I personally believe that we have the Romans to blame for today’s current water issues. Without the excesses of Roman society, particularly in the areas of fountains and hot water bath houses, we may have not discovered indoor plumbing for at least another few centuries.
Beyond that, the Romans helped to plant the idea that water was not a hard labor commodity that needed to be lugged from the nearest water source, but rather a common luxury that anyone with a little spare cash could afford to use.
While this kind of attitude may see innocent, the common Roman didn’t feel the need to wash down his chariot each week, keep his front lawn looking golf course fresh or grow plants that were unsuited to their climate.
They just felt that a good hot bath was something everyone should have, and it all started there.
Here in Cleveland, water rights are something that you really don’t hear too much about. I mean we have one of the largest sources of fresh water sitting right in our back yard. And we are working hard to change that. Who needs fresh water when you can have chemically and bacterially enhanced water? Sure, it is not as healthy, but the fires are really pretty to look at.
But I digress…
It has been a hot few weeks and water usage spikes during times like these. While it may seem like we have an unlimited amount of water…
Well, let me take that back. On a planetary level, we do have an unlimited amount of water, that whole evaporation and rain thing. But unless you would like the cost of water usage to be on par with the price of gasoline due to the fact that shipping and cleaning it would require enormous amounts of energy, you may want to think about conserving some whenever possible.
During hot weather, this is imperative . Here are a few hot weather (or anytime) water conservation tips.
R.I.P. Grass – I know. It looks so pretty when its green. But ashes to ashes, dust to dust, keeping your grass on lifesupport is really not a must. Or in happier terms, If you love your lawn, you will let it go and if it really loves you, it will come back.
Plug the tub – When you take a shower, plug the tub. Then when you are done taking a shower, water your plants with the water. We promise, your neighbors never have to know that you are using *gasp* water that has run over your naked body on your garden.
Measure twice, water once – Keep track of how much rainfall has fallen. You can buy cute little rain gauges with frogs hugging the glass or you can just be cheap like me and put an old drinking glass outside marked with magic marker. If you didn’t get an inch of rainfall that week, water you garden until your rain gauge reads 1 inch. Do not water several times a week. Measure. Water. Measure. Once a week.
Down low is the way to go – And we ain’t talking about the limbo. The closer you keep the water to the ground, the better. Soaker hoses are the best. I know, it screws with the whole rain gauge thing, but do the best you can.
Early or late is really great -Water in the early morning or the late evening. Most people say that early morning is best as you are not as likely to invite disease into your garden while watering, but I tend to think that those people are independently wealthy or retired and therefore don’t have jobs to go to or children to take to school.
Teach Tolerance – Want to ignore most of the rules that I just outlined above? Plant drought tolerant plants. Then you won’t need to worry about watering during hot weather.