The rains came and the wind blew….

On a couple of days last week, here in Victoria the weather gods treated us to hot hot summer temperatures plus a couple of the dooziest of storms we’ve seen for a while which will certainly have helped to top up the dams plus scare the living daylights out of anyone when the gale blew and the thunder roared overhead – in actual fact the whole of the east coast has been battling storms and floods for a couple of weeks so dams and rivers have certainly been running fast and furious everywhere

But wait there’s more, one front leaving – another one following.
Thurs 2 Dec 5pm
And the rain came down – heavily!

Watching it come down had me thinking about the years when there was no water to be had at all. When here in Australia towards the end of the last century (1996/97) we were in drought, one which lasted for many many years. During that time the word of the day was conserve. Conserve as much water as we could –

– 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.

So 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 stove, cats dishes, and at times was baled 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. ’If it’s yellow let it mellow- if it’s brown flush it down’ was a catch cry even little kids became familiar with.

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 conscious of making use of every drop The Golfer would bale into the bucket , walk it down the hallway to toss each bucket load over the hardy plants at the front door.

Then La Nina came to visit early in 2010, the drought (now called the Millenium Drought) began to break and the rains returned – heavy rains that brought floods to just about every state – the strict water restrictions were eased and a new set of Permanent (still relevant) Water Saving Rules came into place late in December 2011. Hosing your driveway is still a no – no!

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.

Behind the old tin garage
Tucked away hardly visible


As they say, that was then and this is now.

Those who live in rural areas and are on tank water (pumped up or bought in) still follow their same practices.

I’m in town and yes, I still catch the cold before hot water to use in the kettle and unless I’m doing a big cooking session, try to wash up just once a day BUT have been known to rinse cups under the tap. Also I’ve cleaned my teeth with the tap running – flushed the loo after a pee – forgotten to change the load setting on the washing machine – I’ve even put it on for one item.  Showers are still short – my baths (more frequent these days) are not quite so full as they used to be – to be honest they help when my back is playing up – and I’ll admit there are times when I just pull the plug and don’t give a thought to the water running out down the drain.

Conserving water for me means a lower water bill (metered) as well as a lower gas bill (heated)

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

Linking to Life this Week hosted by Denyse at Denyse Whelan Blogs. 
Do pop over and see what others have been up to this week

22 thoughts on “The rains came and the wind blew….

    1. Funnily we have never had solar installed – I’m careful with our usage and often we’re not here for several months of the year and the majority of our actual bill is ‘charges’ which are on the account whether you use any energy or not so we decided – grants or no grants – we’d never get our money back.
      The tanks were something different, definitely a feel good purchase.

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  1. I am ashamed to admit I have become lazy. Yellow still mellows most of the time (there are only two of us but if visitors come the loos get a quick flush!). I use the first run of water from the sink to water indoor plants or top up the dogs bowls. The only things that get watered outside are the roses if we have had a long dry spell and the pots that sit on the balcony so don’t get rain. Otherwise it’s every plant for itself!

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    1. I just hope those dry days- months- years never return. Even though the ‘younger generation’ make their feelings known about climate change I wonder how they would cope in those situations- they want so much without giving up much.

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  2. There wasn’t much we could do to save water.aside from always full loads in the washing machine and dishwasher. We very rarely have baths and with us both working, our morning showers were brief anyway.

    We have to remember that city water consumption is miniscule compared agricultural and industrial use.

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  3. We have three fairly large rainwater tanks but still need mains water for the vegie garden before the Summers are over. I used to collect the cold water when starting the shower etc but have to admit most of my good water saving habits have disappeared. When I rinse out bottles and cartons etc ready for recycling that water goes onto plants near the front door though.

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    1. Living in SA is hard at the best of times, it’s a lot dryer than Vic and has such different soil. We lived there for a while and was so dissatisfied I couldn’t grow Azaleas the way I could in Victoria.
      There’s certainly a need for extra water for the garden after your long hot drysummerd

      Writing about this has made me realise how much I’ve gone backwards. There must be so much more I could do – will have to set my mind to work

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      1. It’s only natural to relax once the critical times seem to have passed but I think the groundswell now is to really think about what we can do for our environment. All of us doing our little bit helps. 🙂

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  4. We have been on a well until recently when Rural Water finally reached here. Because high usage of our well water often caused the well pump to shut down, we had to watch out for over usage. It is nice now to be able to do lots of loads of laundry and to let as many people shower that want to.

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    1. I can imagine the joy in not having to remind visitors to ‘shower short’ now we have to remind ourselves it all has to be paid for

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  5. Interesting to read back on things we used to do. We’ve had “droughts” in the UK when hosepipes get banned and car washes closed, but mostly we have too much rain, or the wrong sort of rain, that’s too much rain very quickly after a few weeks of no rain. I’m on metered water and try to cut down. I only wash up twice a day now . But I do like a Bath.

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    1. That’s interesting you mention the ‘wrong sort of rain’ Cathy because I’ve noticed there’s often heavy rain – too much leading to flooding- after bushfires and times of drought. It’s as if someone up above is really testing us!

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  6. Right now, we are being drenched with rain. No thunder but lots of rain. Some parts of Hawaii are flooded and there is damage and destruction. About water conservation, we should all be mindful of it.

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    1. Yes we saw the floods in Honolulu on our news Gigi – seems like several continents are getting more than their share of rain at the moment. It’s either a feast or a famine at times
      I hope you and your family are safe (and dry)

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  7. I am fortunate to currently live with abundant water supply, so we aren’t overly cautious. However, living one year with a spring that went dry with a baby in diapers(cloth of course in those days) and having to fill mason jars with water down at a town spigot I have never again taken water for granted.

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    1. Talking of springs drying up reminds me of years ago when we visited some of The Golfers family in Nova Scotia one young lad filled his glass at the sink, took a couple of sips then tossed the rest away. I forgot my manners and almost yelled at him to treat water as precious- but our ‘well’ has never run dry, he said. Guess what….two years later it did and they had to sink another bore. No we must never take it for granted.

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  8. My region across the ditch had similar restrictions but not because there wasn’t enough rain, but because our forefathers of now and then – forgot create more dams when the population grew and grew and grew!
    Recently in the lockdown, they lifted the restrictions said “we have plenty now…” and water is piped from a major river in another region at exorbitant cost as a top up.

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  9. For the first 8 years of our marriage we lived in remote, country NSW and water was indeed a precious and scarce commodity. Tank water, and in the remotest place, bore water. Coming back to Sydney and adapting over the years, I still can’t let the water run while teeth cleaning but I also have to keep the sink debris free as I lean over and use my waterpik. In 1997 when we built again in Sydney’s northwest, it was compulsory in a new build to hook the outside taps and toilet to recycled water because there was/is a purpose built plant. Since then new builds, here too where we rent now, must have a tank and it is the outside water source.
    Now of course, we are in La Nina (i never know which is the wet one) and rain is bucketing down.
    Straya!!
    Great to catch up with your blog post after linking it to #LifeThisWeek on Denyse Whelan Blogs. Next week, hard to believe, is the 2nd last Monday link up for 2021.
    Hope to see you then! I will be sharing my snaps. Denyse.

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