Using Water Efficiently

The average American family wastes a lot of water without even thinking about it. Just turn on the faucet and the water never ends. Running water is a blessing, but we have taken it for granted. One day, the water streaming happily from the faucet may trickle to a stop. Water rationing, frozen pipes, natural or man made disaster… any of these can cause a shortage of water. No more shower every day for each member of the family.

We haul our water in from our well in a 5 gallon plastic bucket. Believe me, when you have to haul water inside by hand, you learn a lot of ways to use much less water just because you don’t like making so many trips to the well. First I’ll discuss bathing. Bathing is very important in terms of hygene, but not only do many people bathe too often, they use too much water per session. Think about it. How many gallons do you use per shower or bath? I use approximately two. I only bathe once or twice a week, depending on how dirty my hais is, though I wash the spots that get really dirty (my arms and face) every day. Do I stink? Nope. Do I look dirty? Nope. In fact, bathing too often strips your skin and hair of the oil that keeps it from getting too dry. I only need lotion for my hands (which get washed several times a day), the rest of my body is baby soft.

When washing hands, I observe that many of my coworkers use a high flow of water. It’s almost like they pressure wash their skin with the sink faucet. I’m sometimes horrified! I try to use a very small rate of flow and am trying to now get in the habbit of shutting the water off between soaping and rinsing.

When doing dishes, many seem to think that they need a constant flow of hot water for washing and rinsing. A lot of water gets wasted because we suffer from germiphobia. When I do dishes, I use two tubs, one for rinsing, one for washing. I mix a little vinegar in the rinse water to kill germs. The wash water isn’t changed unless it gets really bad or the dishes are done. As long as it’s hot and soapy, it’s fine and cleans great. Just save the greasy stuff for last. After doing the dishes, the rinse water is used as hand washing water until dirty. This may sound gross, but the amount water saved is HUGE. Our family is rarely sick, so we must not be doing anything wrong.

This is just a start. When your water supply is limited, you’ll have to get creative. May God give you all peace.