No more hope from Celina – 7 things you can do

Drought conditions seem to worsen

Drought conditions prevailing, I have to dedicate another post about the weather situation here. This is the third consecutive post to tell you that hopes are fading; we are indeed in or very close to the red zone. With less than 50% capacity our reservoirs are significantly depleting day by day; and if we do not act responsibly we cannot put the blame too much on nature.

At times you badly need an adverse weather, if not for the wind, for the amount of water it may pour; more than the reservoirs can hold. Water is becoming indeed scarce. If it doesn’t rain within the next few days we are doomed. Our tiny island has been spared and it’s the sea which has ingurgitated all the water.

Celina passes by… with a bye-bye

Celina passed off the eastern coasts today. It is now nearly to the south of Mauritius. At 4.00 pm today the tropical storm was about 190 km to the south east. Still of moderate intensity it is moving at about 12 km/h in a south westerly direction. On this trajectory Celina doesn’t seem to represent any threat to our island. It won’t bless us with its rain either; it didn’t last night; not even today as forecast. The weather is however dull and hazy; hardly any significant drops of rain. We’ll have to wait some more. That’s nature anyway.

The authorities give the alarm

The local weather service doesn’t forecast any rain for the coming days. Rainfall recorded to date hasn’t exceeded 25 millimeters this month, which represents only about 15% of the normal. The Central Water Authority has warned against drastic water cuts, especially in the north and the west which are particularly affected by the drought. Government has announced bans on watering and pressure washing until we are blessed with sufficient rainfall.

7 things you can do to preserve water

Less than 50% of water in store is not much, especially if we take into consideration the amount of daily evaporation. The sun is over our head all day. I have pondered over this issue and come up with some tips to help manage the little amount of water that’s left. It calls for a collective action. Each of us has a crucial role; a sacrosanct duty to preserve this precious commodity. Here’s in seven points what we can do:

(i) Do not waste water. This cannot be stressed enough. Use water judiciously. When taking your bath or washing utensils in the sink don’t let the water go when you are applying soap.
(ii) Check for any leaks in your water system.
(iii) Keep enough water in storage tanks or containers for use in times of emergency.
(iv) Do not forget to close the taps; pay special attention when they are dry and they can waste all the water away when the water is restored by the authorities in your absence.
(v) Avoid watering your flower pots or your garden.
(vi) Avoid washing (pressure washing) your car or your house during this period.
(vii) Although it might appear a bit awkward, avoid multiple flushing after wee.

Alternatively you can make use of water from the rivers in the vicinity if there’s one.

Do you have any other tips? Have you experienced such conditions? How did you manage? I’d like to hear from you. Shout – as loud as you can – in my comment box.

Comments

  1. says

    These tips appeared in the June 2 e-letter to my customers. Tennessee had a severe drought this year and we haven’t caught up quite yet, but at least it’s raining more frquently.

    Speaking of dry weather…
    While I can go in the house and pour a cup of cool water to dry when I’m parched, my plants cannot. They depend on the weather and my intervention. In their natural weedy state, plants are generally surrounded by older plant material and other plants which help keep moisture in the soil unless there is a very severe drought. It’s only when we grow them in garden and row conditions that we must take care to keep the water flowing. Here are some thoughts on how to get that water without raising your water bill excessively.

    Catch the condensate from your air conditioner. Look at where the ground is damp around the air conditioner and put a pan there to catch the water.

    Washing dishes: Even if you have a dishwasher many of us have a small amount of dishes that must be washed by hand. Use a dishpan and when you are finished washing dishes, let the water cool and use it to water your plants. The dishpan can also be used to catch the water when you wash your hands or rinse fruit and vegetables.

    Rain barrels: If you have rain barrels, you can use them to catch the mornng dew. Stretch a piece of thick plastic across the top of the rain barrel using a bungee cord around the top of the barrel to hold it in place. Push the plastic down a bit in the center of the top to create a downward slope. Put a rock there if you need to. In the mornings the dew will collect on the plastic and drip into the barrel. The downward slope encourages the drip and the plastic will also have condensate underneath which will rain into the barrel.

    Pet water: When you change your pets water, use the “old” water for your plants. They won’t mind.

    Stretch the hose: When you do have to use the hose to water, catch any drips under the outdoor tap and use that water, too. A good attchment is a shut off valve or sprayer that will keep water from flowing when you don’t need it, like when you go back to shut off the hose. Once the water is turned off the hose is still full. You can release the valve or sprayer and use the rest of the water stored in the hose to water something else. Make sure the hose is strecthed out and not going up hill too steeply and you should get most of it.

    Cooler water: If you use ice from the store then you have cooler water that no one but the pets will willingly drink. Let this water warm up to room temperature and use it on your plants. If you use ice packs, then you will get condensate in the cooler which you can also use.

    Mulch, mulch, mulch – Don’t forget to mulch between your plants and around your plants. If you have a compost pile, you can use some of the stuff at the bottom to help retain moisture. Now would be a good time to remulch or add mulch. grass clippings, compost, and newspaper will all make excellent covers.

  2. Alfa King says

    Oh! Thank you very much Anne. Clever tips; very simple and practical things that definitely help. I didn’t think of these really.

  3. says

    You’re welcome. When I posted this, I realized that I hadn’t much thought about city folks who would probably not need to “water” large numbers of animals every day. For folks that are not on a farm, the two most valuable things to my perspective are to catch the air conditioner condensate and to use a dishpan. Skip the dishwasher entirely esp. if you are under severe water restrictions. Air conditioning condensate can be used to wash dishes particlaurly if it is heated up. If you have no airconditioning, then you want to construct a solar still out of whatever you have handy. You can use clear platuic and a coffe can, if that’s all you got.

    Drought is one of the main reasons, I am such a proponent of using native plants. Native plants have adapted to the conditions of your region and better withstand the temperature extremes. Stuff from elsewhere has a good chance of dying in extreme weather. I’m thinking grass in Pheonix, Arizone. If you can’t regularly water your lawn, you won’t have grass because grass doesn’t grow in the desert. At least not lawn grass.

    OK I’m off my soapbox now. Have a good day. I will pray for rain for you.

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