Conserve Water

During the last week, we've been drenched by SOME of the rain that we should have had all winter. Israel has a dry season and a wet season, but even at its wettest we get less rain than my hometown in Pennsylvania. I saw one short, spattering rainstorm after I arrived in April, then nothing but blue skies until October. This winter has been sunny and pleasant, mostly, which is a bad thing.

From the Ministry of Environmental Protection:

A report on precipitation and surface water in Israel, released in February 2009, confirms the dire status of Israel's water sources in the winter of 2009.

Main Findings:

  • Precipitation in the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) watershed - between 20 - 40 mm in the month of January 2009 - was the lowest recorded since the 1920s!
  • The last recording of such low rainfall in the Jerusalem region - some 15 mm in January 2009 - was in 1895!
  • Despite the cessation of pumping, water level in the Kinneret increased by only 2 cm in January 2009, compared to a 17 cm increase in January 2008, standing at only 52 cm above the black line, below which irreversible damage may occur!
  • Water supply in the Dan springs was at its lowest point since measurements began in 1949. The data published by the Water Authority's Hydrological Service confirm the dire status of Israel's water economy and reinforce the necessity for water conservation by the public as a whole.
If you want to be Israeli, then, you MUST understand that water is a precious and limited resource. These are some things I do-- do you have other suggestions?
  • I turn off the water in the middle of a shower when I'm soaping up. Brrrrr.
  • I scrub my dishes with a wet, soapy sponge and the water OFF. Then I rinse all of the dishes at once. (We don't have a dishwasher.)
  • I don't run water while brushing my teeth or washing my face.
  • When the solar-powered water heater on our roof burst and started gushing water off the roof all day long, we fixed it. Go us!
  • We have only washed our car once, because we're lazy... I mean water-conscious.
  • I water my houseplants only rarely, because I'm forgetful... I mean water-conscious.
  • If it's yellow, let it mellow... :)
Someday when we're rich and have our own house, we want to set up a system to capture rainwater and also use our own wasted water for things like watering a garden. But for now, that's about my list. Our water bill spikes whenever we go over a certain limit, but so far we've only gone over that limit once-- during a month when our boiler burst AND we had family visiting.

The thing that's kind of crazy is that in some ways, worrying about water ISN'T an Israeli characteristic. Our government doesn't seem to react to the idea that we are in a crisis; our news is dominated by the (arguably more pressing) issues of forming a government and protecting civilians. All summer, a water sprinkler down on the corner-- funded by the government-- aimlessly sprayed tree trunks and passing cars. There were literally puddles in the road, in AUGUST, when it hadn't rained in months. This was a jarring contrast to alarmist TV ads saying we don't have a drop of water to waste. Watering grass makes no sense to me. I mean, I know that we won't HAVE grass in our yards if we don't water, because that long summer is punishing. But, um, maybe that means we shouldn't have grass in our yards?

Let's hope for more rain before spring starts in earnest here!

1 comment:

  1. I find it funny to look at this post now, because we probably DIDN'T "let it mellow" back then nearly as much as we claimed to. Since then we have started saving water in earnest and we've cut our water usage in half!


Related Posts with Thumbnails