Sam was born amid what was, to me, the worst water crisis of my life. It was 1992, water supply in Quezon City was a nightmare and we had to do the laundry between 10.00 p.m. and 4.00 a.m. because those where the only hours when water dripped from the taps. You might think that six hours should be more than enough time to do the laundry but the water that came out of the faucet was described by my late father-in-law as “mas malakas pa ang ihi ng bata”. My brother-in-law would also store water in containers while the washing machine was on spin-dry mode. To say it was hell would be mild.
When we first entertained thoughts of buying our own house, one of the most important considerations was the water supply in the area. No matter how reasonably priced the real estate, if water was going to be a problem, we weren’t buying. We only went waterless in the suburb a few times and those were all fortuitous events — the subdivision’s water pump conking out (repairs usually lasted less than 48 hours) and the times when electric power went out for extended periods like when typhoon Milenyo hit the country in 2006.
Our area is now serviced by Manila Water, a little more expensive than the deep-well water supply provided by the subdivision’s developer, but Manila Water is reliable and water supply has been good. But that’s not saying that we should take our good fortune for granted. Speedy and I know what it’s like to be waterless. We know that even huge companies like Manila Water are still dependent on things that are beyond their control like water level in the dams, how long summer will last, when the rainy season will begin and how much rainfall we will get.
So, I thought that the water conservation tips I received from the EcoWaste Coalition came at an opportune time. Perhaps, we need to be reminded of the difficulties we have experienced in the past lest we get too comfortable with the Manila Water service. I get EcoWaste’s press releases in my mailbox regularly, I find most of them very useful and practical so let me reproduce their 15 water tipid tips.
If you can think of more ways to conserve water in everyday living, feel free to add them in the comment thread.
15 WATER TIPID TIPS
1. Get hold of a wrench and fix all dripping faucets, pipes, water containers and toilet tanks. Replace worn out sapatilya (washers) without delay.
2. Use a glass of water when brushing your teeth. Donâ€˜t let the water run while you brush your teeth, shave, or wash your face and hands.
3. Use timba (pail) and tabo (dip) when taking a bath, keep your bath short, and use just enough water.
4. Fill up a half-gallon container, seal and put inside the toilet tank to cut on water use in every flush.
5. Collect water dripping from air conditioners; use it to wash your mop or water the plants.
6. Organize your laundry schedule and wait until you have a full load before you use the washing machine.
7. Use laundry water for cleaning used bottles, cans and other recyclables, blinds, rugs, doormats, and car wheels.
8. Keep a bucket in the bathroom and laundry area for the grey water. Use this water to flush your toilet, clean the laundry area and car port or to dampen dusty road.
9. Do not hose down your driveway or footpath. Use the walis tingting (broomstick) to sweep the place clean.
10. Wash fruits and vegetables in a palanggana (pan) instead of running water from the tap; reuse the water for watering the plants.
11. Do not throw rice wash down the drain; use it for washing dishes or watering plants.
12. Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not on running water.
13 . Use fewer cooking and dining utensils and dishes to cut down on the water needed for dishwashing.
14. Never waste water served during meals; drink it up!
15. Harvest rainwater through the alulod (gutter) and use the water collected for your essential needs.
Speedy should take care of #1.
I already observe #13, especially during those times when we didn’t have a househelper, because I don’t like washing too many utensils.
Item #12 is not a problem because thawing meat or fish under the tap is silly anyway as too much flavor is lost in the water.
I take note of #10 because I am guilty of washing vegetables in running water. I take note of #2 as well because I’m the most guilty in our house of allowing the water to run while I brush my teeth or wash my face.
I don’t think we can do #5 and #15 because Astro is likely to overturn any water container lying around.
I don’t think we can do #8 either because the girls will go eeewwww with a pail of used water in the bathroom (we used to do that, however, when we were living in Quezon City in the early 90s).
Save for taking short baths, I don’t think we can do #3 — we love the shower too much and it’s the best respite from hot and humid days.
So, there. Some, we will be able to do; some, I find too OA; others, well, we’re not perfect. If you feel like confessing too… well,… :mrgreen: