Time for another NUMBERS post. I’m preparing to review our old watermaker (which we returned) and our new watermaker but first I thought I should start with our water use.
Over the past 3.5 years we have kept rough track of our water consumption while cruising. We average a little under 5 gallons per day of fresh water for two people.
We expected that we would use more water when we reached the tropics because we would be swimming more, sweating more and drinking more, but for whatever reason we don’t use more water. Similarly when we upgraded our watermaker from a wee one to a larger one, we didn’t seem to start using any more water.
What kind of water users are we? We have pressure water only on Estrellita -- no foot pumps. We do not have a salt water tap aboard and rarely use saltwater for cooking. We do all of our dishes with fresh water. We shower every day (unless we were REALLY lazy) and sometimes rinse off another time during the day as well. We occasionally shampoo while swimming in the saltwater, but don’t make a regular habit of it. We do pay for our laundry ashore whenever possible. When we do a load on the boat, our water consumption is more than 5 gallons that day. We don’t collect water although we think we’re stupid for not doing so and have plans to build a catchment system.
Could we conserve more? Um, obviously yes. Everything I listed above that we don’t do or don’t have we could start doing or having.
Why don’t we? Well, as a rule, we try not to solve any problems that we don’t have. There are four problems that would make us conserve: 1) if we couldn’t afford a watermaker, 2) if we couldn’t afford to pay for or find room to store the gas for the watermaker (we currently have an AC watermaker that runs off a portable Honda gen – more on that later), 3) if the watermaker broke or 4) if installing, servicing and running the watermaker was more of a pain than a pleasure.
So far, we can afford one, gas hasn’t been a big problem, our new watermaker works, and for us having the water is worth the time spent running and servicing a watermaker.
How much water do you use?