Monday, January 29, 2007

the bucket

At this time in Australia, saving water is critical. Many citizens have been practicing methods of water conservation for years, but now it has become a fever-pitched necessity for everyone to comply (and in Australia, there is a collective consciousness that drives the cultural instinct to contribute to the good of all). In our household, Kev and Kath have well-established ways to save any drop from the tap. We have a wash bucket in the kitchen sink and we pack the dishwasher to the hilt when it runs. Kev hooked up a grey-water hose from the washing machine that runs out to the front roses (the dryer is tucked away in the shed and rarely used). In the shower, we have a bucket to catch our warm-up water and any that sloshes off us as we scrub. Of course this practice is setting off my neurosis and I feel compelled to guide as much water in the bucket as possible as I’m racing to shorten my shower to record time. It’s good discipline. And we get our exercise and regular dose of garden serenity throughout the day by taking these water-salvaged buckets and dumping them on thirsty plants. A substantial part of Kath’s veggie garden is in large pots and barrels and these are most dependent on our water saving efforts.

The current raging debate in the national press at the moment is drinking recycled water. The radio programs have opinions called in and the t.v. is running yes/no polls to the question “are you willing to drink recycled sewage?” so far, those opposed to such a thing are in the lead and who could blame them with the proposal couched in such a way. Kath told me last night that we’ve been doing this in the U.S. for years. I was surprised and a bit proud of my people for being ahead of this progressive nation for once, especially on such a squeamish issue. Good on you yanks! Really though, it is a crucial matter that will only grow in significance. It requires everyone to yield and, as I’m learning, every bit counts.


cityfrog said...

Ah, liquid gold: H20.
Or, as an Aussie wit renamed it: Hpoo0.

lisa g said...

My sweet husband would do well in Australia. He's been saving his shower warm up water since we've been married. I'm a bit afraid that when he reads this post he will want to revisit the debate about whether or not we can use the rain barrel water for drinking :) The argument that it can't be any worse than recycled sewage may even win over his bacteria phobic wife.

Blue November said...

No, no, no.... I didn't argue that we should drink from the rain barrel. I was arguing that we use the rain barrel to flush the toilet.

And then once it's down the drain, we can reclaim the sewage and drink it as tap water!

What do you think I am, some kind of barbarian?

Dick said...

Growing up in Asheville, NC (and that was YEARS ago), the city's sewage went into the French Broad River which then became Knoxville, TN's source of drinking water; and of course, the folks in Alabama drink from the Chattahoochee River which of course is Atlanta-area's "dump".