The recent climate report is more than a touch alarming, and if you're anything like me, you immediately began thinking about all the horrible ways we can die as a result. Something similar happened in my brain around 2010, which is when I started writing Not A Drop to Drink.
Even though it was published five years ago, it's more relevant today than ever before.
I learned a lot about water conservation while writing Not A Drop to Drink, so today I'm sharing some tips, along with my reading suggestions that just might help you survive the aqua-pocalypse.
Take a bucket into the shower. Instead of letting all your rinse water run down the drain, collect it for use in watering plants.
Turn off the water when brushing your teeth. Water leaves the faucet at about 2.5 gallons a minute. If you're brushing your teeth for the prescribed two minutes, you just sent 5 gallons of water down the drain.
Do the same when washing your hands.
If it's yellow, let it mellow. It takes roughly 1.5 gallons of water to flush a toilet, significantly more of it's an old model. Ask yourself if you must flush the toilet every time.
Fix the leak. Even small drips accumulate.
Re-use pasta water. There's no reason to dump all that water you just used on the spaghetti down the drain. Let it cool, then use it for your plants.
Wash your car at the car wash. Many carwashes reuse the water that's captured in the pit, which is not possible at home in the driveway with the hose. This is one of those odd tips that actually makes your life easier while being good for the environment.
Shorten your shower. Yes, I love a nice long shower, too. But some showerheads spit out that stream at 5 gallons a minute. A nice hot shower is nice, but so is having a habitable planet to live on.
Have efficient fixtures. Aerated faucets and low-flow toilets are the new black.
Shrink your lawn. Or hell, why do we even have those things? I mean, seriously, what is the point?
Don't do laundry or dishes until you need to. A clean counter top is nice and an empty laundry bin is better, but did you have to do that half-load just now? This is the 2nd tip on this list that encourages you to be lazy. Listen to me. I know how to do this.
Watch you water bill. A sudden spike could mean there's a leak somewhere you can't spot it easily.
Install a rain barrel. Gardening in the summer can use a lot of water. The sky is great because sometimes it supplies that stuff for free.
Keep flushing... with less. Don't like the idea of letting your urine hang around a bit? Fill a half-gallon jug of water and sink it into your tank. Flush with a clean conscience and an empty bladder.
Water in the morning. Love your lawn too much to take my advice on #10? Water in the morning, when cooler temperatures won't evaporate what you've used.
While you're on that low-flow toilet with the submerged half gallon in the tank, do you need something to read?
Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman: When the taps run dry, Alyssa’s quiet suburban street spirals into a warzone of desperation; neighbours and families turned against each other on the hunt for water. And when her parents don’t return Alyssa has to make impossible choices if she’s going to survive.
The Water Knife by Paolo Bacigalupi: In the American Southwest, Nevada, Arizona, and California skirmish for dwindlingshares of the Colorado River. When water is more valuable than gold, alliances shift like sand, and the only thing for certain is that someone will have to bleed if anyone hopes to drink.
H2O by Virginia Bergen: Against all odds, Ruby has survived the catastrophic onset of the killer rain. Two weeks after the radio started broadcasting the warning “It’s in the rain. It’s fatal, it’s contagious, and there’s no cure,” the drinkable water is running out. Ruby’s left with two options: persevere on her own, or embark on a treacherous journey across the country to find her father–If he’s even still alive.
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher: Vera and her brother, Will, live in the shadow of the Great Panic, in a country that has collapsed from environmental catastrophe. Water is hoarded by governments, rivers are dammed, and clouds are sucked from the sky. But then Vera befriends Kai, who seems to have limitless access to fresh water. When Kai suddenly disappears, Vera and Will set off on a dangerous journey in search of him-pursued by pirates, a paramilitary group, and greedy corporations.