Daily Life, Thoughts, Water conservation

How quickly we forget

Here in Australia we were in drought recently for many many years and the word of the day was conserve.  Conserve water – we didn’t know when it was going to rain again and it was possible the drastic water restrictions we had then would last forever.

As we used them I would gather dishes and  stack them in the big kitchen sink to wash once a day (usually mid morning ) in the little sink – that water then washed the cats dishes, then the stove, and then sometimes was bailed into a small bucket to use to wash the kitchen floor – oh, and then it would get tossed over one of the plants near the back door.  The first water drawn before it got hot was collected in a jug and used to fill the kettle during the day.

Showers were cut down to as short a time as possible – always with a bucket to keep you company which was then emptied over a plant near the back door and the baths I loved were rare treats.  Treats that would end in hard work when I used to bucket it out then walk it down the hallway to toss over plants at the front door.

Then about 2 years ago the drought (now called the Millenium Drought) began to break and the rains returned – http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/the-drought-breaks/story-fn59niix-1225952583089 – heavy rains that brought floods to just about every state – last year the water restrictions were eased and new set of Permanent Water Saving Rules came into place late in December 2011.

And thats when our attitudes seemed to change –  oh how quickly they changed and many of us forgot the conservative ways we’d learn’t over those years.  I will acknowledge I am guilty of easing up on some of my practices and I’m also sure that if it didn’t rain so much these days we wouldn’t be so carefree and unconcerned.  In my defence I will say we did install a very large water tank to collect rainwater and use on the garden and for many years now haven’t used the hose on any of the plants outside.

Yes, I still try to wash up just once a day but have been known to rinse cups under the tap.  I’ve cleaned my teeth with the tap running – I’ve forgotten to change the load setting on the washing machine – I’ve even put it on for one item.  And my baths are more frequent these days – to be honest they help when my back is playing up, but I just pull the plug and don’t give a thought to the water running out down the drain.

Lizzie mentioned something in her post yesterday about not taking baths to save money – I think maybe I should once again revise my way of thinking and review our water consumption.

How about you –
Have you stuck to your water saving ways?
Or have they changed here and there?

14/30 June Post a Day

7 thoughts on “How quickly we forget”

  1. We still have to conserve water. We have a well and it doesn’t run dry but when it goers below a certain level it will kick off our pump and we have to reset it, then wait about an hour for the water to build back up. Thankfully my spouse has had to conserve water and has taught me many tricks to use. We never really have a problem unless we have company and too many people are showering and flushing toilets. We can do laundry or fill all the animal;’s water buckets then just wait about an hour and not ever have the pump kick off.

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  2. The concerns now aren’t just water, but electricity too. Since moving into my new home 4 years ago, I made sure I had a large water tank installed and soon discovered that I didn’t need to use the pump for watering the garden. The flow was sufficient without wasting electricity too.Otherwise it was save on the one hand and spend on the other. Now I’m afraid I don’t bother with the restrictions, whatever they are. I have always been careful with water supply and put the dishwasher on when it’s full. And if I do wash dishes in the sink because there are so few it seems ridiculous to have them sitting in a dishwasher for a week, I tend to wash with my super duper scrub brush with endless dishwashing liquid supply. Loading each article in the sink, all soapy, until I can turn on the tap and quickly rinse off the soap.
    I wouldn’t do it with a pile of dinner dishes, but if it’s only a cup, plate some other dish, it’s just as economical.

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  3. G’day Cathy. When we owned the farm, we were on tank water for the house and dam water for the garden, so we really had to watch what we used. We installed extra water tanks just for the garden. In the house we were so aware of what we used and therefore made many adjustments. A bucket was always kept in the shower as it took a while for the water to get hot up that end of the house. We would never leave the tap running when brushing our teeth. Only put the washing machine on when there was a full load etc, etc. These are only a few things we did, the list goes on and on. Even now that we have moved into town and on mains water, we are still very aware of our water use. I saw a thing on the TV only a few days ago that said we waste more water washing our dishes in the sink than we do if we have the dishwasher on with a full load. I thought that was interesting. Take care. Liz…

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  4. Very interesting post. I do much of what you mentioned. I collect rain water for the garden. I use the first water from the tap before it get hot. I let my granddaughter take sbath, but she has to set a timer for how long the water runs. I read something similar about dishwashers, too. Hmmm. I don’t use mine. I wash dishes in a plastic tub that fits in the sink, but requires less water to fill. Good discussion and good reminder! Thanks.

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  5. We never have a water shortage here in Scotland and its a great pity we don’t supply our lovely water to the South of England where they do suffer from drought. However, I don’t take our water for granted, we don’t have a meter but I collect rainwater for the garden, never water the lawn and am careful with household use.

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  6. It’s water, water everywhere here at the moment (that’s why I had a leech on my back door step the other day!). It’s inevitable, though, that drought will return.
    I’m enjoying your post-a-day posts!

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  7. I think I’ve pretty much stuck to my water saving ways. But no way am I giving up my baths. Love them and they are so good when my arthritis is playing up. However I often have my bath first, then send DD10 in for hers so we are saving water that way. Mind you we do have an indoor spa I could use instead of the bath but I love the bath more :-).

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