Friday, October 15, 2010


It's not something I would normally think to write about here, but today is Blog Action Day, and the topic is water. Since I have a blog... and some thoughts on water... it seemed appropriate to join in the fun.

Being a homeowner has absolutely changed my view of water - for practical and economic reasons alike. I was taught to conserve water from an early age - to turn off the faucet while brushing my teeth, to take short showers, to only water the lawn at night and run the dishwasher during off-peak hours.

But things change when you're the one paying the water bill all alone. And cleaning up the mess from a flood. Etc.

So here are some thoughts on water, for what they're worth.

1. I'm grateful to live in a city with some of the cleanest, best-tasting public water in the country (#10 on this year's list from the EWG). Growing up, we always paid for bottled water. Not only is that not in my budget, but I'd rather be able to drink public water since my taxes pay for the infrastructure. (Also, no way do I have room for a bottled water cooler in my kitchen.) I have a Brita pitcher in my fridge for guests, but I'm mostly a tap water girl now... and totally cool with it.

2. My water heater (while only a few years old) is definitely not big enough for a family of five. It's big compared to other houses my size, according to the realtor and inspector, but when my family is visiting, we've learned we have to shower in shifts. When it's just me, it's usually not a problem. But knowing that the hot water could run out at any moment does help motivate me to keep my showers short... which is a good thing.

3. Paying a water bill every month is kind of a bummer... but again, it reminds me to be grateful that I even have running water. And clean water. Piped into my house, ready for me anytime I want it. It is unlikely that my house had running water when it was built in 1900, which makes me even more appreciative of this modern convenience.

4. Water is powerful. A flash flood can overtake your street before your very eyes. Basements can be ruined in a big rainstorm, as many of my friends experienced just a few weeks ago. I count myself lucky to have a solid roof and an amazingly dry basement. During our record-breaking deluge in September, I only had a trickle of water find its way in, and no real damage was done. But water damage is unpredictable, and not often covered by homeowners insurance, and something I've learned to fear over the last six months.

5. Conserving water is not only the right thing for our world, but it's the right thing for my budget. There's no reason to waste water while gardening, cleaning or anything else. I don't have a dishwasher and I don't mind it. I do laundry only when necessary, and I water my vegetables at night. Next year I hope to attach my gutters to a rain barrel so I'll be able to reuse that water as well. It takes a little extra effort, and I know we've all heard about it to the point of not listening anymore, but conserving water is important. And it is worth the effort.

For those of you who made it here through Blog Action Day, welcome! For all my regular readers, I'll be back this weekend with some pretty exciting updates to show you. Stay tuned.


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