Monday, September 6, 2010

Things I Have Learned From Being on Water Restrictions

I talked about water restrictions last Thursday but I really did not know just how restricted it would be for us. The water company said they would turn the water on from 6-9 AM and from 2-7 PM.  They lied!  They lied! THEY LIED!!!

The water might come on somewhere between 6 and 8 AM and it goes off at 9:20 AM.  It might come on at 3PM. and go off again in 15 minutes, and repeat that cycle until 7 PM, but you never know exactly when that 15 minutes will be. 

There is very little water pressure, so little  it can take 20 minutes to fill the tank on the toilet.  Even when the water comes on, we are on the same line as the hotel.  Of course, they get first dibs on the water, and Rufina starts washing clothes and linens; Miguel starts filling the leaky pool; and we have no water, just the sound of the water trying to push the air out of the faucet.  Saturday, they were nice enough to stop everything until we could get a shower, but, it ended up being a bucket bath with cold water.  There was not enough pressure to fill the hot water tank nor to supply the shower.

I have learned some things.  I think I said I had learned pila etiquette, which means you don't put anything in the clean water.  The clean water gets scooped up with a clean bowl and poured over whatever you are washing or rinsing.  When you are throughyou scoop up a bowl for the next person, who might need to wash his hands, because you don't want him to put his hands into the clean water.

I can now take a bucket bath in less than two minutes using less than one gallon of cold water.  The average 8 1//2 minute shower in the USA  uses 17.2 gallons of water.  Have a teenager?  Ever seen him/her take and 8 minute shower?

The average American, if he lets the water run while he brushes his teeth, wastes 2 gallons of water a day.  We have learned to fill a 20 ounce glass and both of us can brush our teeth and leave some for the next morning.

Today we had to wash a load of MM's work clothes.  It took six 5 gallon buckets of water for each cycle and MM had to carry each of those  buckets up two flights of stairs.  That is 12 buckets of  water, 60 gallons.  We hooked up to the hotel's outside faucet, because we had no water.

If you take your bath late in the afternoon, you can use the same clothes the next day.  Then you put  the shirt in the dirty clothes basket and wear the pants again the next day.  Except Macho Man.  He is allowed to change shirts twice a day and pants every day, if he has been working on the house.

Baby wipes are great for wiping down if you have no water.  They are refreshing, really, and they take off makeup better than anything else I've tried.  I like the ones with aloe the best.  They seem to moisturize the best.  And you don't feel sticky.

If you go swimming late in the afternoon, you may not be 100% clean, but you feel clean.  The hotel will let us do that.  They even told us to bathe in the pool, but I have dreams of them turning on the aerater and mountains of soapsuds flowing all over the place.

The toilet does not need to be flushed every time it is used.  Unless you like lugging 5 gallon buckets around. 

If you get up in the morning every day, and you turn on your faucet and get water, you are better off than much of the world.  If that water is clean, you are even more blessed.

The biggest problem we have is that the crew is still mixing cement, and that takes water, lots of water, and in the next two weeks, when we start pouring the terrazza we will need even more.

Imagine this, my Honduran Macho Man was carrying a bucket of water in one hand, and a Coleman lantern in the other, muttering, "There is no water.  There is no electricity.  What I am doing in Honduras?'.

http://www.allianceforwaterefficiency.org/Residential_Shower_Introduction.aspx
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_water_is_wasted_brushing_teeth

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