So, you haven't installed a 1,000 gallon+ water catchment system?! We haven't installed one either. Tsk. Tsk.
But, we have done a few other things to address the water issue. First, we use less water. Duh. Low flow shower heads and faucet aerators that limit water flow, not flushing if it's yellow, and so forth. Next, we added compost and mulched nearly every inch of the garden to create an organic sponge. The satisfaction of pushing away mulch and finding moist, dark soil! Priceless, folks, priceless. Mulching is a labor of love. Love Mother Earth and keep her covered.
A few more things we've done:
- Laundry to landscape system. Relatively low cost, the total cost for our DIY system was $368, for an abundant return of fruit from the trees! Mangoes, guavas, and less sewage.
- Dishpans. Use water in the garden.
- Outdoor sinks. It's easy to divert the water as it's already outside! Yay!
- Alterna-jane. No water required!
- 5-gallon bucket under bathroom basin. Use this water in the garden or to flush the toilet. Put In the bowl, not the tank.
- Another 5-gallon bucket is used to catch the cold shower water before it warms up.
If the forecast includes rain, we use 5-gallon buckets to catch water off the roof. Yes, there are 101 uses for a 5-gallon bucket! We plan to design and build a ferrocement tank to capture rain off the roof of the house and we have two 55-gallon drums that will one day store water from the roof of the hen house. We are also planning an outdoor shower on The Tree Side (aka orchard) of the backyard.
Water reminder: Don't forget to store water for an emergency! At least one gallon per person per day.
Of course, do your research and be sure you understand the appropriate uses of greywater and alternative systems as well as the applicable laws and regulations in your area!
Take little steps in the right direction!
- Laura Allen (2015). The Water-Wise Home: How to Conserve, Capture, and Reuse Water in Your Home and Landscape. Storey Publishing. ISBN: 9781612121697.
- Brad Lancaster (2014). Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond: Volume 1, Second Edition, Guiding Principles to Welcome Water into Your Life and Landscape. Rainsource Press. ISBN: 9780977246434.
- Brad Lancaster (2013). Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond: Volume 2 Water-Harvesting Earthworks. Rainsource Press. ISBN: 7980977246410.
- Art Ludwig (2012) Create an Oasis with Greywater: Choosing, Building, and Using Greywater Systems. Oasis Design. ISBN: 0964343398.
- Art Ludwig (2013). Water Storage: Tanks, Cisterns, Aquifers, and Ponds. Oasis Design. ISBN: 9780964343368.