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Seven ways to Conserve water

There are plenty of reasons why you might want to conserve water on your homestead or around your property. When I say conserve water I mean using water wisely. That is, not wasting water when you can conserve it instead.

Emergency Water Supply

Hands in water

A separate, but smart, topic is the principle of saving water up for emergency use, such as a power outage in the case of a tornado, hurricane, winter storm, or power grid interruption. In this scenario, it’s wise to set aside water for drinking for each person, for simple household needs, like toilet flushing, pets, and hand washing.

We should always have a way to either store water ahead or a way to access water at all times. This can be accomplished with a well that has a way to pump the water should your power go off, stored water systems, or a continual fresh source such as a spring, creek, or other body of water.

Well

Our well is equipped with a small solar pump, which runs separate from the power grid. If we have sun, we can get water. If it’s cloudy, then we rely on the water we’ve stored in holding tanks or a generator to pump more out of the well. It’s a little more work for greater independence.

Related posts on independence: You Need to Grow a Victory Garden

https://www.ridgehavenhomestead.com/low-tech-kitchen-Low Tech Kitchen Swaps

For long-term, it’s highly recommended that you find a way to access sufficient water!

Home Water Conservation

Water collection

Wherever you are set up with off grid or traditional water systems, you can still conserve water in your home. While it may seem like we have an endless supply, conserving water is just a good habit to get into.

I have not always understood the need to conserve water. How about you?

I’ve been the one who runs a long shower, let plenty of water run down the drain, and not given it a single thought.

Once, after we’d been living in our camper, doing rainwater cachement (collecting rainwater), I visited some friends. I remember being so surprised when they ran the water for what seemed like five minutes in order to get hot water to use for cooking. It was almost painful for me to watch, and yet that’s what we always used to do with no thought whatsoever.

My friend, who lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michagan, recently got her well dig in her property. After watching that process, she commented,

“Never again will I take water for granted!”

And I could totally relate!

Every Drop is Precious

Well bucket

Once you see how hard water is to come by, by digging a well, rigging up a collection system, building piping for holding tanks, or if you’ve ever had to go without, you will understand better why we are wise if we conserve water!

When I came back from living in the Amazon, my knee-jerk reaction was to look around for the water bucket so I could scoop some out for cooking. I caught myself, remembering that I could just flip on the faucet! I’m just a few days, I was back to the American way of generous water wastage. It’s just our way of life!

Water cistern and pump

Let me tell you—if you have to pump water by hand, walk a couple blocks with full buckets, gather it from a shared well, or run out just when you’ve gotten shampooed up, you will start to pay attention to conserving water.

Or if you’ve spent hard-earned money to dig your well, pump, and setup, or made another water system by hand, you know how precious the stuff is!

Enough rambling! You get the point!

Seven Easy Ways to Conserve Water Every Day!

Water pump and bucket
  1. Catch the water into a pan as you wash dishes. Use this for flushing toilets, watering plants, etc. Place a bowl of water to catch the water in your sink to catch the water from washing your hands
  2. Turn off the water in your shower while you’re shampooing, soap, shaving, and just use the water for your very basic washing needs. They have little switches /valves you can install onto your faucet that will shut off the water but keep it warm at the shower head. (Amazon link) .
  3. Catch the extra water while you’re waiting for the water to heat up into a bowl or pan!
  4. Keep a pan of hot water on the stove to pre soak your dishes so they don’t require so much water to wash them.
  5. Rainwater cachement. You can shunt the water off of your roof, via the gutters, and into a collection tank. There are ways to make this more sanitary, by using a first flush system or something similar to filter leaves and debris before it enters your collection barrel. If using the water for drinking it’s good to sanitize it or filter it before drinking. 💧 We have done this for 2-3 years now, and can actually collect enough to live on for a family of five, minus doing our laundry. You can also purchase or make rain barrels, and this is an excellent way to collect garden water. We’ve used a set of large IBC totes for ours, and we rigged them up to interconnect with each other, so all we have to do is fill, and open a valve to fill up our RV water tank. Ours recently got smashed, but you can get the idea.
  6. Pour extra water into a water filter instead of down the drain. I’m talking about water that’s relatively clean already that maybe you ran for another purpose and didn’t end up needing. I personally wouldn’t pour really nasty water into our Berkey filter because it’ll clog up the filters much faster! For gray water, just save it in a bucket to water plants or flush toilets. Soap won’t hurt plants, but don’t pour chemicals onto them!
  7. Drip Irrigation and Timers—don’t just let the hose run freely when you water your plants and garden, but use timers and drip systems to control the flow. This can actually do better to water deeply anyway, to lose less through evaporation and quick runoff.
Water collection barrels
Broken water collection barrels
We connected the tanks together with pipes so they could all flow together into one pipe to the camper tank.
Conserve water by bowl under sink
You can help to conserve water by collecting overflow in a bowl for watering plants and flushing toilets.

Three Bonus Ways to Conserve Water That’ll Challenge You a Bit More

Baby in water tub
Conserve water by not wasting excess!

So the seven above ways to conserve water are easy! You will hardly miss a beat by making these small changes.

Here are 3 more ways that you’ll have to ponder a bit more to see if you could implement any.

  1. Skip a shower. I’m not saying forever, just sometimes.
  2. Flush less. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.” This is for more extreme times. But if you’ve saved water in a bucket anyway, you will have water for flushing even when you don’t have power or another emergency.
  3. Family washtub—just like in the olden days! Don’t throw the bag out with the bath water!” 😂 This is the one where I’d probably draw the line, because…eww! You can actually take a bath with just one gallon of water, if you’re not washing your hair.

There you have it! Seven Easy Ways to Conserve Water At Home.

Seven ways to conserve water

What other days do you recommend to conserve water? This post is just a springboard! We can all think of plenty of great, practical ways to conserve water at home!

Knowing is one thing! Now to go do it!

Have a great day!

Laurie

6 Replies

  1. Laurie, I absolutely love these suggestions! I am always looking for ways to lessen my impact on the planet, I’m going to put these ideas to use. Also, your photos of the water really capture its beauty.

    1. I know the water gets recycled and sent back to the ocean eventually, but the available water to us is it always guaranteed, so it’s good to be aware, just to make our own lives easier!

  2. Laurie, what a great article! I learned to conserve water while camping with only a jug of water or a well with hand pump, and while living in an unplumbed cabin. For the latter, we had 2 5-gallon buckets on a rod, which we carried to a nearby stream to fetch water back. Those were the days!

  3. Great tips Laurie.. Given we are in for another year of drought in California, conserving water has become an art and a science… I have learned to catch the water as I wash dishes and wait for water to warm up in the sink, as well as the water I use to rinse vegetables/lentils/rice in to water plants.. And I take really short showers.. even my family who are used to that still get surprised 🙂

I’d be delighted if you took the time to write a few words. I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️