EBMUD says Mandatory Water Conservation! Meathenge Labs says …

The catalyst for this post is because our water bill showed up here 10 minutes ago. 5 minutes ago I took this picture of our dry birdy bath and toppled windmill surrounded by long since dried flax. Fueled I was, by the bill.
Eight and a half years ago we moved in to this house, buying was cheaper than renting then. No really, we spent less down on buying a home in the San Francisco East Bay Area than renting a home, crazy eh? We drug along with us our standard appliances and used the existing bathroom fixtures. It was so close that if we’d had to buy a new gas range it’d caused us to use a camp stove instead. Man, we rolled in with fumes in the tank.
Thankfully with some effort the finances stabilized (psychosis still reign supreme) and those water hogging appliances were replaced. On my 40th birthday I bought myself a low-flow toilet, 1.6 gallons a flush. I sorely miss my 1946 model that shot through 7 gallons a flush, it was great. But when you have a family of 4? Do the math, we were using about 460 gallons a day. This usage dropped down a bit and even further with the addition of one of those fancy high efficiency washer machine rigs. Surely the cost of the water versus the cost of the machinery didn’t add up immediately, but I knew it was good to help the greater good and lower our usage. Nothing like a little altruism to boost one’s ego, hey.
Again we turn another page and we’re now a family of 3, water usage is at an all time low at 120 gallons per day. I’m exceptionally pleased with myself. Between the garden and the home, we’ve reached a pretty darned good consumption rate. Ed Begley Jr. would be so proud. I’ve been quite fond of him ever since he hit Mork & Mindy way back when. Little did I know he’s been a staunch activist for saving resources ever since time began. Apparently, he was arriving on set via bicycle, cool eh? I’ve said for years, when I make my movie, I’ll ask Ed Begley Jr. to play me, it’d be perfect!
Well, as I said the water bill rolled in and we’ve reduced our consumption to 85 gallons a day. For a family of 3, on a 5,000 square foot lot, I think that’s pretty fricken GREAT and am very proud of our work to conserve water.
Biggles – Head Lab Rat

12 thoughts on “EBMUD says Mandatory Water Conservation! Meathenge Labs says …

  1. Dear Rat!
    A huge HIGH “5” to you for going from 120 gals to 85 gals! And, with a group of 3 no less!
    I am a group of 1 and shudder to think what I waste going down the drain with every 30 minute shower I take! Can’t help it; it’s like a standup hot tub! I am to be thrashed undoubtedly!

  2. Congratulations on your reduced lifestyle? (Hopefully, not quality of life–although that 1947, seven-gallon flusher sounds pretty good.) Water rationing for us consumers doesn’t seem fair to me considering the vast majority of water use is industrial/agricultural. Like over 80%.

  3. Congrats – you guys rock! I have done the low-flush toilet thing and the low-flow shower head thing and the trickle system in the garden thing but we still use a lot of water. I want to save some for agriculture because I loves my veggies! 🙂

  4. That’s pretty fricken cool. Kinda reminds me of the 70s when my uncle would do the same thing, sorta, with shower water. They just used a garden hose out the second story window and in to the garden.
    And speaking of the garden, not missing it this year. Maybe later, hey.

  5. I am way impressed with your savings, but I am also concerned with the problems of fire hazard growth at our browning homesteads. We have to balance all the projects, I guess, inside and out. As for birdbath water, I would suggest using a container in the sink when you rinse veggies or anything you use water for without soap, then pouring that into their basin. Not sure they would like it in their drinks. (“I’ll have mine straight, no Dawn chaser.”

  6. PS Flax? Hmmm. I can see a linen-weaving project for the boys, this summer — or collecting seeds for baking!

  7. Yahoo! If there is a gold star for water saving, you should get it. We’re trying hard, too — rain barrels for watering the garden has been a big help. And better use of a dishwasher, which we only got last year — seems counterintuitive, but we’ve been using less water for washing the dishes. And, my favorite, hanging clothes on a line to dry — which isn’t saving water, but does save electricity, and makes me feel better in the process. Hooray for small steps!

  8. Hey Lydia,
    Been wanting the rain barrels, but this year has been so dry it would have been useless.
    Dishwashers can be pretty darned efficient when you have more than a few people at home. I know mine uses about 4-6 gallons a load on the econo cycle, never needed more. That’s a tiny bit of water for such a mess.
    Been swearing to get outside racks set up, just haven’t taken the time yet. Am getting there …