Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Extreme Water Conservation!

Witness our current method of showering! Much to our total horror, we're out of water. In our house we treat water very respectfully indeed (in the five years we've lived here this is only the second water-less incident, the first being on our wedding day, not long after we'd shifted in...). Unfortunately we haven't been quite respectful enough (and the sky hasn't presented us with a whole lot of precipitation of late). 

The showering arrangement is pretty cunning, and actually makes me feel guilty for my usual three minute showers (we do really try to be careful with the water round here!). If I did this all the time, perhaps we wouldn't have run out of water at all. It's a return to my former life in Korea, where we all visited public bath houses a whole lot. 

You leave your modesty (and all of your clothing...they're segregated, just in case you had some crazy images in your head!!) in your locker, pull up a little stool (in this case, a bucket), a little bucket to put water in, and your scrubbing glove, then with the water in your bucket. some soap & your scrubbing glove you wash yourself, then have a quick rinse. 

All in all I can do it using about 4 litres :) And that's including collecting the water I use to rinse myself off with (then using that to fill the toilet cistern...). Unfortunately I don't have the lovely soak in a hot pool which follows at a public bath house, but it's a pretty effective way to make the most of the water you have. 

So it seems I've come upon a New Year's Resolution by way of water shortage - 
Be More Careful With Water. 

When I was teaching, I did a project on water with my class. We learned that of the water in the world, 97.5% is salt water (so no good for drinking), so only 2.5% is fresh. Of that 2.5%, almost 70% is frozen in Antarctica & Greenland. Most of what remains is trapped inside the earth, as soil moisture, or deep aquifers. Less than 1% of the world's total water (.007% or so) is accessible for direct human use. And this isn't taking into account water supplies that are polluted. Pretty scary, huh. 

What's even more scary is that until I had to learn to live with only rainwater tanks, I'd never really thought about water at all! I know that even if we live on town supply again sometime in the future, I'll be looking at it in quite a different way. 


  1. Can you tanker some water in? Good on you for conserving water! It must be really hard in this heat! How's the veges going? Our scarlet runner beans are a bit of a fail due to lack of water.

  2. Yeah, tanker man is coming but there's rather a backlog so not for a few days!

    The veges are awesome, luckily we have a bore tap as well which is fine for keeping our veges growing, but no good for anything else as it's too minerally :) We have pretty cunning ways of watering vege gardens to minimise water use, very labour intensive, but definitely keeping everything alive. Enjoying many zucchini and beans (cannellini & borlotti mostly) at the moment. Yummy...

  3. Hey Kath, did you know you can get "grey water" hoses from Mitre 10 (I'm also going to check out Para Rubber and Payless Plastics for alternatives). It's $3/mtr but I'm seriously considering it. It's pretty hard to keep a little boy enertained enough to STAY in the yard while doing the washing machine final rinse run to the garden!! $100 to save 20 min each washing load is a small price to pay I say!