How many gallons of water can I conserve with my little green watering can?

My quantity of available blogging time has been limited. Summer is a busy time for most of us anyway, but on top of what I usually try to fit into my after-work life I’ve been hand watering as much of my garden as I can cover with good old-fashioned methods. We have automatic sprinklers and an excellent watering system, but my goal has been to minimize overusing automatic sprinklers and using more water than we absolutely need to keep plants alive.

Strategic watering takes a great deal of time. I’m doing the best I can to conserve in a state that is seriously parched. You may have heard about freak lightning strikes this past weekend that sadly resulted in one death and multiple injuries. It was a very weird weather condition, but don’t mistake reports of lightning as an indication we had any REAL rain. In my weekend experience the few sputters did little more than contribute to an even dirtier car…and we’re not really supposed to be washing them.

We spent the weekend in our San Jacinto Mountain resort–well…we spent time with our trailer in our Silent Valley home away from home. This was my first visit since last year’s wildfire  came dangerously close to the main campground. The scorched areas are very evident and it is incredibly dry.

And while neighboring cities have adopted specific water rationing measures, this evening we have been glued to our television sets watching millions of gallons of precious water lost to a broken water pipe–a pipe first installed in 1921. This would be one of the earliest water pipes in the city of Los Angeles, dating back to the father of the Los Angeles water system, William Mulholland.

Millions of gallons of water have been lost. To see some incredibly breathtaking–and devastating photos, click HERE. The damage to the surrounding area, and in particular to the historic UCLA Pauley Pavilion is staggering. You can see Pauley Pavilion photos HERE. The Pavilion underwent a $136 million renovation in 2012 and is more than likely completely ruined by the flood.

At 75,000 gallons of water per minute, do you want to do the math? Early reports–8 to 10 MILLION gallons of water–GONE!

I’ll be thinking about that tomorrow as I carry around my little green watering can saving a few drops. We’re in trouble here.

 

 

85 thoughts on “How many gallons of water can I conserve with my little green watering can?

    • I know, Kathy! It’s really frustrating, isn’t it? I do miss long showers! I think of the days when I wasted water without evening thinking of it. We aren’t yet on mandatory rationing, but I know it’s coming!

  1. When I saw the news of the water main bursting and saw the water gushing, all I could think of was all of you suffering through an already tough drought. The ancient Greeks would have believed that the gods were messing with you. I do hope you get some relief and soon, Debra. I’d have a very hard time seeing my garden shrivel up and not be able to do anything about it.
    A number of years ago, one of our major cities back East was suffering a prolonged drought. I stumbled upon a blog detailing their efforts to conserve water. A lack of hurricanes, states’ water rights, and the EPA protecting an endangered species played a role and then. surprisingly, an inspection of the city’s infrastructure revealed a massive waste of water. In short, their pipes were lousy with holes. That study threw a real monkey wrench into the negotiations between the states that were arguing for use of the contested waterway.That’s when the blog administrator left and his replacement wasn’t at all neutral. I kinda lost track of their progress but, last I heard, the City was embarking on a project to repair/replace their antiquated pipes and, lucky for everyone, the drought is no longer in evidence.I hope it won’t be long before you, too, can say that the drought isn’t an issue. Good luck!

    • What an interesting story of the Eastern city and drought ramifications, John. So many of the same considerations are critical here, too. The EPA and endangered species is a very hotly contested argument, of course going back and forth depending on how severely YOUR farmland is negatively impacted. The news-talk today has been rife with sarcasm and frustration as we learn the commonly considered “corrupt” Department of Water and Power has the upgrading and replacement of pipes on a 300 year plan. Since Los Angeles has only had water for 100 years, we have a mere 200 more to go before there will be any significant replacement of the existing aging pipes. We don’t have much confidence this is a good overall plan, but at least when they finally tear up the streets for the improvements there’s a good chance I won’t be here! :-) There’s an upside? My garden plants are certainly stressed, but I’m replacing any plants that just don’t make it with drought tolerant natives. We definitely need to accommodate the change in climate. Droughts aren’t new to California, but 100 years ago we didn’t have the population and the super-sized homes to support. It’s a big problem and I’m much better at complaining than solving this problem, I’m afraid. Thank you for sharing, John. If you ever come across that same blog or one like it, please let me know. I’d be interested!

