As a child, I was lucky to have a very, disciplined stepfather.  He was in the military and commandeered the four of us children as meticulously as he shined his shoes. He even timed our showers with a stopwatch.  He firmly believed that one could soap up and rinse in under three minutes and he was right.  It became a habit with me.  To this day, I clean up in under three minutes.  I figure any longer would be a gross waste of water in a world where that precious resource is dwindling.

We’ve seen the oil spills and plastic permeating our oceans.  Now, after 20 years of drought, even the Colorado river is disastrously low.  40 million people depend on it.  It grows our avocadoes, sterilizes our dishes and fills our glasses.  Mandatory water reductions are the only way forward as there will never be, “a return to normal.”  Seven states now have water restrictions but the infighting has begun with Utah insisting on building a major, water pipeline despite the impending crisis! 

Utah is acting like the woman in my gym who takes inordinately, long showers. Once, she stepped into the shower just as I headed out to swim.  After I finished my laps, showered, dried off and dressed, she was STILL in the shower!  The average shower lasts 8 minutes and uses 2 ½ gallons per minute.  You do the math.  Does running water while you shave (or just stand there) or use scads of bath products necessary? Does it make you any cleaner or more attractive?  

Four billion people experience water scarcity at least one month a year.  UNICEF says that half of the world’s population could be facing water scarcity by 2025.  The earth is 70% water.  Our bodies are 60%.  That alone tells you how precious H2O really is.  Your shower is just as important as your vote.  It DOES make a difference.  I wish my step father were still around to admonish not only our water squanderers but our politicians.  Because you really can’t squeeze water from a stone.


  1. Take shorter showers
  2. Rinse dishes quickly and put in the dishwasher.  Run it on express cycle when full.  (Washing them individually uses gallons more water).
  3. Wash clothes on express cycle.  Gets them just as clean with less water.
  4. Don’t run the water while you brush your teeth or shave. 



  1. You nailed it Helen. Two of our daughters have gotten Bosch dishwashers that thoroughly clean the dishes without rinsing (only scraping food particles into composter bucket). These dishwashers cost more but are huge savers of water used to rinse dishes. Also, there never really needs to be long running water for anything except filling a glass or pot. Military type use can prevail for everything, and think of the water savings. My hat’s off to your wise and practical stepfather. We owe a lot to these dear people who persevered through the Depression and wars and were the ultimate teachers of common sense, thrift, and conservation of resources. God Bless Them!


  2. I agree wholeheartedly. I never run water while brushing,though I don’t have the blessing of an automatic dishwasher or fancy washer I can run on express,however it is small anyway. Thanks for your thoughts, Tasha

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a child raised on well water, conservation was key. Rain buckets caught water to refresh our plants and garden. Ice in the glass was put on plants or the grass. Anytime I forget to shut the tap in a timely way now, I feel anxious! Vegetable cooking water either becomes soup stock or (when cooled) food for patio plants. Old habits do die hard. Remember “if it’s yellow…it’s mellow”…take it for what it’s worth. Our toilets are not trash receptacles, also. We are so blessed in this country with natural resources that are a rarity in other places in the World. Thx, Helen, for the reminder!


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