My Mom, the conservation rock star

Meet my Mom, Judy.

We went to lunch this weekend, and there was no drought of conversation about the drought.

I asked if I could see her water bill, which is a totally normal request to make of one’s mother, and she stunned me by producing a document indicating she had used only 2 units of water in the span of 63 days.

What is this mysterious “unit?” A unit is 750 gallons of water.

So in 63 days Mom used somewhere around 1,500 gallons (not sure if the utility rounds up or down).

That’s 23.8 gallons per day. And that makes Mom a water conservation rock star.

In the Bay Area, where Mom lives, per capita water use is about 156 gallons per day. In much of the Central Valley residents use more than 200 gallons per day.

Mom’s trick? She’s got rocks in her yard. Outdoor irrigation can account for more than half of residential water use.

She also limits indoor water use, though I’m not sure I’m comfortable publishing, let alone knowing, the intimate details of my mother’s bathing and toiletry habits.

The best part is that, when it comes to Mom, none of this is new.

She’s not conserving because of the drought. She’s conserving because she always has. She lives a low-impact lifestyle, treading lightly on our natural resources. She’s perfectly content with a small home, and she doesn’t drive more than she has to.

(In fairness, Mom does drink a lot of mochas, which probably has a third-world impact somewhere — sorry, Mom.)

She’s been a great example throughout my life in so many ways. This is just one more.

23.8 gallons — wow!

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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