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What can people do to conserve water?

Asked at Hastings Books Music and Video, 1900 W. 23rd St. on May 30, 2006

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Photo of Jessica Treas

“The most common thing is not to use water while you’re brushing your teeth, only before and after.”

Photo of Matthew Candelaria

“One thing is to make sure your toilet isn’t running and replace the flapper in it. They can take shorter showers and water their plants with rinsing dishwater.”

Photo of Carolyn Wilson

“They should buy showerheads that don’t use as much water, and they should think about buying appliances and toilets that use less water.”

Photo of Robert Wike

“Try not to let the water run when you shave or brush your teeth in the morning. And I don’t think people need to wash their cars every other day.”

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Kathleen Christian 11 years, 11 months ago

Developers can stop building areas up so densely, especially in areas where water resorviors (sp?) suffer daught regularly. Then people wouldn't have to be so concerned about conserving as much. Because no matter what only a small portion of the population are going to conserve while others will use it to wash their cars every other day. I've seen it too many times. We live in a SHOW-YOU-WHAT-I-HAVE society which people feel defines who they are. So manicure lawns, flower beds and clean cars is what's important to these people. Not that I don't like looking at this, but there are ways of achieving beauty without waste.

neopolss 11 years, 11 months ago

Bathing only once a week really saves water ... and time!

ms_canada 11 years, 11 months ago

I always thought it was flush it down, ( rhymes with brown)

Pro_Lawrence 11 years, 11 months ago

A long handled fish net, a bucket and the compost pile in the yard saves water.

ms_canada 11 years, 11 months ago

TOB - I do sympathize. Me, who lives on the banks of the mighty North Saskatchewan River (across the river from the Sewage Treatment Plant yuk) When someone asked my daughter what that big edifice across the river was, she answered, "That's the p**p factory." But seriously, there are lots of ways to conserve water. Rain barrels at the corner of your house to gather water for watering plants and gardens. Why not leave the water in the bathtub,keep a pail handy to use to flush the facility. I have a little lake cottage with a well and a sewage tank that costs me $48 to have emptied each time. I know lots of ways to not fill that tank too often. Instead of rinsing the dishes before washing, I use paper towels to wipe most food off. I follow the yellow/mellow rule of all cottagers. I don't let the water run while brushing and have a T. tank that successfully uses only 1.5 gal. Shorter showers.
There is no lack of water, but the cost of removal makes you think about conservation. When I first bought the cottage, I had no well or facility. I had two huge rain barrels and I added a bit of bleach to each barrel and used that water for dishes and bathing. They say necessity is the mother of invention.

Kyle Neuer 11 years, 11 months ago

Move to where the water is.

A post-mortem shout out to Sam Kinison.

ms_canada 11 years, 11 months ago

OMB - I will definitely vote for you as King....... oh right, we don't vote for Kings. sorry!! But if it should ever come to pass, I would pay homage to you. :o)

kingdork44 11 years, 11 months ago

If it's yellow, Let it mellow. If it's Brown,,,,,, Flush it down!!!!!!!!!!!

rhd99 11 years, 11 months ago

STOP WATERING YARDS, let Mother Nature water the yards herself with rain.

Liberty 11 years, 11 months ago

Drill your own water well and run your sprinkler as much as you want. Let the city/state pay for their own mistakes. Maybe they will read the contract and make it known to the people what they are getting into. The people should decide if they want to participate, and the State should learn how to read contracts. The State should have to take the cost out of their own budget to cover their mistake of not understanding the contract. It should not be passed on to the people.

kingdork44 11 years, 11 months ago

Or was that, If it's pee, Let it be........ I don't remember!!!

Liberty 11 years, 11 months ago

Since the buck stops with the Governor, maybe we should have the 'mistake' deducted from her salary to cover the 'mistake'...

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

I have my own well...that doesn't mean I have an "infinite supply." I set the timer for my kids when they take a shower. Let them walk around with shampoo not rinsed out of their hair for a day and they'll learn! I do not water the lawn...that would mean I'd only have to mow the darn stuff more often. I like brown. It's a good color. After I make yogurt and have a sink full of water that I've cooled my milk down with, I scoop it out and water the plants with it. If I have an abandoned glass of water that still has water in it, it goes to the plants...not down the drain.

I'm afraid I'm not quite the conservative that my mother was, though. She made us re-use bath water growing up. Eeeewwww! We just always hoped to be the first one in and if we were'nt, that it wasn't cold and brown by the time we made it in there.

Liberty 11 years, 11 months ago

All water usage is recycled eventually and continually. Common sense watering (never government control) should be used to not deplete the water table in favor of maintaining adequate levels of drinking water in the aquafier. There is plenty of water, like the article said. They are just trying to charge you for gathering the water in the lake and the labor of the corp of engineers.

Watering your yard or trees is merely a recycling operation. No water is wasted as it returns to the aquafier. (The only way to 'waste' water is to pollute it). Water is only temporarily depleted, until it completes the natural cycle of replenishing the water table aquafier underground. The replenishing rate should be faster than the depletion rate. Then you will never run out.

Air is a finite resource too, but with common sense usage, it is not an issue as it is replenished constantly and naturally.

Aileen Dingus 11 years, 11 months ago

Having lived where water is scarce, and having seen the river run dry due to over use, you'll forgive me if I am giddy at the amount of water that comes out of the sky here.

