Thought for the Day: Water

Many of us in the UK have finally had a bit of rain which is finally soaking into the ground.  Anyone who has a garden will be grateful for this, although, of course, what we want is warm sunshine during the day and good old downpour at night. It is heartbreaking to see flowers and plants wilting during a hosepipe ban.

Just be aware though, that putting a garden water sprinkler on for two hours is the same as a family’s water consumption for a day.  If you love your garden, get some water butts or any old water container which can collect rain water or drain water and use that.  Washing up water that has had washing up liquid in is useful for pouring on paths and patios as it helps to keep down the weeds.

Another interesting fact that I learned recently is that the geology of an area can seriously affect water supplies.  We always raise our eyebrows in wonderment that somewhere like Manchester, where it seems to rain for 28 hours a day, could possibly suffer from drought. Well here’s the science bit.

The South East has a high proportion of chalk rocks which hold water in natural aquifers, while the North West has little natural underground storage, being predominantly sandstone, mudstone and shale,  so they experience regular cycles of drought and flood.

I like stuff like that.

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15 Comments

Filed under Science and Technology, The Garden

15 responses to “Thought for the Day: Water

  1. Penny Beaumont

    Oh how that diagram explaining rain fall took me me right back to my first year geography? lesson (at senior school) I got abit carried away and said diagram stretched over 2 pages of my exercise book.; was severely repremanded. “This is not an art class” Quietly crept back into my shell .

    • wartimehousewife

      Penny: I hate teachers like that who stifle children’s enthusiasm. I remember learning about the Suffragettes in 5th Year and my friend I learned The Suffragette Song (vocal and piano) and sang it in class. At the end, the teacher said “When you’ve quite finished, we can carry on with the lesson”. It’s a wonder it didn’t put me off history for life.

  2. Gawain

    To compensate for this geology, it p**ses down in the North!

  3. Morag

    Thank you, WH. I didn’t know that either. I bet my boys do!

  4. Morag

    Currently on brand new iPad 2, so comments may be short!

  5. Rab

    It rains without end in the north of Ireland. So rare is a blue sky over here that I actually took a photograph of one to show the children.

  6. Orlando.

    When I lived in the Midlands I was driving home from work one summer’s evening and interrupted my CD to listen to the local news from BBC Radio WM. There was a report about a Senoir Citizen who had just been fined for using a garden hose in defiance of a local ban during a water shortage.

    Outside the courthouse the man was interviewed and although extremely angry, he delivered a most restrained and eloquent rant.

    “I’m a pensioner and ex-soldier and one of the few pleasures left in life to me is my garden. Did I nearly die of thirst in the desert during the war just so that someone can tell me I’m a criminal for the terrible crime of using a little bit of water to try to keep my garden alive. My God, we live in Britain for goodness sake, where it almost rains more days than it doesn’t. And you know what? – I don’t have a fancy dishwasher like many other people do and yet the law doesn’t touch them because they’re wasting all that water indoors behind closed doors. I feel like going home and turning on every tap in the house because that’s perfectly legal! Yes, that’s exactly what I’m going to do!”

    And with that he marched off.

    I returned to my CD and this track came on next…

    Joni Mitchell’s version (with Willie Nelson) of Cool Water

    Orlando.

  7. Toffeeapple

    Strange that the day after being declared a drought area, we’ve had a little rain every week.

  8. wartimehousewife

    Rab: But it IS lovely and green. Does that help?

    Orlando: I completely understand where he’s coming from but part of the problem is actually hanging on to water supplies and then being able to direct them to the places that need them. That’s why we need water butts and why many people actually choose to have water meters. I’d hate to have a meter personally but some people are so profligate.

    • alltime fishwife

      I do love gardening, and I would like to think I am a responsible citizen, but I fail to see how a water butt solves the gardener’s problem. I have one, but would need twenty to water my small garden sufficiently at the moment. The problem is clear- water butts need some rain to keep them full, and if we turn to them in times of drought , well clearly we will find them empty. I am more interested in a way of diverting the water from my shower, or kitchen, to the garden. I suppose one could fit another water butt to divert the water from the waste pipes- do other people do this?

      • wartimehousewife

        I think they do actually Fishwife, I think that you can divert overflows, particularly in old houses, to run into a tank or butt rather than straight into the ground. And you probably also need to use biodegradable cleaning products if you want to use waste kitchen water.

  9. I’ve lived in the north west all my life and besides 76 I can’t remember a drought. As for this year….it would be easier to swim across my land rather than walk.

    • wartimehousewife

      Would you minding sending a couple of bucketfuls to the Aged Parent at Heathrow then, she’d be ever so grateful. She’s on gravel you see….

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