All of this writing about water conservation has made me wonder about what other measures cities in arid regions have done to solve their problems. For instance, Israel built a desalination plant. Which is really their only option, considering their geo-political circumstances. If you want to spend billions of dollars the state does not have, and would like your water bill to increase 200%, then by all means, jump on board the de-sal band wagon.
Australia is still dealing with a drought so widespread and for so long, that people are just starting to thinking of it as the new normal. It’s sobering to read how bad things have to get before people start to take serious action.
Which bummed me out, so I tried to think about what we could do that hasn’t already been done somewhere. One of my greatest pet peeves is running water for no apparent reason. We could all blame the people who do not turn off the faucet when they brush their teeth, but the bigger culprit is running water to wait for it be hot or cold. Wouldn’t it be great if each tap had their own tankless heater? (Which, by the way already exist, even if they need a little bit more time before really perfected.) Then you could have automated faucets like those installed in public restrooms! You would only turn on the water when you need it, it would stop automatically and it would be instantly hot.
Then I was reminded of the biggest water saving rule I’m consistently guilty of breaking: the long shower. I admit it, I can’t help it . . . especially if I have to wash my hair. (If you saw how little hair I have, you would realize how ridiculous this is.) For some reason a shower is my personal black hole I slip into. Even when I try to be conscious of what I’m doing, I still end up taking a long time. Not to mention it’s a big hassle turn the water off and on again in between rinsing. Once I finally get the water to the correct temperature, I have to turn it off, only to do it ALL over again! There’s no picking up where I left off with my shower, it’s like a first date every time.
However, that could ALL change if I could set the how long the water would be on for AND the temperature it came out at. (I live in an old building spliced into three different apartments that all share one water heater, so this my wet dream if you will. Pun totally intended.) No more hot/cold dancing in and out of the water. No running the water for minutes until it’s hot, and then over correcting so it is not scalding; and no more mindless standing beneath water that has finally reached the perfect temperature for what has it been now? Ten minutes? I should probably start to wash something.
All would be storied past! I could set the temp of the water, set a timer for four minutes, hop in and forget about it! When the water shuts off, I know it’s time to shampoo. Then hit the “on button” again to rinse and repeat. I’ve just saved 2/3rd’s of the water I would normally use the in shower without having to sacrifice experience! Now if I could only figure out a low-water solution for baths…