We need to learn to harvest water.
I have managed to hook up one of my rain barrels but I will admit I have not really used it much until now. The proof came from my exorbitantly high water bill from watering the veggie gardens last summer. The barrel itself is a 55 gallon food grade plastic barrel. This means that it was used before to ship something like syrup rather than a caustic soap. Hooray for repurposing!
I removed a downspout and replaced it with a plastic chain from the hardware store. For the piece de resistance I got a hand pump designed specifically for 55 gallon drums at Princess Auto (this is a store that sells all kinds of tools for affordable prices). The pump just sits in the barrel’s bunghole (insert laughter here).
Does harvesting rain water smack of effort? Well it is more effort than turning on the hose or a faucet but the effort is minimal and the benefits are greater than we can really comprehend. Water is not an unlimited resource and I am realizing with some minor changes I can make a difference.
Today I watered all the outdoor potted plants with rain water or water I caught in the kitchen. (The kitchen water was not technically grey water. I was reusing water I put aside after boiling it in a pot.) This was approximately two gallons of water I used. To give you an idea of what that water is worth, the government says we should have a gallon of water per person per day minimum for drinking and sanitation. This means I saved enough water to technically last a person two days in an emergency. On water.org it says in countries like Ethiopia women and children can spend up to 6 hours a day gathering the water they need for their family to survive.
So as I hand pump water from my catchment barrel or catch water from cooking in the kitchen or reuse grey water from my bathroom, I know every drop makes a difference.
This year Washington state is facing a major drought due to the lack of snow pack. This is going to effect food prices in my own grocery stores in British Columbia, Canada. See? we are all connected and we need to stop pretending that we are helpless in exacting change in the wake of global warming or whatever you want to call what is going on.
I boycott Nestle products and do NOT buy buy bottled water. Trust me just those two actions are extremely powerful.