Friday, 11 November 2011

what water shortage?

At this time of the year and in particular, this year because of pipes being munted from the recent earthquakes, we hear a lot of talk about water shortages.
A couple of nights ago within half an hour of arriving home and in the steady rain, I managed to collect 120 litres of water off my carport roof......and then dinner was ready.
You do the maths but I dear say,  it could be a water tank shortage rather than a water shortage.

I know the detail of my collection because we have a half completed water harvesting system at home.
Let me explain....
>We live in an old bach with guttering which I would say is probably just as munted as the city's stormwater system.  We have large barrels under each dodgey area.
>We have six of these barrels fed by the carport downpipe. These were connected but over winter discovered that the connections were leaking and so had pulled it apart to try a different system...and then it rained.
> From the 20 minutes of bucket collecting on Wednesday we now have a rubbish bin filled with water (ready for seaweed to be added and made into liquid fertiliser for the garden) and a wheelie bin.

As you can see the system isn't that efficient at the moment but we are working on it and do the best we can and catch what we are able.
Each step raises our consciousness:
> When our family began to put buckets in our showers we quickly discovered how much water we used with each visit. Some of us chose to shorten our showers, some of us turned the water off while we washed and others showered less often. Different solutions suit different people.
> Using a small container in our sink for washing dishes reminds the girls to rinse their dishes without running the tap.
> Being inspired by composting toilets for Christchurch we have been peeing in a bucket for a while now and using the diluted solution to water our non-edible plants. The Christchurch sewerage system is severly compromised from the earthquakes but still we flush pure clean water down the toilet. The bucket system is a great alternative to having the yellow settle in the bottom of the toilet and happily gets us outside more!
>We still bucket the water from the barrels..we are happy to do know, a "chopping water, carry water" kid of meditation in the middle of our busy lives.

As we raise our consciousness about our water usage, we engage further with our water project at home and plan on fixing the plumbing to our tank system.....just as soon as the rain stops.
Next week I plan to check the guttering at the community garden - a little late in the season but doing the best we can.
How are you managing store, re-use and save water in your own home?

written by Jacinda, also at

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