Be careful what you pray for, because you might just get it!
A few weeks ago in church we were asked to pray for water. We did, and by Wednesday we had a light shower. It worked! But not enough to curb a drought. We haven’t had much snow in the mountains this winter, and there won’t be the usual run-off as the snow melts to fill the reservoirs. Then what?
Perhaps we should also pray for help to conserve water. When you think about it, we use water as if it were a never-ending resource. We live in a deseret, right? Maybe we need to consider how we use this resource.
A few years ago when our son brought his family from the Midwest to visit, his wife was amazed at how fast the water came out of the faucets. Out there in the flatland they have to pump water up into water towers to get enough pressure to move it to where it is needed. Here in Utah we get our water from mountain streams and reservoirs, and it comes into the house fast. Let’s be careful not to turn the faucet on full force.
With the newfangled foaming hand soap there is no need to wet the hands before washing and leave the water on while you scrub. One quick rinse does the job that could have used a gallon of precious water. The same principle applies to brushing teeth. A dry tooth brush actually scrubs teeth better than a wet one.
Along with asking residents to refrain from watering their lawns, city officials could also suggest we take fewer, shorter showers. I remember a person who had been in the military saying recruits were allowed only 5 minutes to shower, following which they had to wipe down the shower with their sox. It isn’t unusual now to take a 20 minute shower every day. Just think of the water we could save if we went back to the once-a-week Saturday-night bath in a #3 galvanized tub. That one tubful served the entire family, with a little hot water added from the teakettle between family members to warm it. I also remember applying the same principle when we moved to a house that had a bathtub. There was quite a ring-around the tub after two or three had used the same water, but we survived.
Flushing the toilet less can save water too. “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.”
Washing dishes with a brush under running water while squirting detergent is the epitome of wasteful water and detergent use.
I haven’t mentioned the laundry yet, but that’s also a water hog. Most women wouldn’t even think of using the same soap and water for more than one load, but that’s what we used to do. The sheets were the first load, followed by other white stuff, next the colored clothes that people wore, and the really dirty overalls washed last.
Should we need to curb our water use come summer we will forego watering lawns and washing down driveways with water from the hose. There won’t be much running through the lawn sprinklers either. We may even need to save our waste water and carry it out to the garden like the pioneers did.
Keep praying for moisture and also thank God for what we have.