Friday, July 9, 2010

Here comes the drought again

Posted By on Fri, Jul 9, 2010 at 11:18 AM

That's right. It's baaaaack (or at least it's back in the western part of the state), and it's heading south-south-east.

Let this be a lesson to us all. There is never a time when we shouldn't conserve water. By the way, conserving electricity also conserves water since power plants consume more water than our entire population. In fact, water is used to create most products, so limiting your consumption all around is a plus for water conservation.

Listen, our river — the Catawba River — can only give so much. We suck hundreds of millions of gallons of water out of it every single day to produce goods, produce electricity and to run our lives. (Can you imagine a day without water in your household?)

As the population increases, and it is at a rapid rate in our area, our demands on the river become even more intense. Seems a little unfair for a river deemed one of the most endangered in the country in 2008, by American Rivers, and one of the 10 most endangered areas in the entire Southeast this year, by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Water conservation isn't something we should only think about when a drought is upon us, it's something we should practice every day.

Here are a few easy tips to help you and your family ease your demands on Charlotte's life line. Bonus: you'll save money on your water and electricity bills.

Also, don't forget about capturing rain water for use in your yard and garden.

At my house, we have two 80-gallon rain barrels (and we're about to get two more). It's pretty amazing how quickly the rain barrels fill during even a light rain. We use the water we collect to water our vegetable garden.

Because the water trickles out of the barrels, we purchased an inexpensive pump that increases the water pressure just enough to give the garden a good shower. The pump is electric, so you'll need an outdoor outlet to run it, and it should only be plugged in while you're watering. So far this year, we've yet to run out of rainwater for the garden, even during hot, dry weeks like this one.

The county sells rain barrels (that's where we got ours, and they work great). Learn more here.

Here are a few tips to help you harvest rainwater at your house. This guy's building his own in case you're interested in going that route; however the rain barrels available from the county won't require nearly this much work. Though, like him, we linked ours together to capture overflow and we also installed the bendable downspout.

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