  2. Like you, my blogging time has been limited… and because of that, I am behind on the news. I’ve also pretty much limited my watching TV news because of the political bias and these media outlets pushing their own agenda by misstating the facts. As such, as I try to get back to the blogs, I now read about this water main break. I had no idea it happened. Incredible.

    Indeed, we have been ordered to “ration” here in Long Beach but very few are apparently aware. We can (sprinkler) on Sat, Mon and Th but before 8 AM or after 4 PM. Isn’t it peculiar? All this “stuff” about global warming and we’re told to cut down on water use…to the point our lawns and gardens – i.e., carbon dioxide users – may die off. It’s odd how “powers that be” can be suddenly deaf to their own global warming threats.

    • I remember other periods of drought and water rationing, Koji, and I got very creative, even using bath water in the garden. I’m not sure I’m up to that at this point. the majority of the water use is agricultural, but that’s a very political topic, too, isn’t it! I don’t watch television news either, typically, just because I’m not home during the evening news “hour” or so. But I heard about the “geyser” on the radio and just had to see the video! In this case I needed visuals! Time doesn’t seem to be multiplying, just my responsibilities. :-) I think you must relate to that, too!

  3. Can’t hit Like because there’s nothing to like in wasted water :( It made the news here in the UK.

    Do you water at night and early morning when it’s cooler and doesn’t evaporate? That’s what they used to tell us in SA during our many drought periods.

  4. A loss of water in an area that needs it is never good … let alone the damages this caused. Hopefully the damage to Pauley is limited. Limited blogging time hits us all … and it bugs of us the same. Hang in there.

  5. My heart goes out to everyone suffering from the drought. It seems to me with climate change, the cities in the west will someday have to convert seawater to freshwater with considerable expense. And replace old infrastructure like piping. The infrastructure problem is everywhere. There was a big water main break in Chicago a short while ago. There’s an opportunity in all of this, but in the short term, it is so tough. I pray for rain for you. May a miracle happen soon. :)

  6. Debra, my heart goes out to everyone suffering from the drought. It seems to me with climate change, the cities in the west will someday have to convert seawater to freshwater with considerable expense. And replace old infrastructure like piping. The infrastructure problem is everywhere. There was a big water main break in Chicago a short while ago. There’s an opportunity in all of this, but in the short term, it is so tough. I pray for rain for you. May a miracle happen soon. :)

    • Thank you, Karen. Your wonderful thoughts and prayers are so appreciated. There is a lot of talk about desalinization plants, but I don’t see much evidence that we’re yet moving in that direction. The Pacific Ocean would be such an amazing resource for water and I’m certain that some day we’ll be innovative and forward thinking enough to put the money behind it! Yesterday’s loss of millions of gallons of water was a very sad circumstance, wasn’t it? It’s certainly been all the talk today, Karen!

  7. We first saw reports of this last night, Debra, and thought all that water on top of the drought and now the devastation that this gusher has wrought in CA. It topped all the news stations this morning, even as I was reading your post. It looked as if some needed to rescued, thank goodness they were. Can you imagine hearing the sound of the ground breaking and then the rush of water? I saw one report, I think it was a UCLA student, talking about it – and there you are, my friend, with your watering can and conservation efforts. I’m sure, today, CO would love to ship some of their rain your way.

    You wrote this so masterfully, Debra, bringing the drought home, from beginning to end. From the drought and its very personal impact on you, to the scars of fire in your Silent Valley, and the rupture of this old water pipe – well written. Thoughts and prayers rolling your way.

    • When I see the photos from other areas experiencing flooding I just shake my head, Penny. I find those deadly waters terrifying. I think that one reason some people aren’t more conscientious about conserving water is that unless you’re tuned in to the stories that talk about long-term ramifications you might never even be personally inconvenienced. And our old water system isn’t helping us along! There has been a lot of political double-speak today! Thank you for your very thoughtful reflection, Penny. I know you understand the seriousness of the situation!

  8. I was maintaining a vegetable garden in San Leandro by hand-watering it for four months. It took about an hour a day to get around the garden, mostly because I had to keep refilling the tea kettle and recycled plastic bottle I used for watering. Now I hand-water a pot of mint, two pepper plants and three buckets of tomatoes. Good for you for conserving water.

