Author Topic: Frugal water users  (Read 4920 times)


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Frugal water users
« Reply #50 on: December 21, 2020, 12:29:18 PM »
In western states, the regulations against rain water collection often have to do with complex water rights agreements. If John Muir collects rain water, it doesn't become the ground water that Farmer John has the rights to, much less what is needed for the showers for all those Hollywood stars alternating between workouts and shoots.

Frequently due to mining or agriculture. The person at the "end" of the stream has a legal right to X amount of water, and everyone up the chain is legally obligated to ensure that "last" person gets what they are entitled to. This is why rain barrels are often illegal. You don't have a legal right to that water unlike all the people "downstream". Sounds kinda crazy but does make sense as otherwise water would be diverted or otherwise used up well before all the people downstream get a vital resource.

The Colorado (state) has (or used to have) restrictions on rain water collection.

I believe the Colorado River is now oversold. Various Native American tribes have a lot of the senior rights for the water but have never needed what they're legally obligated to take. If they can sell their water, some upstream communities are going to be shorted.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Frugal water users
« Reply #51 on: December 22, 2020, 01:40:55 AM »
We rented out our house for 5 months while we were traveling earlier this year and just checked our water bill to see how the tenants did (3 adults and 2 young children 3 and under).  They used 177 gallons per day in the middle of spring, which our water utility says is around average (164 gallons per day) for our household lot size and number of people.  However, last year the same time (our family of 2 adults and 2 school age children) used about 70 gallons per day so we are well below average. Our kids (and adults) don't shower everyday and try to minimize water usage.

We live in the SF Bay Area and took out our grass a few years ago and have a relatively small lots size (~4000 sq ft) with drought tolerant plants and a planter bed for veggies.  Our water rate is $4/unit of water which is 748 gallons or half of a cent per gallon.

I'd be interested to hear how much water your household uses and how many occupants, and details about your yard.
The average water consumption per person in Belgium is 95 liters or about 25 us gallons per day. So even by Belgian standards, you'd be slightly under average. Our own last water bill was 82 m for 380 days, with 3 adults on average. That translates to roughly 19 US gallons per person per day.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Frugal water users
« Reply #52 on: December 22, 2020, 02:30:07 AM »
OK, you got me curious.

My last bill was for 11CCF for 62 days.  If I did the conversions right that works to about 133 gallons per day, and there are three of us here (plus two other people who pass through from time to time), so about 44 gallons per person per day.

Our potable water rate is $1.4674 per CCF, so basically free.  My "customer charge" and some random fee total $21.61 but the water itself was only $16.14.

Lot size is standard - 0.138 acres or 6,011 square feet total, of which half is probably consumed by the house and driveway.  But, as is quite common around here, we have pressurized irrigation for the yard, so that usage is excluded from both the general house usage above and consequently not reflected in the sewer bill either.

Pressurized irrigation is even cheaper - it was $47.07 for the entire year this year, and I watered my lawn three times a day for about six months.  I don't think we really have pumping charges as it is all gravity fed from the mountains and a local reservoir through irrigation canals and then laterals.  We do have a pump house for our subdivision of maybe 80 houses that uses electricity, but that is owned and maintained by the HOA and paid for collectively by the residents somehow I'm sure.  The water is also completely untreated as far a I know.

@MilesTeg, it works exactly opposite around here.  Irrigation water rights started out connected with the land - you got so much per acre per year.  The can be separated from the land and sold off, but that is rarely done as they are quite useful to have and helps the land retain its value.  But it's seniority based:  in years when we have low water, the senior right holders get theirs and the junior right holders have to get by without.  The ditch riders know the water rights order and they shift the water in the irrigation canals and laterals as needed.  The diverters and such are under lock and key, and there are severe penalties for messing with the irrigation water.  This makes sense to me because there is still a lot of farmland and ranch land around here, and the farmers and ranchers rely on their water in order to grow their crops and provide for their livestock.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Frugal water users
« Reply #53 on: December 30, 2020, 04:06:04 AM »
290L or 77 US gallons per day for a family of 3 (2 adults, 1 child).  We've had water restrictions for the last 9 months so usage may increase slightly now the restrictions are loosened and it's now summer so slightly more garden usage.