Just like Lebanon, California has had sparse rainfalls for a couple of years, and our reservoirs are depleted. We consume lots more water than the average citizen worldwide (all Americans do) - industrial uses, but also our copious showers, dishwashers and clothes washers, car washes, lawns, golf courses, and agriculture. We grow rice in the arid Central Valley.
The East Bay Municipal Utility District (East Bay MUD) has been phoning me and writing me letters - we must cut our water usage by 10% or pay an extra fee due to the extraordinary drought. Now, this may work out to a few dollars a month - the price of a couple of gallons of bottled water - not so expensive, especially when our EBMUD water has been tested to be of the highest quality in the country. Still, the point of the measure is to get us to do the right thing - use less water.
Tonight I hauled five gallons of water down two flights of steps from the upstairs bathtub, where I'd left the children's bath water standing, to the front garden. The automatic watering mechanism has stopped working but most of our plants are drought resistant natives anyway; I used the recycled water on the one remaining rose bush, the potted jade plants, and the little succulents that line the driveway. And after supper I poured the water from washing the lettuce onto the apple tree in our back garden, and dumped the coffee pot rinse water into the compost bin.
It takes physical energy to recycle water this way. There are companies in the East Bay now that will install permitted greywater systems, but we're not ready to spring for such luxuries. Anyway, it gets me into the garden. Notice that doing something for the environment also saves money (pennies, but still) and burns calories. Earnest Callenbach, author of Ecotopia, posited this rule of thumb.
My health is improving. Can you tell? I would not have had the energy to do all this two weeks or two months ago. I still spend a lot of time resting, but my energy begins to return. Dr. Feng, the acupuncturist and martial arts teacher, asked me to try pushing him - a basic Qi Gong exercise. I got in the stance, put my palms against his, and pushed him backward into the wall, twice.
Woah! He said. You are really strong! (I'm sure he was humoring me but his wife swears that nobody pushes him around) Later that day I had to go to bed. It seemed easy enough at the time to push the grand master into the wall, but he says it took a lot of energy. He told me today to practice pushing and pulling with my husband; practice gathering energy and concentrating it.
So in case you're wondering how I'm doing - that's one answer. My oncologist is happy with the progress I've made in the last six weeks - a sudden jump ahead. Thank you for your prayers, gifts, calls and notes...
Back to recycling water - during a drought in New York City back in the 80s, I used bath water to flush the toilet. My colleagues at work thought I was nuts. But excuse me, why shouldn't you use a little soapy water to flush the toilet? Just dump a big bucket of water in the bowl and it flushes by itself.