Lush grass will become a luxury
Taking a hot and fast shower outdoors under a garden hose is one of the few refreshing benefits of a heat wave. Water in a hose that has been baked in the sun for a day can indeed reach a high temperature. But the duration of the experience usually is short because after a few minutes, the stream of warm water, inevitably the water will turn tepid and eventually into a screaminducing frigid torrent.
Obviously, the bohemian practice of open-air body-washing is not for everyone, particularly those who are wary of scaring the neighbours or of wasting water. A running hose uses 500 litres of water in an hour. We are more acutely aware of such factoids as another summer of extreme temperatures continues to fry us and everything around us.
As these lines are being written, the region is getting a muchneeded rain shower, providing some respite from a prolonged drought that has killed grass, stunted crops, shut down ovens and prompted bans on open-air burning.
Some heat-loving garden produce is doing well, weight loss has been accelerated because nobody wants to eat heavy meals and lawnmower emissions have plunged because lawns are crispy and brown.
Green grass is going to become a luxury if we are to be subjected to more long and hot summers in the future. Conservation will become mandatory considering that while most of Earth is covered with water, only one per cent of that water is actually drinkable.
The phrase “waste not, want not“is a key theme when it comes to water conservation. Canadians and Americans use an average of 300 litres of water per day; we are the largest water consumers
in the world.
Next time you look at your water bill, remember that less than three per cent of the water that is treated for municipal use is actually consumed as drinking water. So where are you using the remaining 97 per cent?
Most goes down the drain; 75 per cent of indoor home water use occurs in bathrooms. Toilets and showers use more water than needed to do the job. Lawn and garden watering increases demand for water by 50 per cent.
Note that watering thoroughly once a week in early morning or evening is more effective than watering daily.
Impress friends and coworkers with this tidbit: One lawn sprinkler spraying 19 litres per minute uses 50 per cent more water than 10 toilet flushes, two five-minute showers, two dishwasher loads, and a full load of laundry combined.
All of the water on earth is recycled. However, the supply is finite.
Country folk know this all too well, because most of them rely on wells. Controlling water use around a rural property helps ensure that well water is always available. A conservative approach to water use also reduces the amount of water flowing into septic systems, preventing system overload.
For municipal water users, the incentive to conserve is often driven by cost. If a community can reduce its water consumption, it can save on expensive infrastructure development which results in lower water bills and/or taxes.
Everyone must be water smart. But if you absolutely want to luxuriate in a fast outdoor shower, do it in the garden.