    • It’s hard work to use the hand-watering method, isn’t it, Sharyn. Bit it is rewarding. I don’t now how much my individual conservation methods helps the overall shortfall, but at least when we move to rationing, and I’m sure that’s coming soon, I won’t have quite as many adjustments! I’m glad you’ve been able to have a garden again this year! I really cut back from previous years, but I have a few tomatoes and zucchini and some strawberry plants. I’ve also lost quite a few of them that didn’t make it. It’s so nice to hear from you Sharyn. I hope you are doing well!

  9. How sad. The scope of the area affected by the drought is enormous, extending into Nevada and Arizona and encompassing most of California.

    What are we going to do as more and more places become inhospitable to humans as the result of climate change?

    • I attended a symposium this past spring with the drought and water conditions the main topic. The speaker stated that in the years to come Americans in the west will move to Canada for the water. He wasn’t kidding and spoke of it as though there was no doubt. I would have enjoyed hearing more about how this was going to happen. Do we give up our citizenship, too? Will the Canadians just let us in? Makes me wonder so many things! I hope long before we come to this we just have a couple of years of heavy rainfall. :-)

  10. That pipe burst is just awful… it makes you think about each and every drop we use. I shall be thinking of you with your watering can and hope you get some rain – real rain – really soon!

    • Thanks Cathy! I’ll take all the good thoughts that you can send and we can gather. :-) The loss of all that beautiful water really is a sad situation. These water pipes are all old in Los Angeles–yesterday’s burst is a frightening reminder of that!

    • The photos I shared were in the local mountains in the east where it is always a little dry, but yes, it is a parched land! I’d love to have a taste of green. The only green I’ve seen in ages is on the golf courses! They have plenty of water. :-)

  11. Unbelievable… this is something one never expects to happen specially when so much water is highly needed…. I think I have to remove my like from this post as what I read I don’t like…
    But this I must ask… here where we have many golf courses that lack water, we use products wetting agents to retain water in the ground at root level where it is most needed… these products come mainly from America, and costs a small fortune here yet seems so cheap there… have you not though to use this in your garden. I know of courses that have saved up to 65% of their normal water use using said products….

    • Rob, I’ve used some of these products in my potted plants, but not so much in the broader areas. I’ve been slowly changing my entire landscaping to include many more natives and drought tolerant plants. It’s going to take some time, though, as I still have a lot of roses and “English garden,” totally impractical plantings. The product that I’ve used is almost a gel. I should perhaps look into other product possibilities. Thank you for heading me in that direction. I haven’t done any significant research and it really didn’t occur to me to think beyond what I’ve been doing!

    • I heard about the Yosemite fire, of course, and my heart just sank! I remember when Al Gore was castigated for his statement, “The earth has a fever!” I think of that so often when I look around at how dry everything is. I know I’m not alone, but I really am quite concerned!

  12. I saw news about the water main this morning, how awful in the middle of such tough water conditions. Every little bit counts though and I know your little green watering can is doing it’s part to help the big picture.

    • At least using my watering can I don’t feel guilty for the water I do use. :-) The talk all day has been about the age of the water pipes–hundreds of miles of them! I hope there won’t be any more geysers like this, though! Imagine!

  13. Was there any other news yesterday? The UCLA pipe rupture was the only thing on! So frustrating, when we’re on mandatory restrictions already, to see all that fresh water wasted. Here in Pasadena we can only water outside 3 days a week, and once a week during winter months. If this winter is anything like last, however, it won’t be much cooler. We’re having to rethink our winter garden plans.

    • Janine, I had just heard yesterday about Pasadena’s mandatory watering restrictions! I think I heard the news about an hour before the pipe rupture. I know exactly what you’re saying about the garden. I planted a much smaller vegetable garden this summer because I wasn’t at all certain I’d be able to water it sufficiently! The water waste yesterday was infuriating. Anything that’s preventable and causes this much damage is so upsetting. I think if the DWP didn’t have such a bad reputation for greed and mismanagement I might be more sympathetic! I live in San Gabriel…we aren’t on rationing yet, but it’s coming, I’m certain. :-(

  14. I heard about the pipe rupture. It sounds a little like Ireland where water mains have not been inspected or replaced for years. The government has tried to introduce water rates here, but have failed yet again. They might have to wait until all the infrastructure has improved.

