Severe Water Restrictions – How to Save Water: Drastic Water Saving Tips for Drought-Affected Cities and Countries

When a long drought sets in, Level 5 water restrictions come into play in places like Brisbane and Toowoomba, Australia, where dam water reserves recently fell to a low of 15%. With the threat of an entire city without water, this is no time for small remedies like making sure there are no dripping taps or turn off the faucet while brushing teeth – this is time for really going without water and making the best use of every precious drop.

Water-Saving Tips for Car Washing

In times of severe water restriction, the home washing of cars is banned. Some commercial car washes recycle the water, and they are the preferred businesses. However, the car owner who doesn’t want to fork out money for a job he or she is quite capable of doing can utilize the few showers of rain.

Even in bad droughts, there are occasional brief falls. If the car owner is in a position to do so, it’s time to streak outside with a bucket of suds and brush and get the worst off while Mother Nature provides the rinse.

Be Water Wise When Showering

Three-minute egg timers are a great idea, particularly for teenagers who sometimes forget how much water goes down the gurgler. All homes should install water saving shower heads as a matter of course. As well, the most wasteful part of showering is that often lengthy wait for the water to run warm enough.

There are now water saving devices that recycle back into the hot water system until the water runs warm, but they are an added expense. The simplest solution is to place a bucket under the shower and collect the good clean cold water for other purposes.

Indeed, if the shower base will allow a large basin, which the bather can stand in, all the shower water can be saved for the garden. The carrying of water buckets is good for the garden and good for the soul. It’s something positive to do for the ecology.

Wasting Water on Toilet (WC) Flushing

The toilet is one of the greatest wasters of household water. Water saved from shower or bathtub can be bucketed into a deep container (for example a 12-gallon capacity metal or plastic garbage bin) placed beside the toilet. After light usage, a dipper-full of water is adequate to clean the toilet. Households who take this step alone report that water bills fall dramatically.

Of course, a large container beside the WC isn’t exactly elegant, but when there is a water crisis happening, something’s got to give.

Ways to Save Water on Gardens

In places where water restrictions are frequent and long, sometimes gardens have to undergo drastic changes. When it becomes a criminal offense to water a lawn or use a soaker hose on plants, perhaps a long-term solution is called for.

  • Lawns need to be minimised and planted with drought-tolerant species such as common or Bermuda Couch and Kikuyu.
  • Choose drought-tolerant permanents, even succulents, and drought tolerant shrubs such as Californian native bush poppies and trees such as Rocky Mountain junipers and Scotch Pine.
  • Occasional deep watering rather than frequent shallow watering will encourage roots to go deep.
  • Consider installing rainwater tanks or barrels specifically to nurture gardens.

If some of these measures seem labor intensive, inelegant and unnecessarily drastic, they are nevertheless a fact of life for thousands of people in low rainfall and drought-affected areas already. As climate changes and water resources become over-burdened by increasing population, they may be the norm for the bulk of western civilization.

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