I remember the first time I turned on the tap and nothing came out of my faucet. My heart literally jumped. No water! I thought of my daughter, my baby, my thirst. There’s nothing like running out of water to make a person suddenly, incurably, ferociously thirsty.
Living in the city, I always took water for granted. It was always there without me ever having to think about. Living off grid, I think about water every day.
Of all the things we do, pumping water from our well up into our three, 250-gallon holding tanks requires the most electricity. When we pump water, the lights flicker, and if we have any large appliances running such as a vacuum cleaner or microwave, the entire electrical system can shut down. (We got rid of the microwave.) If there is a malfunction somewhere (lightning strike, capacitor blows, mouse chews through an electrical wire), we can live quietly with candles and our propane refrigerator. That is, until we run out of water.
More and more parts of the world are seeing unprecedented droughts, with many women having to journey miles every morning just for their family’s daily water supply. Scientists say there is to be more of this in our future. I’ve had to haul buckets myself in the middle of winter, and know it’s not as easy as it looks.
The average toilet uses 4 – 8 gallons of water per flush. The average person flushes 5.1 times a day at home. EPA WaterSense estimates that toilets account for 30% of all household water, or the equivalent of 3.1 trillion gallons of water. That’s a lot of buckets to haul.
This summer my kids and I decided it was time to invest in a more efficient toilet. You don’t have to buy a whole new one to significantly reduce your water consumption. We didn’t have a big budget. $20 to be exact. But I used every penny of it. With the Hydro Fit complete repair and upgrade kit, we now use 1.6 gallons of water per flush instead of 6. Imagine what you could save in your water bill each month by making this one simple upgrade. Dan installed it in under an hour. He said it was kind of a pain, but not difficult. It’s one small investment that anyone can make to yield big water savings for our world.