I think the rain barrel idea is a great one, long used in the past, but not so much any more. I was watching my downspout-less gutters belch water during yesterday's storm, and trying to figure out a way to catch and cache it. Hrm... a funnel and a big tub?

I think timer-run sprinkler systems should have moisture sensors built in. If it's raining- DON'T WATER even if it says it's the right time on the timer. That would save a bunch of water right there.

Richard Heckler 11 years, 11 months ago

Stop watering grass as it will likely survive although it may brown out until cooler wet times return. If a grass does not survive Kansas heat and drought get a different grass. Also plant more of the yard into beds of native plants thus cutting way back on grass maintenance thus less toxic herbicides and fertilizers.

Hand water plants and/or use soaker hoses.


Richard Heckler 11 years, 11 months ago

Wear clothes for longer periods and do less laundry.

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

Well, someone has to say it -- RI, just a thought -- perhaps your spouse would be more cooperative if she's given more than 1 minute, 20 seconds ;)

Water the front yard only, use a water-saver shower head.

Redzilla 11 years, 11 months ago

You don't have to give up daily bathing, but if you have anything by a crew cut, you might consider washing your hair less often. That's what takes so long and uses so much water in the shower. You should definitely give up shaving your legs in the shower. Or, you know, give up shaving your legs altogether.

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

bob, when you are King, have you decided where your palace will be located? It's not too early to make that decision. (Don't forget to consider the water availability factor, and should you return to us -- consider removing these darned round and roust abouts!)

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

I would echo the sentiments of several others: don't be so concerned with having a green lawn in dry weather. It's really not that important.

Also, I was told everyone in Lawrence was a hippie liberal, and I thought that meant you all had greasy long hair and poor bathing habits. Doesn't that save water?

mom_of_three 11 years, 11 months ago

My grandparents used to put a barrel under the gutters and save rain water for their plants and very large garden. They also had a compost.
We don't water the lawn, and usually only wash the cars for a wedding or a funeral. We have started to enforce limits on the kids' shower time, and only wash full loads of laundry.

acg 11 years, 11 months ago

The new generation of hippies are posers, sgt. They bathe! The nerve of them! The women even shave their legs and armpits. It's a slap in the face of decent, high, slothlike, original hippies of yesterday.

KsTwister 11 years, 11 months ago

Don't plant rain gardens,you have to keep your investment alive in the dry months. Eliminate roundabouts,they conserve heat and their plants require more moisture.Just a thought.

sgtwolverine 11 years, 11 months ago

What? Hippies with hygiene? That's disgusting.

However, "Hippies with Hygiene" would make a great name for a band, I think. As would "The Hot Roundabouts."

Lisia 11 years, 11 months ago

Oooh, rain barrels! That would drive my neighbors nuts even more than my unwatered yard, vegetables planted in the flower beds, and the bushes I specifically planted to clash with my house color.

I've been trying to find kinds of grass to plant that don't get so brown in the summers. I heard about a type of grass called Buffalo Grass native to Kansas and Nebraska, that is not only drought resistant but also only grows to about 5 inches tall, so as to need less mowing. The only problem is finding any place that sells it. Has anyone else heard of it, or somewhere that sells seed?

Linda Aikins 11 years, 11 months ago

Anyone been following the Jerry Springer-like postings on the DUI article of May 23?

Katie Horner (aka MOMMY) - where is this storm?

Linda Aikins 11 years, 11 months ago

Anyone been following the Jerry Springer-like postings on the DUI article of May 23?

Katie Horner (aka MOMMY) - where is this storm?

beatrice 11 years, 11 months ago

TOB -- it is called Desert Landscaping, and we have it in our yard. It is silly to try to maintain a lawn here in Phoenix. (Go Suns!)

Ceal: I think RI's mrs. might be more cooperative if HE spent more than 1.20 in the shower.

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

good point bea, it looks like you and I are the only ones with our minds in the . . . water barrel. I will let it go with your last post -- I still remember when we delved too deeply into a question -- I ended up being wrongly deleted -- well, it was very nearly wrongly :):)

Now I have to go prowling and find out what the * incident is!

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

omg_omb -- there are 397 posts to that article!!

Is that a record? Also, someone please tell me where the *** incident is before everyone splits for home, there are just too many articles to peruse :)

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

RI, you know we had to kid you a little :)

Linda Aikins 11 years, 11 months ago

Nothing can top the **** incident. Ceallach, I will try to find it.

sunflower_sue 11 years, 11 months ago

RI, Maybe you might have a nice neighbor that would let you "use" their decadent 2 valve, 2 shower head, fancy tiled, expansive glass doored "showering facility"...but they might run a timer on you! ;P

Ceallach 11 years, 11 months ago

Gootsie, thanks for the remind!! That was one crazy roller coaster ride. omb donned his armor to battle the dreaded shoe monster, if I recall correctly!

sue, does that describe the "showering facility" that will be in your new house? If so, . . . . . howdy neighbor ;)


Ragingbear 11 years, 11 months ago

Place a half gallon milk jug filled with sand in your toilet, this will shave some water usage off your bill. Water your lawn at night, and when you do, water deeply. Take showers instead of baths, they actually take less water. Only flush solid material, make sure that your toilet is not running when not in use. Teach your family to turn off the water when brushing teeth/shaving.

There are always things we can do, we just need to remember them.

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