Dreaming up projects vs. carrying through on them and water problems
Projects for around the house we've dreamed up:
1. Building a studio
2. Enlarging our bodega
3. Fencing some garden areas
4. Growing some veggies and herbs and roses
5. Installing non-polluting toilets
6. Building a compost heap
7. Harvesting rainwater
8. Getting chickens
Projects we've actually carried through on:
3. Fencing some garden areas
4. Growing some veggies herbs androses
6. Building a composting heap
Jim and I tend towards dithering, not because we're lazy but because we overworry about how to go about things. That's why numbers 1, 2, 7 and 8 haven't materialized. We made a fair amount of effort on number 5 but found unless we wanted outhouses and to deal with the stuff ourselves, we'd essentially have to tear out the current plumbing system and the walls and floors in which it is embedded and tear up the front lawn which we'd have done if doing the plumbing part had been feasible. Essentially, we wanted to have a series of non-chemical treatment tanks for the sewage, a reasonable approach which leaves you with water that can then be drained into the soil. But it is really reasonable mostly when you are just starting to build, not afterwards.
Nos 1 and 2. Building a studio and enlarging our bodega: the house isn't packed enough yet and we haven't been crowded in our projects enough to follow through.
No. 8. I swear this will come to pass this July.
No. 7. I worked in bureaucracies enough to learn that if you just didn't get certain paperwork done, the time would come when it was no longer necessary to do it. I'm wondering if water capture might just be like this. Today, this post appeared in the NY Times's Green Inc. blog. So I'm thinking, capturing rainwater may not be the totally wonderful and essential idea I thought it was. We don't need to capture water during the rainy season for sure. Maybe in the dry season I'll have second thoughts, but maybe that's the worst time to do it. In any event, while I grumble at our externally-imposed unintentional water conservation system which provides us with some water in the house every other day, it turns out it is enough water (so far) for domestic purposes. In the dry season it keeps us from watering our lawn (one of the supremely wasteful water uses in the US) and it ensures we don't leave taps running, keep leaks fixed, take reasonable showers, etc. The water comes from springs whose source lies in Cofre de Perote. That Cofre's water tables are endangered is due to the large issues of deforestation and industrial use. We pollute the spring water in its passage from the spring to the rivers, but we don't diminish it. We'd pollute the water if we used captured water as well.
Pollution of water in our area is probably not as grave as it might seem. Here we do not have heavy metals in the water and we don't have large quantities of chemicals from industry and medicine as they do in the US (and, for that matter in Xalapa and elsewhere in Mexico where industry abounds). Human wastes are nasty but not as serious since they are organic. But we do need to investigate the effects of the materials we use for cleaning, for various processing systems, for agriculture.
Nick Kristoff has picked up on one aspect of the world's water problems. As with global warming, many water problems are caused pretty much by too many people making and using too much stuff in wasteful and other harmful ways.