How often do you think about the water that goes down your drain? Me being from Cali, I think about it each time the faucet is turned on. I’m still working on whether this is an OCD thing or just a pet peeve.
I can remember the term “drought” being said since I was in Jr. High…and I’m in repetive digits x 4…lol! Okay, I’ll do the math, I’m 44 and it’s been an overused term for at least 33 years. Seriously. I remember the July 4 th fireworks show being halted because of the drought when I was a kid and it made an impact on my life. So when the state began restricting water usage, a lot of residents thought it was the same old sheep crying “Wolf” again. Some saw it as a threat, and some saw it as it really was.
I live near Folsom Lake, which is our water reservoir and it collects rain and the snow melt from the Sierra Mtns and last year that lake got down to its lowest levels. When you can see the bottom of the lake, you know it’s a dire state of emergency. And the water restrictions became even greater than what the restrictions were the prior year. So you cut your usage and eventually you’re penalized for going over your already reduce use from the previous year measurement. And then they cut more. I had had enough. I challenged the water company because I don’t abuse the water and the last time I was in the Check-out lane, neither my local water company nor the state were there to pay for my food. I was given the okay to use whatever I needed to grow my food.
How do I do my part, and how can I say I don’t abuse water?? I collect every bit of cold water that comes from my showerhead until the water runs hot….and I turn it to full hot as to not bring unnecessary cold water through. I have 2- 5gal buckets in my shower and the water runs directly into one until I get in. I’m not kidding when I say 3gal of cold water is collected before it even begins to warm. I know some of you are thinking ‘flow restrictor’ and I don’t use one for several reasons. I’m already paying for the water whether it comes to my shower head or just to my house, and if I’m paying, I’m going to use it in my garden. See, we pay a fee to bring water to our houses and when we cut our usage, our fees go up because the water company isn’t making money on usage and they still have to bring water to our homes so the new way to gauge our pocket is through delivery fees. The other reason is I’m short and can’t reach the showerhead. Don’t judge..lol.
I collect the cold water as well as any unused water while I’m hitting all the ‘hotspots’ while showering and shaving. On a day with a quickie shower, I save 7gal of water. On the days I want to ‘snuggle’ with the hubby, I save 10 gal. Can you believe the time it takes to shave you’ve used 3 gal of water?? To safely say it, just my shower collection is over 250gal a month. Now multiply that by how many are in your house, and you can adjust it to make a fair assumption of what you could save.
Now here’s a shocker- some areas of California is it illegal to harvest rainwater. Can you believe that?? It’s because too many are saving and using less water from the local water company. In Norco, California, the water company employees drive around and if they see a rain collection barrel, they come to your door and fine you. In Stockton, California, the fees are being increased 40% because the residents did as they were told and restricted their usage. 40%!!! My views on rain collection is as follows: that’s rainwater which fell on MY roof… of the house I paid for… on MY property. It’s mine!!
So this is my way around it. I’d love to see someone jump in my shower with me to say I can’t keep my water! My soap would be my defender. LOL!!
After I’ve collected my water, I use smaller buckets to haul it downstairs and outside. Yes, downstairs…and lots of trips…a great whole body workout too. It’s very entertaining for the hubby. I recently overheard him saying how he adores my dedication to doing this. BONUS POINTS!! 😉
Have fun collecting your water and happy gardening 😀
Tara, your homegrown friend