    • I didn’t think the story of the water pipe break would make it al the way to Ireland, Marie. I think the spectacular geyser was irresistible to news sources! I’ve been surprised today that so few promises are being made about the future infrastructure upgrades. It’s almost like the city officials have just conceded that the pipes are old and these things are going to happen. I find that unbelievable! Thanks for sharing that you, too, experience some of this frustration. Sometimes I think it’s only in the big cities. I think it’s everywhere really!

  15. That freak lightning strike was even on our news, clear across the country. What a horrible and scary thing. How awful about the loss of so much precious water. I hope there are other water-conscious people like you, too many people don’t bother because think their small contribution doesn’t make a difference (or they can’t be bothered with the effort, which is the greatest sin). But it does make a difference when you add it all up. I applaud your efforts.

    • Well, thank you. I have to admit that I’m water conscious partly out of real concern we’re going to be put on a rationing. We’ve lived through those periods before and they’re not easy! I guess I’m sort of practicing. :-) But we all need to do what we can as this is getting serious. The lightning strikes were so unusual. I don’t think we’ve ever had anything quite like the system that passed through, at least not that I’ve heard reported. It really does make you stop and think about all the changes and where are we headed! Thank you for your thoughtful comment, my friend.

    • Wouldn’t you think there’d be a plan, Robert? I would! Now we’re learning that the schedule for replacing these pipes is on a 300 year cycle. Imagine! I predict more broken water lines, sadly. :-(

  16. I was thinking of you when I saw the geyser of water flooding everything. I often use a sprinkling can to water in my garden. I get the water right where it is needed and it helps to keep the weeds from growing so fast.

    • It was quite the geyser, don’t you think? I’m still just so sad for the all the damage to UCLA–and the loss of water, of course. I do find that it takes me such a long time to use a watering can, but it can be almost meditative. It’s never a chore, really. And you’re right about the weeds, Karen. I didn’t really think of that! Now I’ll be even happier at my routine. :-)

  17. I am driven MAD by stories like that, Debra – if only the authorities had in place a program of replacing all the old underground infrstructure ! It happens here, too: no-one pays any attention until something goes snafu, and then there’s so much whingeing from the water authorities about “how could we have known ?”. Makes me want to break all their teeth.
    We surely do comprehend your problem, my dear – we surely do …

    • I have been listening to talk radio quite a bit since this occurred last night, M-R, and some of the comments made by clever, cynical and sarcastic hosts have had me laughing. It’s not a laughable situation, but they’ve been pointing out the absurdity and somehow that’s been amusing to me. The Department of Water and Power have revealed that the scheduling of replacing the pipes is on a 300 year schedule. LOL! My favorite comment was a droll, “See? It’s on the calendar!” I really do think there are fools running the show–I see such similarities in some of our government wing-nuts! This isn’t going to end well. “Break all their teeth,” huh? I kind of like that. :-)

      • Give you mental images of swinging a baseball bat in one hand while grasping the throat of a Water Department boffin with the other …? Hope so …

    • Believe me, Colleen. This incident is the talk of the town! And it’s been equally revealing and a big concern to think that there are hundreds of miles of old water pipes under our city that could easily do the same thing. So much for advanced planning, huh? No one was hurt, but there is a lot of damage. I do pray for rain. I doubt I’m alone in that. :-)

  18. After reading all of this I will never complain about living in rainy Vancouver. Already this summer we are breaking records for heat and dryness and fires. Perhaps we all need to prepare for an increasingly dry summer climate on this coast. It may come to the reality that we can no longer plant for pleasure, but only for food, and possibly even that is threatened…difficult times for sure, thanks for your explorations and investigations Debra…this waste of water is inconceivable…

    • Do you know that I attended a symposium earlier this year and the professor stated that in decades to come the drought-stricken western U.S. will begin to migrate to Canada! I found that possibility just fascinating. Are you ready for us? LOL! I do agree about ornamental gardening. In Southern California landscaping is rapidly changing to incorporate more natives and drought tolerant plants. I love the look and find it really appealing, but I know so many who are lamenting the lack of roses and spring bulbs! I think over time we’ll have to adapt and I’m sure that’s already occurring. Thank you for sharing your experience, John. I hadn’t heard about wildfires and record heat. I think we’re all being challenged to accept some new realities.

