Dihydrogen Monoxide Depletion

by the other theo

For those of you who haven’t heard, it’s DRY in California this summer, as in I-hope-it’s-never-this-dry-in-my-lifetime-again dry.  This graphic from XKCD sums up the problem rather well:

Call it global warming.  Call it a fluke of nature.  It’s probably both.

We were pretty well fixed to weather a drought at the start of this season.    We use a high efficiency washer.   Our water heater is relatively new (and not leaking.)  Our dishwasher is also relatively new, and we try to run it when it is full.  I’ve checked the water meter with all the taps off to verify that nothing is leaking in the last few years.

On top of that, we took some additional steps to conserve water this year:

  • we installed a dual flush valve on the toilet,
  • we installed a low flow shower head,
  • we decided not to use the sprinkler system to water the lawn at all this summer (we occasionally use one circuit in the system to water plant beds and trees, as needed.)

I just had a look at our water bill between June and August, and I see that our efforts produced a noticeable reduction:


As you can see, we reduced our water consumption by over two thirds.  We also come in well under the voluntary water limit, but we’ve always done that.

There have been some losses.   Our apple tree continues to drop apples, and our lemon tree is also dropping fruit.   Our hydrangeas never really bloomed.   The lawn is developing some rather nasty looking bare spots.

I hope that there is more water next year.   We need it, badly.