by Dorathy Lachman March 22, 2019

Today is World Water Day.  Since water is a bar of soap’s best friend, I thought I would learn a little about the world water situation and research some ways that I could be a better steward of the clean water that I have.

Modern Situation

I have to admit that I was a little alarmed when I looked at the numbers.  Here’s what I found:

  • Around 4 billion people – nearly two-thirds of the world’s population – experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year
  • 1 billion people live without safe water at home
  • At least 1 billion people must walk three hours or more to get their drinking water
  • Women and girls are responsible for water collection in eight out of ten households with water off-premises
  • One in four primary schools have no drinking water service, with pupils using unprotected sources or going thirsty
  • More than 700 children under five years of age die every day from diarrhea linked to unsafe water and poor sanitation.

I knew the situation was bad, but looking at the numbers really hit hard this time.  So it inspired me to look for things I could do to take better care of what I do have.

Ways to Be a Better Steward

I think most of us are familiar with turning the faucet off while we brush our teeth and wash our hands (and we’ve probably taught others in our families to do the same).  I did manage to find a few unique ways that I hadn’t heard of, and thought you might be curious about them, too. 


In the colder weather, does it take a long time for the warm water to start flowing?  A friend of mine uses a milk gallon to collect the cold water, which she uses to water the plants around her house.  You can also use it to fill up your pet’s water bowl.   


Many articles I read suggested saving water in the garden – from auto-shut off valves on the garden hose to eliminating grass in the yard.  My mother-in-law actually had a brilliant idea that I decided to try last year.  She grows her vegetables alongside her front yard shrubs.  From lettuce to blueberries, they can be found front and center. 

Last year I decided to try this.  My front yard is south-facing, so all the beautiful light comes pouring in on my plants.  I grew onions, herbs and vegetables right next to my mums, peonies, and columbines.  I also tried to choose plants that grew native to the Kentucky clay soil so I didn’t have to water them too often.


Something new to me was considering the water impact of the foods you eat.  I hadn’t honestly thought of how much water it takes to grow a fruit or vegetable, but it makes sense.  If producing the food requires substantial irrigation or other stress on the local ecosystem, choosing an equivalent that has a lighter burden on the system is probably a good way to go.

Last year I joined a CSA – community supported agriculture.  Basically, you partner with a farm by purchasing a “share” and then you get paid back in produce throughout the growing season.  It was a delightful experience that I look forward to again.

One last suggestion that I found was one I had read before, but I haven’t actually tried it yet.  If you have, I’d love to know what you do.  The idea is using left over and cooled pasta water to water your garden or indoor plant.  I imagine this would apply to any other water used for boiling like beet water.  Since I just made beets last night, I really wish I had known this yesterday!


I’d love to hear your thoughts – are any of these suggestions new to you, or do you have other suggestions for me to try?  Type your response below.



Dorathy Lachman


Dorathy Lachman

Hi, I'm Dorathy! I started Hyssop Tree to connect difference-makers through community. If you're new, welcome! Take a look around and be sure to explore the blog for more interesting articles and the soaps page - where every soap you purchase helps someone in need. Also, I'd like to invite you to join our community - once or twice a month I send out a letter to my pen-pals. Just sign up below!

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