  19. Debra, you are a good egg for doing your part with your little green watering can. I know it’s frustrating to see such waste from the burst water main but you should feel really good about what are doing!

    • I am just happy I’m still getting water from hose to fill the can. :-) I still remember the year I waters everything with bath water! I really, really don’t want to have to do that again! That was because we were being monitored and rationing measures were in place. We aren’t there yet. But Pasadena is, and that’s our neighbor city! :-(

  20. All you can do is keep up the good work Debra. As for Lightning… Much more dangerous when it isn’t raining :-( That’s when the sea or inland lakes become the point of discharge and the effect is concentrated. And Charlie Bangers build very quickly over the edge of the ocean as the sea air meets the land with all the thermals – not a good place to be.

    • Thanks for the explanation on how the lightning develops, Martin, and giving me the term “Charlie Bangers!” :-) We were in Mississippi one summer and I couldn’t wait to get off the road and back to our hotel. The lightning was so fierce and I’d never even seen anything remotely like that. I was really afraid. And in Miami we didn’t see the lightning or hear thunder but the lifeguards cleared the beach every few hours because of reports of lightning. But lightning strikes are very rare in the areas affected last Sunday and it’s very sad that a life was lost. Terrible outcome! It’s been quite a week at our local level!

      • Quick explanation of Charlie Bangers… It’s pilot jargon for Cumulo-Nimbus clouds which appear in meteorological reports for pilots with the code CB. In the phonetic alphabet they are Charlie Bravo’s but Charlie Bangers is much more descriptive ;-)

  21. I spent over 30 years of my working life at UCLA and it is mind boggling to imagine the damage done to Pauley Pavillion and the campus. I will click on the links you provided to read about the lightening at Venice Beach, how weird was that, and to see the campus in the flood. I admire your efforts with the watering can. We do the same for our container garden and just use the sprinklers twice a day for the large veggie garden. The rest of our yards have been cleared in compliance with the fire codes. So nothing to water there, but I am beginning to notice, for the first time since I moved here, how much the junipers are now suffering. .

    • Oh your poor junipers, Inger. When we begin to see the stress in larger plants it does really show the true condition of our water table! The waste of water this week in the burst water pipes is one thing, and really awful, of course, but the destruction to Pauley Pavilion, which of course entails much more than that beautiful basketball court, has ramifications for months and months to come. I feel so badly for the students! It’s good to hear from you, Inger. Thank you for commenting. I smile when I think of you living in the open space and beauty of the canyon after 30 years of driving in to UCLA! Westwood is such a busy place, but I do really enjoy it…on foot. Not so much in a car. :-)

  22. I’m sorry to be tardy commenting, Debra. I’m in your time zone, in a place that’s equally parched.

    I really do wonder how long we Americans can sustain our unsustainable way of living. I found a time-release map online showing images of water in the desert Southwest, and there’s a direct correlation between water levels and development. We simply cannot think that continuing to develop dense population centers in desert locations and trying to make those locations live like non-desert climates is sustainable. You understand this, and that’s why you try to live in a very environmentally sensitive manner. However, so few people really do that or even think about it. They just want water to come out of the tap when they turn it on, and they want it to run as long as they want, and they don’t think about anything else.

    We got 8 inches of rain in some places in Charleston yesterday. I wish there were a way to ship some of it to you.

    • You’ve said it beautifully, Andra. We are definitely caught in a trap of denial. It is truly unsustainable living. I think about it all the time, not so much for me at my age, but the little ones. I feel sad for what we’re leaving the future generations and I have to really work to do what I can on my local level, which mostly means my own home, to know that I’m not contributing to the problem beyond my own lack of awareness, and I’m always trying to expand my conservation knowledge! I really don’t understand how we can pretend otherwise, but I see horrible waste everyday-we all do! And now I’m trying to even imagining 8 inches of rain! I don’t remember ever seeing that much rainfall, to be honest. I would love that right now! :-)

