It was a drought year the year we moved into this house and that one lasted seven years. Then we remodeled. (After the ’89 quake our kitchen cabinet doors kept falling on our heads–they had to go.)
The contractor did damage to the aging roof and we ended up with seventeen buckets catching the incessant water leaking inside. It rained so much that winter that a beam he’d had waiting in the yard for a few days warped enough to soon crack the new window set against it–so that had to be replaced. We named the inside downpour roof juice and joked that if the legislature should ever again need to end a drought, all they had to do was re-remodel this place for us.
And then it turned dry again. So we’ve been pretty good at not wasting water for a very long time now. The San Francisco Bay Area, for whatever reason, has been better at water conservation than the whole rest of the state and is under slightly less drastic cutbacks. My one fault was frequent laundry loads, because having gone through that one good-sized earthquake I just really don’t want anyone to be out of underwear when the next one hits.
Relandscaping this past year, though, with the extra water that new trees need and with sixteen fruit trees–when they said cutbacks were going to be mandatory, I thought we were totally hosed. So I bought us more underwear. More favorite-color-blue oxford shirts for him. Bigger laundry loads done less frequently, well okay, and I have thrown some loads together that my momma taught me not to mix, but, drought, so, yeah.
Not because we wanted to, but, we bought a much more water-efficient dishwasher. We replaced that outside faucet at last, and although that wouldn’t show up in the bill yet, that will make a difference, too. And tonight, with Richard’s back giving him grief, I unloaded four monster bags of mulch from the car.
I just went to pay the utility bill and just kind of stared at it a moment. There’s a line where you can compare how much you’re using to how much you used in the same time period last year. It doesn’t show you two years ago, and that’s the number the state is comparing against, but it still definitely gives us an idea.
Our city is under a mandatory 24% water reduction starting June 1. I was sure any laundry savings was being offset by my trees.
I had to do the math to make sure we hadn’t already hit that target. We are so very very close that replacing that tap was all we needed and laying down that mulch will top it off.
Gee, maybe I could have planted that pomegranate I wanted after all.
Hey, Jerry Brown, maybe just painting the outside and redoing the driveway would be enough this time?
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