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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Water conservation tips

Israel is in a severe water crisis, which according to a JPost article this weekend is largely man-made. While the government is trying not to ration water, people have been asked to conserve.

During the first week of December, I was working at a friend's inlaws' home. The man of the house showed me that he had a bucket underneath his bathroom sink, and every time they washed their hands or brushed their teeth, the water flowed into the bucket instead of out into the sewer system. They then used the water from the bucket to fill their toilet tank, thereby cutting down on their water usage.

I came home and told Mrs. Carl about this, and she thought it was a great idea. So she went out and bought two buckets for our two full bathrooms (one in our master bedroom and one outside the two childrens' bedrooms) and we started doing the same thing in those bathrooms. (We have a third bathroom that is only a toilet and it is the one most frequently used by company. The sink outside that bathroom is at the edge of the kitchen and for the time being, we have not placed a bucket under that sink). We also started flushing less often when there was only urine in the toilet. And we place a bucket underneath the shower when one of us showers.

Last week, we got our first water bill since we started our water conservation measures. The two-month billing period started three weeks before we undertook our water conservation measures. Still, we used one third less water than the comparable two-month period last year (for you Israelis, our entire bill was Tariff A). I believe that with a full period, we will reach 50% less than the comparable periods from last year.

Food for thought when the water situation is so bad here.


At 12:39 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

You can also use the water for other things as well. When I lived in S. California, I used to water my lawn with bath water. Did not let it drain out and used the water on my flowers and grass. Saved on my bill.

At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of concerns:

1. Watering lawn: can the residues of soap, shampoo, toothpaste, scouring cleanser, etc., have a negative effect on the soil and plants?

2. Filling up tank with sink residue: what's the potential for bacterial buildup and the health risk for having such water in an open toilet?

At 7:52 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

Never hurt my lawn once. And I had the greenest lawn on the block. BTW soapy water is good on roses. Put some in a spray bottle and spray them on your roses. It will keep the aphids away and not harm the environment.

At 8:14 AM, Blogger Cory said...

Very interesting post. Water conservation is of course an issue of global concern that often requires local solutions. I've long been interested in water issues and especially how Israel and Israelis cope with the issues they face.
I blogged a bit about what other countries, specifically Canada, can learn from the Israeli experience at http://buckeach.blogspot.com/
I hope you and your readers find my perspective interesting.


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