  23. We saw that disaster on our news. So unfortunate that a city built in a desert has lost so much precious water. And what a shame about the Pavilion – devastating. When I was in LA I noticed how dry the land is – you so desperately need rain xx

    • We have had prolonged drought in the past, but it’s been interesting that in the last decade or so there are so many more “purveyors of doom” and if I listen to what is being said we are all headed for extinction. LOL! It is very serious, but I have faith this season will shift and we’ll have a rainy season in a year or so. If our state government officials could organize an effort to actually improve on our infrastructure and perhaps create catch basins and discuss water conservation beyond simple rationing, we might actually acknowledge our climate realities and we’d weather these periods without so much hand wringing. I’m really quite irritated about this water pipe, but no one is asking me to weigh in on problem solving. So I have to just sit with my bad mood and try to accommodate my poor garden the best I can! I’m sure you noticed the Hollywood Hills–a lovely shade of brown! :-)

    • If we have a rainy season some time in the future and you ever hear me complain, even once, you have permission to give me a good tongue lashing, Kate. I hope I never hear any complaint come from my lips. I miss the color green! :-) It’s lovely to hear from you…do have a wonderful weekend. ox

  24. It is all quite frightening and concerning….I’m going over to parents’ house today (they are away), in large part to water the garden. We’ve had more rain than normal here last month, but it’s still been so hot-hot-hot.

    • It’s interesting how many of us refer to our weather and note that there are changes with increases in temperature shifts, more or less rainfall than average and expected, and a variety of new weather-related challenges. Climate change is affecting all of us in one way or another. I’m not thrilled with the lack of rainfall, certainly, but it’s easier to navigate through a drought than it would be to have too much rain, perhaps. We get what we get, right? :-) I am sure your parents are grateful for your help in watering in the heat, Ksenia. The high temperatures can wipe out a garden overnight without good water. Have wonderful weekend, and thank you for stopping by!

  25. What a sight…just saw the footage as I have been away. So sad to see so much water wasted. Thanks for thinking about conserving…sometimes I wonder if residents realize the devastation that we are facing.

    • I have had to really watch myself a bit, Cristine. I get so frustrated with waste and I jump on the soap box at times when that’s really not my intention. Occasionally my intensity on the subject puts me at odds with others. But I do think the general public is being very foolish with your resources and it deeply concerns me. I heard that you got a little rain down your way today. I’m sure it wasn’t much, but it must have felt good–other than the humidity. Up here we’re sweltering in the humidity, but I’m not really complaining too much. I think my skin can use the moisture. LOL! ox

  26. You do ask the BIG questions, Debbie! There’s a high price to be paid for all that beauty, isn’t there? I’d come and carry a watering can along with you to speed things up, but you live such a long way from me :(

  27. Dear Debra, this is a sobering posting. The state of California and its residents ARE in trouble. Way back in the early 1980s I was a member of the League of Women Voters and made a presentation at one monthly meeting, after several weeks of research, on what was even then identified as one of the major problems for the 21st century–the availability of drinking water. Even then–some 30 years ago, the environmentalists and scientists and climatologists knew what was happening and would happen. I admire you for your holding on to the belief that each of us can do something to bring change to the world. That everything begins with one. Peace.

    • It’s so good to hear from you, Dee. I do appreciate your sharing about your presentation 30 years ago! Yes, I do believe I’ve been hearing a similar message about the scarcity of water for a long, long time. I don’t really understand why it is that environmental issues and concerns become so politically polarizing and emotions so often negatively impact our ability to work for solutions to issues as critical as what to do to conserve water. I sometimes think I’m not doing myself any favor in reading as much as I do about the way we are depleting so many of our resources. I do get a bit anxious over it sometimes, and then the best I can do is try to be a good example to my grandchildren! They are the ones who undoubtedly are going to live with a more critically stressed Mother Earth. I’m really blown away at the thought that it was 30 years ago you gave your well-researched speech and then here we are today with so much of what you predicted coming true. It’s mind boggling! Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope all is going very well with your multiple writing projects. :-)

  28. I missed the story here in Germany where everything is lush and green because of the rain. I loved the rain knowing that I would return to Santa Cruz in California where I carry my water cans using grey water from my washing machine.

