Wednesday, May 30, 2007

90% Water Usage

I recalculated our water usage, and I'm sorry to say that we've been averaging 500 gallons of water per day. Yikes! Now, some of that is irrigation, but obviously we are right up there with the average American household when it comes to water usage. From looking over the bills I can see that summer watering is what really pushes up our water consumption.

There are a few things I know:

Papa over waters the lawn and beds in the summer. My job will be to research the subject thoroughly and present him with the information, and work with him to figure out how much we should be watering. We water the garden by hand as needed.

The shower has a drip. I'm catching it now so we can see how much we are losing daily.

I would say we lose at least 10 gallons of water a day just to waiting for hot water to reach the taps or shower. We recapture some but not all of that water. Our house is old, and the water heater is a long distance from the back shower.

Cloth wipes have moved to the front burner; Papa will flush if he sees a lot of TP sitting in a toilet. We'll strictly adhere to if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down.

Landscaping that is watered needs to be switched to edible plantings ASAP.

The boys use too much water to wash their hands. I'm setting up a wash station outside; it's just a dish tub with soapy water, and a hanging towel. They put their hands in, scrub them, then take them out and dry them off. It's not clean enough for a hospital, but it's good enough to get the dirt off. As a bonus I can use water gathered while waiting for hot water at the tap, and using biodegradable soap we can use the grey water for plant irrigation.

I'm going to see if Papa would be willing to not rinse dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. I've run the numbers, and we definitely save water using the dishwasher (an efficient Bosch) vs. hand washing (even using a frugal method).

I'm going to figure out how much water I use for a half full bath, vs. a shower. With a soap and soak valve I know I could use a lot less water. For instance, showering in the RV I use about 3 gallons for my entire shower, and that includes washing and conditioning long hair.

We use a lot of water for cooking and drinking. I don't know that we could cut that down.

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