During the summer months I become super aware of our water use. I am out in the garden and am taking care of the plants and watching the weather for rain. Herb loves to kayak so he watches the weather and online gauges to see if the Shenandoah is full enough for a float.
Our water in Tom’s Brook is very expensive and so since moving here 16 years ago we have certainly watched our usage due to that. After awhile you develop a habit to turn off the spigot or to take a shorter shower. I’ve even developed tricks to make sure that I catch water that would normally go down the drain during years of drought by showering with a bucket to catch water for my plants. The house has several cisterns that we also catch rain water to water outside with and not have to pay for that water.
Things to consider about water use:
- don’t run the spigot while washing dishes. Catch water in the sink in a larger basin so that you can lift out the water and use it on a plant outside when you are done with the dishes
- don’t prewash your dishes to put them in the dishwasher. Most dishwashers today can handle the food that might be left on your plate. Of course, if you have something stuck on the plate, by all means do a quick scrub of that.
- only water outside in the mornings so that you don’t lose water to evaporation in the heat of the day. This really makes me crazy when I see a business running sprinklers in the heat of the day. This is a huge waste.
- Use a broom to sweep dirt from a sidewalk or patio or driveway. This is another huge waste of water. I see this one all the time too with gas stations that want to hose down their parking lots or garages. This water goes into the storm drain and takes all those pollutants directly to the river. Be aware of where the water goes and what it is taking with it.
- Use rain barrels. We have three rain barrels and they are wonderful. We catch the rain water in those and on most days I visit those barrels numerous times rather than having to turn on a hose to pull water from my cistern reserves.
- Rain Harvesting Part II – Planing & Making the Rain Barrel (ourmotherskeeper.com)
- Rain barrel workshop (thewmeacblog.org)