California has a major problem. We have very little water with very little hope of getting more (unless El Nino kicks in this winter, but after all this dryness, excessive water could actually do more harm than good this year.).
I have read some articles that say this drought could be worse than the dust bowl. Think about that. Let that sink in for a bit. Imagine the devastation to local crops. It’s something to consider before I head down this homesteading path. But there are a lot of ways to conserve water on a homestead. Here are 14 of them.
Know of another way? Leave a comment below and tell me about it!
Bye-bye green lawn
Every time I see a lawn I cringe. Sorry guys, the lawn has to go. There are lots of beautiful ways to have a nice front yard without having a lawn. Lawns contribute nothing. And believe me, there are plenty of them here in California. Long ago, I read the book, Grow Food, Not Lawns. It changed my perspective on lawns immediately. We are in the middle of a major drought with no hope of improvement and people are watering their lawns! It’s outrageous! I’ve even seen people (and companies) watering their lawns in the rain. How ridiculous is that? Time to grow edible plants instead. You can install a drip system that will use far less water than a lawn needs and you’ll get delicious edibles to boot!
Go Take A Cold Shower
Lowered our water heater temp. This forces you to take shorter showers. Take a military shower… get wet turn off the water…soap up … then turn the water back on and rinse off. You’d be amazed how much water you save that way.
Install a water shut-off valve on your shower head
This is a button or level your push or pull that temporarily shuts off the water while you get soapy. It allows a small drip so the water temp stays about the same. I use one in my shower and we are staying well under the water usage allotment for our house.
Put 2 buckets in the shower
The first one is to collect the clean water while the water heats up, 2nd bucket stays in to catch the soapy water, this is called “Gray Water” and it’s used to flush toilets or water plants outside.
Consider what you cook
Any water used for cooking, like boiling pasta or eggs, never goes down the sink. Instead, it is allowed to cool and goes to plants.
When we do get rain again, you can bet I’ll be catching as much as I can of it to water my garden in dryer months. Please check your state laws on this as some states have made it illegal to collect rainwater. An absolutely ridiculous law that should be fought head on, by the way. I’ll share more with you on how I do this in a future post.
Flush only with saved water
Flush once a day for urine or only after something that requires immediate flushing. Using water collected from a shower.
Hook up your washing machine
Hook up a hose that runs to a barrel and through a filtering system instead of letting it go down the drain . Use that gray water to water the plants.
Install a drip system
This is critical for any California garden. All you have to do is turn it on for 5-10 minutes in the morning and 5-10 minutes at night. Extra points if you do it automatically with a timer so you don’t have to worry about it.
Sounds odd, I know. I mean, how many ways can you water a plant other than to just dump water on the soil? But the truth is, it’s not HOW you water, but WHEN you water that matters. Watering in the mid day heat can burn your plants and evaporates the water too fast to allow it to actually sink in to the roots. Water in the early mornings and late evenings when the sun isn’t beating down on your plants.
Clean those chompers
Turn the water off while you brush. It only takes a second of water to get the brush wet. Don’t leave that faucet running while you clean your teeth!
Scrape first, soap with a tiny bit of water from a bucket, then rinse. Being cautious of the water you use to clean dishes can really cut down on water usage!
Make sure your washing machine and dish washer are water efficient appliances. Older models can really guzzle the water!
Do you live in California?