I heard a story yesterday on Living on Earth‘s podcast comparing water used in a typical day by an American guy in D.C. and a lady in rural India. You can download the broadcast or read the transcript here. It made me think about tracking my water consumption for a day. I’m not going to be able to measure all my water in gallons like they did but I’ll write down all I use.
1. Get up and use bathroom. One flush would be about 3 gallons.
2. Brush teeth. I turned off the water while brushing because I was thinking about this.
3. Fill up buckets for both horses. That’s 10 gallons. I have a hose that I use in the summer to get water to the stalls. It leaks in several places so I waste some water each time I use it because I’m too cheap to go buy another hose. In the winter I have to carry the buckets to the faucet. I think it is hard work. It is 65 feet from the faucet to the farthest stall. It is about 130 feet to carry a full bucket to the closest pasture. It makes me whine to have to do that. The lady from India’s closest water source is half a mile away.
4. Come in and wash hands.
5. Water plant. I do recycle water for one of my plants. It is sitting next to the bird cage so I dump Ozzie’s dirty water into the plant. Since Ozzie dunks food in his water the plant gets a bit of extra fertilizer and is the best looking plant I have.
6. I’m drinking Crystal Light. I keep a gallon jug in the fridge. I usually have to make a new batch daily.
7. Flush toilet and wash hands.
8. Make lunch which requires 1.5 cups of water. Go outside and get distracted. Allow water to boil over and pan to scorch and smoke up the house. Start over with another 1.5 cups of water.
9. Wash hands after petting horses.
10. Scrubbed bathtub and rinsed. I used 6 large glasses of water to rinse.
11. Showered and more bathroom trips.
That’s it. I had a pretty low usage day. I didn’t have to wash laundry or dishes and I didn’t cook any big meals that required a lot of water. I also wasn’t working where I wash my hands constantly. The horses didn’t drink a lot so I didn’t have to keep filling up their buckets. For as little as I used today I’m still insanely glad that it came out of a tap and I didn’t have to haul it half a mile.