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Friday, July 22, 2011

Water Conservation and Saving Money

Today is suppose to be the hottest day of our summer.   As I write this post at 6:00 am on July 21, the temperature on our thermometer is already 30C.  Today the temperature is predicted to reach 38C, plus with the humidity will feel like over 50C.  Its been many years since we've experienced temperatures like this.   The town has not issued an outdoor water ban yet, however I'm sure it will be coming very soon.  

My garden is wilting fast as we haven't had any rain for over two weeks.   Our nine water barrels, where we've been conserving/collecting rain water are almost dried up and I've been spot watering the veggies that need it the most.  The perennials and grass (which now looks like straw) will have to wait until we get rain.   For the first time this summer, I broke down and used the hose(city water) to water the vegetable garden.

A fellow blogger wrote a good post on "Cutting the Water Bill" (Heartland Living on a Budget) and how to read your meter.  Check it out.

Saving water is not as hard as you think.  Every drop counts!  When you save water, you save money on your utility bills too! Here's my list on ways to conserve water.    What's your's?

1.  Save/freeze the water that is used to steam veggies for soup stock  later.   Or let cool and water garden/plants
2.  Use front loading washing machine - uses less water than top loaders
3.  Installed low flush toilet (our Town had a rebate program which made it very affordable)
4.  Installed low flow shower head in bathroom shower
5.  Installed faucet aerator in the kitchen sink
6.  Turn tap off when brushing teeth
7.  Installed 9 rain barrels around our house to capture as much rain water as we could.   Hubby found most of the rain barrels during his foraging expeditions for free.  One is a 200L square tank, the other is 60L old hot water tank.   Some of these tanks/barrels don't look so nice so we grow vines around them to cover them up - ie Virgina creeper (drought resistant vine) grows fast and does a nice job - so does Boston ivy.
8.  We don't water grass in summer.  
9.  Don't wash your car at home (and if you do, wash it on your lawn so your grass gets watered and not your driveway.
10. When watering the garden, water in early morning or evening so that there is less water evaporation.
11.  Water hanging baskets or pots with ice cubes - giving a slow release of water and water is less likely to pour out the bottom of your pot.
12.  Wash your veggies and fruit in a pan of water instead of under running water.   Re-use the left-over water to water garden
13.  Spread mulch around plants to retain moisture and saves water, time and money
14.  Monitor your water bill for unexplained high use.  Your water meter/bill is a tool to alert you if you have a leak somewhere.
15.  Keep a water jug in your fridge so that you have cold water ready for drinking, instead of running the tap until the water runs cold
16.  Keep a bucket or two in the shower when you shower, to catch water as it warms or runs.  Re-use to water your garden or plants in the house.
17.  Insulate your pipes so that you get hot water faster and avoid wasting water while it heats up.
18.  Soak your pots/pans right after use instead of scrubbing and wasting water later.
19.  Plant drought resistant perennials and ground cover.
20.  Use moisture retaining earth in flower pots
21.  Use water from dehumidifier to water plants

New research we are doing:
- Learning about greywater and how to re-use/re-cycle.

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