    • I miss the color green, Gerinde! I really do! How wonderful that you are enjoying a respite from carting water! I know that Santa Cruz has had some water restrictions for a while now. We are a very dry state right now, aren’t we? We aren’t yet on water rationing in San Gabriel, but I’m sure it’s coming. I’m not looking forward to watering my yard with bath water–I did that last time we had a serious drought. It’s wearisome isn’t it? We just need rain. Thank you so much for sharing, and enjoy beautiful Germany as long as you can. :-)

  29. Oh gosh, Debra, I’d completely missed this because of being in France without British TV and radio! What a tragic waste of a precious resource in a time of such severe drought, not to speak of the damage to property. Having spent over three-quarters of my life living with a well-water supply, I’m intensely conscious of the need not to waste water. Here in France we’re on mains water, but I still save vegetable preparation water and even washing-up water to water my pots and flower-bed. The plants don’t seem to mind. :) I do hope you get some proper rain soon.

    • Thank you for reminding me about your well-water supply, Perpetua. There are reasons other than drought to be conscientious about conserving water, and I often forget that I’m not the only one out there caring water about. :-) I think you’re really dedicated to the principles of water conservation if you’re still saving your vegetable water. I’m really impressed with that, my friend. I still have a long way to go to save as much as I possibly can, but all along I try to add in a few good measures. The water pipes under Los Angeles are all very old and we are being warned there could be more of these large water main breaks. I sure can’t imagine how they’re going to solve all the problems this presents, but I’m curious enough to pay attention. :-)

      • The vegetable water thing is easy, Debra. I just put the peelings in the compost bin and go straight out with the water, usually into the pots. It becomes a habit very quickly. :)

  30. I saw the footage on the news of that water main break and I was thinking of you! I’ve been saving water too (even though I don’t need to). I haven’t watered my garden with a hose all summer. I’ve been using a watering pitcher. I thought by now things would be better in California. It is worrisome. I’ve been reading about plants that can live in salt water and can be eaten by us humans. I’ve incorporated it into my next post for the 15th, Friday. It’s troublesome just to read about this plant because it sounds like a prediction for the future. I think this water issue is more serious than people understand. Indiana doesn’t have the best water and I drink my tap water filtered with a Brita filter but who knows how much protection that offers really? Yesterday I saw on the news that Baltimore got 6 inches of rain in one rainfall! The weatherman said it was epic! I can only hope that things get better. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    • I do think you’re correct that people are not as concerned as they should be. There have been extremely prolonged periods of drought in California long before the population was as dense as it is today. Long before people watered acres of lawn, there were golf courses and cemeteries with acres of green grass! So the idea that this particular drought will end “soon” isn’t necessarily true. We do need to at least be aware. On the other hand, we live in a day when there are educated minds capable of devising better ways to collect and hold onto water and to perhaps direct us towards using recycled or sea water. We just have to be willing to pay for it. I can think of worse ways my tax dollars are spent? LOL! I think we have to adjust our thinking to adaptability to our environment and couple that with doing a little more to protect it! I’ll look forward to your post, Marcella. I know what you mean about “trusting” that our drinking water is good. Just eating and drinking today requires a bit of trust! Ha! :-)

      • Or, we could do what the Italians do: don’t grow grass! I was told it is an American phenomena! Think of all the people allergic to grass and all the time we spend mowing, feeding, weeding, sodding, etc. It’s ridiculous! What’s more important, keeping people in business or conserving water? I’d vote for conserving water. I wasn’t aware that California had other periods of drought. In a way, that’s reassuring to know and that this period isn’t a freak of nature or a sign of what’s to come. Here, we are having record low temperatures. In some areas nearby, the morning temperatures were in the 40’s! Kids had to wear jackets waiting for the school bus! It’s crazy! But they are saying that we may soon be getting the heat that’s been sitting on the western states. We haven’t reached 90 degrees yet but we might. Last summer we had 14 days of 90 degree temperatures. I prefer this summer. I enjoy it cooler like this. Just hot enough to grow my tomatoes!

  31. Here in the UK over the years we have installed water butts round the house and shed and even an underground water tank because we need rainwater for our rhododendrons. Do keep watering by hand, I know it’s a bore, and it feels as though our small efforts are wasted when you get crazy events like the one above, but if we don’t all chip in, we’re going to be in even more trouble than we are now.

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