Thursday, December 1, 2011

Conserving Water

You can find many helpful hint on the Internet however most of them to be honest seem to piss me off. I see most of them as band-aids instead of real solutions.

It is in my opinion that in order to truly conserve water in a way that will really make a difference there needs to be a different way of thinking and a willingness to alter the way we live. We have been living as though we are rich kings and queens with unlimited resources never heading the warnings of the peasant who are warning us there is a problem. Most people just continue using and abusing resources.

"The survival rule of thumb is: 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food."

Take a look around you if you live in Texas. If you don't live here I will provide videos of some reality checkers. Ponds have dried up. Lakes have shriveled in size. Yes, we have aquifers however we have companies like Ozarka mass producing from the same aquifers we live on. (Ozarka bottles in Texas even during drought times.)

First I would ask that people stop buying bottle water.

My saying is, “If your solution effects me in a negative manner then it is not a solution. It is simply another problem you just decided to pass along to me.”

How are people to survive when companies are bottling water and ship it all over the world that they NEED to live on? It would be better to invest that money into bettering the water supply in your own area as a whole. Some argue that the company creates jobs locally. That will not do the area any good if they can not live there. They will end up having to move somewhere they can live and lastly the company will shut down and move it’s operation to a new location and do the same thing all over again.

Next I would ask you to take a look around and see what areas you use water and are they really necessary? Is it necessary to wash off your patio? Is it necessary to water your lawn? Do you really need your car washed?

Do you have a gutter system on your home? Have you thought of a rain catch system? Yes, you can buy those expensive things that are actually cheap and easy to make yourself.  A few years back we purchased a food grate 55 gal. container from the local feed store in McKinney, Texas for just $8. You simply cut a hole large enough in the lid for the incoming water from your gutter downspout. Use a screen for filtration. Add a attachment on the lower end of the container for water removal and you have a rain catch system. Simple and pretty inexpensive. We have a 330 gal. container that we plan on doing rain catch with from our barn to water our livestock. It is just finding the gutter as we are unemployed and try to obtain things as cheap or free as possible.

Other ways we conserve water:

When running the water for a shower and waiting for it to get hot we collect the water in a bucket to use for watering the animals, plants, or flushing the toilet.

We do not flush the toilet unless it is necessary. We collect the paper in the waste basket except that containing excrement. You know the old saying, “If it is yellow, let it mellow. If it is brown, flush it down.”

I also have a bucket in the garage that I use for urine. I use that for the compost pile as it helps speed up the composting process.
When hand washing we have wash water in one sink and rinse water in the other instead of rinsing with running water.

We re-wear gently worn cloths several times before washing.

We as many do have a low flow shower head but we also take shorter showers.

We never water outside unless it is for the garden or feed for livestock. I detest having to water so it has to be a need before I will consider it.

I am sure there are other ways that we conserve however they have become such a way of life for us that at this moment we can not think of other ways.


Lake Lavon

Lake Travis (Austin, Texas Area)

AgriLife Today

Please share the ways you conserve water in your own life.  I am eager to see how others conserve and maybe find new ways to do so myself.


  1. You are already doing much more than many people would think to do. The only thing I can think of to suggest inside the house is that you buy a couple of plastic dishpans for when you handwash in the sink. Both the wash water and rinse water will contain minute food particles and soap residue but those things are good for vegetation. Instead of pulling the plug and letting that water go down the drain, transfer the water to a bucket to use on your garden or compost. Installing a drip irrigation system in your garden can be relatively inexpensive and is a much more efficient method of delivering water than sprinklers or even a soaker hose. You might find the tubing on Craigs List or Freecycle and the nipples are not terribly expensive. Even if you started with just one section of the garden, you could expand as finances permit.

    If your employment situation improves down the road, look into having a gray water line plumbed into your house. Toilet water needs to run to the septic system but all other household water is suitable for vegetation. That would leave more of the rain water you catch for livestock consumption.

    We are called to be good stewards of what we have, so I think conserving resources for the future is always good. But I also am not convinced that the predictions for this drought are all that accurate. After all, who do you know that is more CONSISTENTLY wrong than the weather guys??

  2. Those are some great idea! I thought the drip irrigation was fairly expensive so I just checked it off my list. Now, I need to check into it a bit more.

    I agree we are stewards and I take it to heart. It is also true that weather guys have a great job. They can be wrong and still keep their job. I just know things got pretty rough around here regarding feed for what little livestock we have and I want to be prepared. I am also going to look into a method of gardening in arid regions. I thought about gardening in that fashion before since I live on top of a windy hill. Maybe this is God's way of telling me to try something new.

  3. How I conserve water is plain and simple. I always see to it that I limit my water usage daily. Also, I put a bucket outside in case it would rain. That way, I'll be able to use the rainwater to flush the toilet and clean it.

    1. Good stuff. Thank you for sharing with us.