13-Gallon Challenge – WRAP UP

Well, I made it. Yesterday was the last day of my 13-Gallon Challenge. All told, this was a completely worthwhile project. I had two goals at the beginning of the challenge: 1) to better understand my daily water use habits, and 2) to understand how it feels to live on a human right allocation of 50 liters (13 gallons app.) of water each day. For the most part, I achieved these goals.

Over the week, I became intimately familiar with my daily water-use habits. Whenever I could, I tried to reduce or limit my water use. Even this morning (after the challenge), I couldn’t help but use the stop-watch again for my shower. See, habits really do die hard. Yet, living with indoor plumbing in an 1100 square-foot house, it would be difficult for me to ever approximate the life of someone in a developing country through this 13-Gallon Challenge. The water challenges that many people throughout the world face are much greater – think carrying water for eight-hours each day or human feces littered on the ground. But, at least I started educate myself and others about the water-access challenges that many endure.

Okay, I must admit I am a little happy to be done. Mostly, because I want to wash a load of laundry. Also, because it was difficult to calculate my water use every day for a week. First, I had to remember to write down my water use immediately after each usage. Then, I had to estimate each usage. Luckily, I settled on over-estimating each usage (rounding up) which made my calculations a bit easier in the long run. So, if I drank three cups of drinking water throughout the day, I would just write .25 gallons of drinking water. Remember, there are 16 cups in a gallon.

Here are my water use totals from yesterday.

day-7-pdf-pages

Every day of my weekly water use totals will soon be posted on the 13-Gallon Challenge Page at the top of my blog. And it will also be a place for you to take a one-day version of the 13-Gallon Challenge. Check back soon.

 

 

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Comments

  1. Black River Pete says:

    I have experienced the more primitive life: April to October in a tent, cooking over an open fire, and hauling water for all purposes, including washing diapers (Hannah turned one that July). No incentive for water discipline like hauling it. Continued to haul water for the next three years, usually with a barrel and a pony cart. Washing in a wash tub with a hand wringer. Baths: the washtub, consecutive bathers in inverse order of age, finishing with a bucket of water over the head from the wood range. Using a privy. These circumstances were not miserable, but sometimes very challenging. The best of times, and the worst of times.

  2. Black River Pete says:

    Forgot to mention it, but we also harvested rainwater from the roof. “Luxious” baths in rainy weather.

  3. joanspear says:

    thanks Abigail. Thoughtful and sobering. I have linked to your blog from mine today: http://www.joanspear.com
    Joan

  4. I enjoyed reading about your experiment. Thank you for taking it on and sharing what you learned.

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