Water on the brain

The entire North Island of New Zealand has been declared a drought area. It is very, very dry and rain is desperately needed. We have been told that there is only 20 days of water left before emergency supplies will have to be used. We are being told to conserve water in any way we can now.
Any water for the garden must be “grey water” collected in a bucket. No more sprinklers or hose use until we get significant rain.

Here is my bucket with grey water from the kitchen sink.

I also take my trusty bucket into the shower with me for the brief wash that has become. I am slowly going around the garden tipping the grey water very carefully on to the thirsty plants.

Today’s paper has further hints on water conservation. We are also invoking a ditty that my young niece used to tell us when Auckland was in the grip of a water shortage a number of years ago.
“If it is yellow let it mellow,
If it is brown flush it down”

It takes a good deal of mind shifting to capture “grey water”, to be aware of just how much trickles or runs down the pipes and how easy it is to waste water. Fresh water is such a precious resource that is so easy for us to take for granted here in New Zealand where we usually have plenty.
Amidst all the new water saving routines that are being required came a letter from our City council telling me that for at least four days next week there could be very low water pressure or perhaps no pressure at all in the house.

The good news is that it is all part of upgrades to water reticulation services to help prevent problems in the future. If drought periods are to become more frequent here it is very reassuring to know that planning is underway to cope with that eventuality.
So I need to store some water next week to ensure any needs between 10am and 4pm are covered.

Water is certainly on my brain at the moment.


12 thoughts on “Water on the brain

  1. realruth

    OG, I empathise with your predicament, as we had months of this kind of water shortage after the earthquakes. It’s amazing how little water we can manage with. Just remember the old song “Too much washing can weaken you.”

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      Nothing here either. And the day was hotter than it has been for a few days. Up around 24C with humidity reaching up to 70% at times. Rain dancers are needed.

  2. Gallivanta

    It’s harsh and horrible that the water situation is critical but, like Ruth, I remember when we were forced to use water as sparingly as possible and, in many ways, it was a good reminder to treat water as the precious resource it is. It was hard work though and I didn’t much care for the reality of that toilet ditty! Keep up your good work.

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      I watched and learnt a lot from Christchurch’s experiences. I live in the Wellington area so earthquakes are very common…. We have had to conserve water here before when supplies have been stretched but this is far more serious. With the heat and humidity today leaving the yellow to mellow has not been pleasant at times but at least the system is still working…..Chch folks have had some horror stuff to endure in that area too. No sign of rain here yet.

  3. Jo Woolf

    That sounds pretty serious! I hope you get some rain soon. After 2 failed summers we’re dreaming of endless sunshine in the UK but you tend to forget it has a downside too!

    1. ordinarygood Post author

      It is certainly very serious for our farmers and growers but our regional water supply is also getting very very low. No one can complain about this summer. It kicked in around the last week of January and is still producing hot, sunny days week after week.


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