With summer holidays finally here, we are presented with the question of having fun while maintaining all the gains our children made over the school year.

This week I am staying in Cambria, California for a week with my children and other family members. Cambria is experiencing extreme water shortages and has limited water usage per resident to 7 cubic feet (50 gallons) per day.

So, how much water are we using each day on vacation? How do we measure that? Getting it wrong has serious consequences: a penalty of 500% is levied on water used over this rate.

Click on the image below to listen to the interview about saving water






Our readings: we read the meter at 6pm each day

Day 0: 25,384.9 cubic feet

Day 1: 25,387.9 cubic feet

Day 2: 25,390.7 cubic feet

Day 3: 25,398.9 cubic feet

Day 4: 25,405.5 cubic feet

Day 5: 25,411.1 cubic feet

Our useage:

Day 1= Day 1 – Day 0 reading = 3.0 cubic feet

Day 2= Day 2 – Day 1 reading = 2.8 cubic feet

Day 3= Day 3 – Day 2 reading = 8.2 cubic feet (took showers!)

Day 4= Day 4 – Day 3 reading = 6.6 cubic feet

Day 5= Day 5 – Day 4 reading = 5.6 cubic feet (took showers, but at the beach all day)

With 8 people staying here on holiday (4 adults and 4 children), we’ve kept our usage down below 50% of the single residential allowance of 50 gallons per day (except on shower days!)

How are we doing this?

  • Reduce the volume of water in the reservoir of the toilet by adding bricks (see picture below)
  • “If it’s yellow, let it mellow, if it’s brown, flush it down”
  • Rapid showers (less than 1 minute) every other day
  • Bring in bottled water for drinking, washing dishes, cleaning teeth, and cooking
  • Prepare most of our food off-site before the holiday begins
  • Be prepared to do no laundry
  • Do not use the dishwasher
Actually, this is not so difficult to do, and reminds us how valuable and useful water is.

watre meter












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