Living in a severe drought


We live in Puerto Rico, and for those who do not know, the Caribbean region is in the midst of a severe drought.  The drought here is so severe that there are thousands of people who are being subjected to water rationing, including my family.  So what does this mean?  Well it means that we only get water service one out of every three days, plus we don’t have a cistern in our house.  Clearly this is not ideal, however it is manageable.  Until recently many people were only receiving water twice a week, thankfully we have received rain over the past few weeks which has helped to somewhat alleviate the dire situations.  The islands’ water reservoirs (especially the two major ones) are still in a bad state so water rationing will continue for the foreseeable future.  We will keep hoping and praying for more rain, but in the meantime here are some tips and tricks to living with water rationing (should you ever find yourself living through one).

  1. If you do not have a cistern then get some large storage bins that you can fill with water.  But remember to just store what you will need and be conservative in your usage!  Also make sure that you use bins that have lids so that the water does not become contaminated.
  2. Try to cook one dish meals.  Cooking can produce many dirty pots and pans that need cleaning, so try and make dishes that can be cooked in just one pot.  Not only will this cut down on the water you will use for cleaning, but it also cuts down on how many things YOU need to clean, bonus!
  3. Barbecue!  If you have a barbecue then get to grilling.  Grilled food is super tasty plus you won’t use any pots or pans that will just need to be cleaned afterwards.
  4. When it comes time to clean the floors please remember, you do not need to fill up the entire bucket with water in order to get clean floors.  About a quarter of the bucket is probably all you need to clean your house.
  5. When you do have water service do not leave the water running at any time!  This is a great tip even if you’re not living in a drought.  Too often we leave the water running (brushing our teeth, washing dishes, etc) and this can produce a lot of waste.
  6. Clothes do not necessarily need to be cleaned after each wear.  Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not suggesting you walk around in dirty clothes.  But the truth is that often times we wear something and it really doesn’t get dirty.  Maybe you only wore that sweater for a couple of hours at the movies?  If it’s not dirty, don’t wash it, just fold it back up (maybe iron if necessary), and put it back in the closet for the next time.
  7. When it comes time to shower try the sponge bath method.  Using a face cloth or sponge to clean up can really cut down on the amount of water you use instead of just dumping bucket after bucket over yourself.  Also avoid washing your hair every day if it’s not necessary.  Especially for girls who have long hair, that can take a lot of water to shampoo and you can always tie your hair back on a no shampoo day.
  8. Finally, remember the water you stored in bins?  Don’t toss it out!  Just because your water service came back doesn’t mean you should toss out the water you stored.  Make sure you use every drop, don’t waste this precious commodity!

All of these suggestions are things that have worked for me and my family while we live through the worst drought Puerto Rico has suffered in about 20 years.  Each family dynamic is different so find what works best for you.  And remember, it’s important to always be conservative with our water usage.  Even if you’re not in a drought water is a precious commodity that should never be wasted!

Vivimos en Puerto Rico, y para los que no saben, la región del caribe esta viviendo una sequía severa.  Como consecuencia miles de personas en Puerto Rico están bajo planes de racionamiento con el agua potable, incluyendo mi familia.  Esto significa que ya no contamos con servicio de agua potable todos los días, sino que estamos en un plan de recibir agua uno de cada tres días (es decir, un día con agua y dos días sin).  Para hacerlo más complicado, nuestra casa no cuenta con cisterna.  Esto no es lo ideal, sin embargo si es manejable.  Seguimos rezando para lluvia, y que esa lluvia cae sobre los embalses, mientras tanto hacemos lo posible para conservar el agua y no desperdiciarla.  Aquí les detallo unas recomendaciones para conservar el agua y para sobrevivir con un plan de racionamiento:

  1. Si tu casa no cuenta con cisterna puedes conseguir recipientes grandes y llenarlos de agua.  Asegura de usar recipientes con tapaderas para que no se contamine el agua que estas almacenando.  Es muy importante que solo guardes el agua que realmente necesitas, ¡no almacenes más de la cuenta!
  2. A la hora de cocinar trata de que sean platos que usan menos utensilios en su preparación.  Cocine algo que solo necesita una olla, así tienes menos que limpiar después, es más fácil para ti y también conservaras agua a la hora de limpiar.
  3. Cocine con la barbacoa.  No solamente es rico pero también tendrás menos cosas que limpiar después, ahorrando el agua a la hora de limpiar.
  4. A la hora de limpiar los pisos recuerde que no necesitas llenar todo el balde con agua, solo necesitas un poco de agua para limpiar bien los pisos.
  5. Cuando cuentas con servicio de agua no dejes el grifo abierto.  Muchas veces dejamos el agua corriendo mientras que nos cepillamos los dientes, o lavamos trastes, etc., es importante cerrar el grifo cuando no estamos utilizando el agua.
  6. No siempre es necesario lavar la ropa después de un solo uso.  Si solo usaste un sweater por las dos horas que estabas en el cine, a lo mejor aun esta limpio, en este caso no es necesario gastar el agua lavándolo.
  7. Cuando te vas a bañar y no tienes servicio de agua, te recomiendo utilizar una toallita para enjuagarte en vez de solo botar balde tras balde de agua encima.
  8. Por último, asegura de siempre usar cada gota de agua que almacenaste.  Aun cuando regresa el servicio de agua, no botes lo que guardaste, ¡no hay que desperdiciar nada!

Todas estas recomendaciones han sido de mucho provecho para mi y mi familia.  Estamos viviendo la peor sequía de Puerto Rico en 20 años y todos tenemos que hacer nuestra parte para conservar el agua.  Recuerda, no deberíamos de esperar una seguía para conservar el agua, siempre debemos ser cuidadosos y responsables con nuestro uso del agua.


4 thoughts on “Living in a severe drought

  1. I agree, my wife and I live in Puerto Rico and it has been hard on us, we have managed to save water when it arrives and cook one meal that last two days. We wash clothes ones every other day to consume the usage of water. But with good common sense, we all can survive these crisis. Residents need to appreciate mother nature more.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Drought: When will we learn? | Life With Waldo

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