….Not a Drop to Drink

I consider myself to be a fairly lazy person. 

I don’t really think I *am* lazy, but, being lazy, I simply maintain my view of myself from when I was, say, 16.  It takes work to update one’s opinion of oneself, now that one is not sleeping until noon on Saturdays and generally living to play video games and flirt with girls.  And so, I continue to see myself as lazy.

And as such, I’m not really interested in taking on any additional work.  Least of all, drawing or pumping my own water – and enough water for my family – each day.  Yet I recognize that short of this sort of arrangement, it’s going to be difficult for me – and most folks – to really get serious about water conservation.

We’re soft.  It’s too easy to turn on the tap, too easy to forget to turn it off.  It’s too easy to turn on the water full blast to rinse off that plate, rather than turning on just a little dribble.  Not unless I’m measuring out my water usage by the soreness of my shoulders and arms and knees am I really going to get down and dirty to conserve water.  Until then, I’ll make little half-hearted efforts, but I doubt they’ll amount to much.

Having grown up in the Southwestern United States, I figure I’m more water conscious than many folks.  Living in a desert tends to convey an awareness of how crucial – and how scarce – water is.  Even in a city known for verdant lawns, oodles of swimming pools and golf courses, and more boats per capita than any other state.  Living in a desert climate tends to make one obsessive about water.  Obsessive, but not necessarily careful, which is a real shame.

We try to live simply.  We recycle.  We try to minimize the trash and waste that our family generates.  But saving water is something that is really, really important, and yet really, really difficult.  We don’t tend to internalize and prioritize unless things hurt.  And tragically, even if water prices double or triple and the pain happens at the wallet, it won’t be as compelling for many folks – perhaps even for me – than if the pain were physical, in my back and arms and shoulders and legs. 

I’ve got to figure out a way to try and convey this lesson to my children.  Right after their baths.

2 Responses to “….Not a Drop to Drink”

  1. Ken Wagner Says:

    You are right to be worrying about water. Biofuels have caused food prices to climb; water will be the next commodity over which wars will be fought, markets will shift, and people will be deprived. Ironically, bottling water consumes a tremendous amount of petroleum and – water. Although conservation is certainly part of the solution to the problem, I am encouraged by the decreasing production costs for desalinating sea water. Companies within and outside the U.S. are pursuing this line research and, eventually, profit. Interestingly, old bathwater is supposed to be great for watering plants!

  2. Paul Says:

    I know that desalination techniques have come a long way, and will undoubtedly become even more cost effective in the future. However, desalination just forestalls the problem. The problem isn’t necessarily a lack of water, but rather the wastefulness of household water designs. It ought to be mandatory to have a wastewater reclamation system, so that bathwater and other ‘used’ but not ‘dirty’ water could be used for watering plants, the lawn, etc. I’ve been interested in figuring out a way to divert the water from our washing machine (a low water usage model already, and we use biodegradeable and non-harmful detergent) into some sort of holding tank for just such a purpose. But the logistics just seem ridiculously complicated – at least for someone of my limited construction ability!

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