The other day I was standing watering my now vast vegetable garden and I thought: "What if we had water restrictions? How would I keep this all going?"
To be honest I had a little shiver up my spine :-(
Keeping veggies growing well in a drought time is no joke.
Where my mom lives, they have had a long standing drought and she has successfully run her home and garden on very little water. I asked her to send me a list of things she has done to reduce water usage, but also how she kept her garden thriving in this tough time.
1- Train your domestic worker if necessary as to what changes you are going to make.
2- Keep a plastic basin in the sink and wash basins to collect the water from hand washing, vegetable rinsing which can then be used to flush toilets or water pots and garden. Make sure they are the right size to fit in the basins and sink without restricting water flow. Obviously can also be kept in basin throughout the day for regular hand washing.
3- When bathing, shaving, showering, turn off water while soaping, brushing teeth or shampooing etc.
4- Keep buckets in bathroom to collect water from basin, bath and shower for garden and toilet.
5- If doing the "yellow/brown thing". Keep the lid down to dissuade flies.
6- Hygiene is most important at this time.
7- Cut down on electrical usage.
8- The water used for cooking veggies is also good on the garden.
9- I do not agree that showering uses less than a bath. Depends on how you do it. My bath is 2 buckets max and washes everything necessary, using a hand shower every 3 days for hair washing.
10- Mark the bath at 10cm and dont fill any higher. As the children get older they may prefer to have individual baths and this way you will still use less.
11- Catching rainwater from the gutters is the greatest help for me. Aunty R has now got a large tank and Uncle D has connected a pump to the outlet tap so she can use a hose and doesnt have to carry buckets. The tank is obviously on a plynth to enable all this.
12- Use a steamer (3 tiered) for vegs as this uses less water and electricity.
13- Use a plastic cupful of water per person for cleaning teeth instead of running water.
14- Get 2 sink strainers that rest over the plughole to catch all debris. This helps the water purification plant use less water in the cleaning process. We must all think beyond our own immediate area of use.
15- Fill a 1litre plastic milk bottle with sand, clean exterior and seal. Place in toilet cistern to reduce amount of water used to flush.
17- Report any leaks seen when walking or driving around. the council really appreciates this.If nothing is done nag, nag, nag.
18- If you have taps with the lever type handle wrap an elastic band around the handle and tap which then forms an automatic shutoff while soaping etc.
Other water saving ideas are here.