ORANGE recently entered level five water restrictions when storage dropped below 30 per cent.
For all of us, that meant facing the cold hard reality that we couldn't spend half our Saturdays lovingly washing and polishing our cars at home, or do half-full loads of washing.
But one of the rules will place an extra challenge on the female part of the population: three-minute showers.
I recently picked up a free shower timer from Orange City Council's reception in the hope of keeping better track of my routine.
It was a compact hourglass, it meshed well with my bathroom decor and the suction cap stuck easily to my shower tiles with the ability to flip it over without removing it.
But the struggle is real ladies, three minutes goes fast.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised there were things I could do if I wanted to stick to that three-minute guide.
I was fortunate when I tested the device that it was not a hair-washing day and I finished within the allotted three minutes, but it made me start thinking about when the shampoo would eventually be required and how I would avoid falling into the old habit of taking my time and abandoning all hope of conserving water.
Contrary to the Sydney Water adverts on television at the moment, which make a joke out of a 'random naked guy' who refuses to shower or wash clothes in the bid to save water (but please, they're only on level one restrictions there), I have no plans on compromising basic hygiene.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realised there were things I could do if I wanted to stick to that three-minute guide, so this is what I've decided to implement...
- Facing facts: I'm one of those people who prefers to complete my facial routine in the shower while my hair conditioner is working its magic, but the bathroom sink is far more water-friendly - like brushing teeth, you can turn the water off until it's rinsing time, meaning no wastage. Moving hair washing to the start of the shower means conditioner can be left in while the other essentials are taken care of.
- Shaving off time: As ladies will attest, shaving can also be a time-consuming part of a shower. This was indeed a stumbling point until I realised all shaving didn't need to happen under running water.
- Save it, don't spray it: My hot water system is at the opposite end of the house to the shower, so as you can imagine, hot water takes a minute or two to heat up. Distressed at seeing all that water go down the drain, I've started putting a bucket in the shower and tipping it on my thirsty plants.
Of course, the three minutes is just a guide, council rangers won't be going around turning people's hot water off after the time expires.
But with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting below-average rainfall for the rest of the year, making a little effort can't hurt.
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