Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Did you shower today? It's gonna cost you (that is, if you live in Israel)

In spite of today's little sprinkle here in Modi'in (that made me smile--rain in July!!), you'd have to be living under a rock to not be aware of Israel's extreme water shortage. The Kinneret, our major source of water, is apparently shrinking to the size of a dime while water consumption is increasing, and, well, as Michelle on Full House used to say "We're in trouble, Mister!"

To that end, the Knesset has just passed a new water tax. For the details you can hop on on over to Mom's Place. The tax was supposed to go into effect on July 1st, but there was some knesset last minute finagling so it goes into effect today. Basically, the tax penalizes you by 20 shekel for every cubic meter you go above the alloted amount.

I've never thought of us as a water wasteful family. We wash our dishes and brush our teeth the Israeli way (water doesn't run constantly), and try to take short showers. I assumed that the Israeli Water Authority was reasonable and that if we were above our alloted amount, it would be by a minimal amount.

Imagine my surprise shock horror when we find out that we use an average of 67 cm's per bill, more than 30 cm's over our limit, which would increase our bill by 600+ shekel per billing period (two months). Isaac and I immediately went into water conservation overdrive. Short showers have now become mandatory and include turning the water off during soaping up [not a problem now, but come winter....]; better yet the kids (me, too) have been forced encouraged to shower at the pool [a temporary solution; come Fall we will rarely be there--and I wouldn't be surprised if the pool starting charging for the showers anyway] and we cut down the watering of the owner's beautiful garden by half [but we have to be careful here--we are contractually responsible to maintain the garden.] I'm trying to cut down on laundry [may mean I'll have to do this less frequently]. We are also going to start instituting some of the tips I saw at Mom's site.

One water-saving measure we won't be instituting is the old adage, if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down. I just can't do it.

But when I was leaving for work this morning and felt like I had to uhm, go, I thought, heck, I'll just wait 'til I get to work.

What are you doing to save water?

13 comments:

Arthur said...

Baila
first calm down
second if you water 6 times a week go down to three
if you water 5 times a week go down the three
get the picture - i dont know how long you water but if you are watering for 30 minutes do 25 and start the cycle at 4:30 AM

also do the New York thing and put a brick in your toilet tank - carefully

dont immediately cut down on the showers if you are using way too much water in other places

Baila said...

Brick in the toilet tank?

ilanadavita said...

Brick in the toilet tank?
So less water fills back in after you have flushed.

Mrs. S. said...

We no longer use our watering system at all. Instead, we collect the water which runs off our A/C unit in a large garbage pail. It usually takes about 24 hours for the pail to fill up, and "we" (in case you were wondering, that would be the royal we) then use the water on one section of our garden. (Each day we water a different section.)

mother in israel said...

Mrs. S., could you leave that comment on my post as well?
Baila, I notice you didn't mention the "M" word.

Mrs. S. said...

MiI - Done.

Chedva said...

Rather than a brick in the toilet tank, fill up a liter bottle of water and put it in there. Less likely to disintigrate and ruin your system.

Leora said...

This brick in the toilet or liter (half gallon?) bottle in the water sounds interesting. We get billed for water use. And we use a lot. I gotta tell my husband about this.

"M"? I feel like I'm from another planet. I'm wondering what the M word is.

At first, your post title reminded me of how often do you change your sheets.

mother in israel said...

Thanks, Mrs. S.
Leora, Maytag.

Baila said...

[relieved] Now I also know what the M stands for. No Maytag anywhere in the vicinity. I'm very happy with my front-loading 7 kilo European model.

mother in israel said...

It must be the garden then. Even with teens I don't believe that showers would be the reason for such a bill. Unless you have a leak.

muse said...

We had all sorts of plumbing leaks fixed. I hope it helps.

westbankmama said...

Um, I think I will stop doing laundry now for about 9 days....;)