perfectly green lawn. I do keep a vegetable garden, but that of course has benefits that I won’t trade for a lower water bill, and something would need to replace the garden anyhow.

We water the lawn just enough to keep it pleasant for the kids. It’s not that perfect green; doesn’t need to be. I scolded my husband for rinsing ash from the fires off our walkway rather than just sweeping them. Thought he’d know better by now….

We compost food waste. This may not seem like a water saver, but if you compare it to the practice of putting it down the garbage disposal in the sink, it can save some significant water. And of course it’s much better than throwing it in the trash, when you’re not thinking in water terms.

I have one kind of funny way to save water in the kitchen that only works on warm days. If I need hot water, I turn on the cold side. The reason for this is that our pipes must run under cement or something, because if the day is even a little warm the initial burst of water in the kitchen sink quickly turns hot. Scalding hot if the day is hot. I’ve seen steam. It’s annoying if I want cool water, but nice when warm is needed.

I don’t know how soon more communities will be facing severe water shortages, but it’s something we all need to consider and prepare for. The better we get at being efficient with our water use the easier it will be to adapt when there is no choice but to use less water.

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