Every few months we have a weekend with no water. The city shuts down the water to do repairs on the water pipes and we are all left high and dry. In our house, we don’t have a reserve water tank on the roof like some houses do. (We had one in Mexico, but we don’t have one here in Costa Rica.) So we have to plan ahead. We always keep about 3 or 4 water jugs on hand for drinking water.
But before the water goes dry, we fill up as many buckets and receptacles as we can find. We fill up a few Action Packers for sponge baths for the kids, then that water is used to fill up the toilets for flushing. I keep a bucket of water down on the floor by the kitchen sink for the kids to use for hand washing during our dry spell. And I usually keep a bowl of water in the sink for washing a few dishes- but this is a good excuse to use disposable plates for a few meals.
During our water outages, I try to think creatively and not waste any water. I think about the next few steps to recycle the “grey water”. So this last weekend when the water was out and I was trying to conserve it, I was washing a few dishes in a large bowl of soapy water. When I was done washing, I pondered my options for using the dirty, soapy water. My first idea was to use it to fill up a toilet. But then I imagined soap suds pouring out of my toilet bowl like some deranged I Love Lucy episode. In the end I decided if that happened at least I wouldn’t have to scrub the toilet this week. Into the toilet it went.
You never realize how much you use water until it’s not available. I’m a chronic hand washer, and when the water is out I can easily go through a package of wet wipes in a weekend! The most challenging things are cooking and brushing teeth. It’s like camping in your own house. It makes me thankful that we DO have it most of the time. It makes me think about the places in the world where the people go to communal wells or water holes to collect their water for the day. (It makes me thirsty just thinking about it!) I’m thankful that I’m only inconvenienced for a short while and that normally I have access to water. So thankful!