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Post by Chilli-head on 14th November 2018, 2:31 pm

So hot on the heels of the news that hydro power is not as sustainable as we had hoped, it seems that building dams doesn't seem to solve water shortages either - I hope you can view this page from the IET (tell me if you can't):

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The argument seems to be the principle that things are valued according to how plentiful they are; make water more available and people will conserve it less, getting you quickly back to square 1, needing an even bigger dam. Somehow, using less seems to be a very difficult solution to sell to people.
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Post by freebird on 15th November 2018, 8:09 am

Ah, how interesting. Haven't looked at the link yet, but your comment about people using more of something because it appears to be plentiful - I nearly put something similar on the hydropower/sustainable energy thread. LED lighting seems to good illustration. With LEDs being so much cheaper to run than anything that has come before, you might think people would rejoice in lower energy bills; but no, instead we see lights inset into concrete driveways, or pointlessly lighting the brickwork of an unremarkable house. As a species, no matter what efficiencies are presented to us, we seem to be hell bent on using everything to excess.
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Post by Ploshkin on 15th November 2018, 9:44 pm

Probably the only way to encourage people to use less is for the thing to be metred. You get a sensible basic amount at a reasonable rate, then the more you use the more expensive per unit it becomes. I think the metering is happening now for all new water installations (it certainly is in Wales) - we are going on to mains water and we have to have a meter.
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Post by Chilli-head on 20th March 2019, 1:16 pm

Water back in the news again:

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An interesting note is the figure of 140L per person per day.  I casually picked up my latest water bill, and did the sums, expecting to come out feeling smug ... No, 150L per person per day !  Then I remembered that I had done CH repairs which involved draining and re-filling the system no less than 3 times, plus refilling once the 120L hot cylinder.  Checking the bill before, 130L - bit better than average, but not enough to feel smug about.

The article suggests trying to reduce consumption by 40L ... and offers some suggestions:

  • Get a low-flush toilet
  • Take short showers, not deep baths
  • Use the most efficient shower-head
  • Get a water-efficient washing machine
  • Don't use your dishwasher until it's full
  • Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
  • Don't water your lawn (it will survive)

Both our loos are dual flush, we almost always use our gravity fed shower which is not vigorous enough to use much water, we have fairly new washing machine/dishwasher with German efficiency Laughing We do have quite a lot of laundry caused by doing things though - walking/running/karate/gardening/cooking/woodwork/... all add to the pile. We do turn off taps when brushing teeth, never water the lawn or any ornamentals except watering in newly planted things, and have 2 water butts - though we could have more/larger.  Oh, and neither of us are compulsive car washers - quite the opposite Embarassed

I fear that list of suggestions will not be enough.
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Post by Dandelion on 20th March 2019, 4:50 pm

Chilli Head, I know it depends on which water company supplies our water, and what information they put on the bill, but I wonder how you do the sums to convert the units from the water metre (which I think is 100 cubic feet per unit) to litres? I tried to do the sums yesterday but maths isn't my strong point! Having heard the news I decided to work out whether Mr D and I were over or under the 140 litres per day but it came out to a ridiculous number which can't be right. (We're using less water now than we were this time last year - we're quite careful i.e. no daily baths, rarely wash the car, so I think my maths is wrong) Help!!

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

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Post by Chilli-head on 22nd March 2019, 10:23 am

I forgot to answer this - our water bill (Anglian water) comes with the usage in cubic metres (=1000L) so it is easy. If yours is in cubic feet, it is probably easiest to use an on-line converter to convert cubic feet to litres. A quick google with some likely keywords will find you a choice.
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Post by Dandelion on 22nd March 2019, 5:39 pm

Thank you - will have a go

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The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by Dandelion on 23rd March 2019, 4:51 pm

If I had looked at my water bill instead of trying to work it all out from the meter it would have made life a lot easier Rolling Eyes Rolling Eyes
Ten minutes with a calculator told me that on average, over a six month period we used 108 litres of water each a day. I'm hard pushed to know how we could knock it down to 100 litres each - I can't see any areas we don't already try to economise in. I suppose I need to factor in the fact that we keep hens (are we supposed to include pets and livestock in our optimum water usage?)

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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Post by FloBear on 23rd March 2019, 9:11 pm

My hens are not very water-intensive, Dandelion, are you sure yours aren't ducks Very Happy
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Post by Chilli-head on 23rd March 2019, 10:15 pm

I reckon vegetable growers should get extra allowance, because the commercially grown ones are irrigated. The production in Spain is starting to become a problem as the aquifers turn saline - A chap from a large UK producer of celery told me you can taste the difference between Spanish and UK grown celery - the Spanish is more salty.
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Post by Dandelion on 24th March 2019, 6:08 pm

FloBear wrote:My hens are not very water-intensive, Dandelion, are you sure yours aren't ducks Very Happy
Interesting you should say that, FloBear. I've kept hens for some time now, and the two new Speckledys I bought last summer drink far more than any hen I've kept before. I asked about this on a poultry forum I sometimes look at, and had some (IMHO slightly haughty suggestions) about needing to worm the hens. I wanted to protest 'But I'm not new to this, and anyway I wormed them recently and it didn't make any difference to their behaviour.' Then I had one much more helpful post which chimed in with and confirmed what I had noticed - as well as the Speckledys I have a very old Marigold (Ginger) who is quite feisty, and managed to stay at the top of the pecking order when the new ones were introduced. She could be quite spiteful at first, and I had to take action to make sure that the new hens were getting access to food. I think that their excessive drinking is because of Ginger trying to exclude them from the feed when they were new. They are all now the best of friends, but the behaviour remains. They can drink about 2 litres a day between them. This means that instead of dry droppings, they tend to do 'squirts' which is messier and it's more difficult to keep the hen house clean. But they are happy, flourishing and laying, so I don't have any real issues about their health - it would just be easier if they didn't drink so much!!

................................................................................................................................
The richer we have become materially, the poorer we have become morally and spiritually. We have learned to fly in the air like birds and swim in the sea like fish, but we have not learned the simple art of living together as brothers and sisters.

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
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