Continuing with last week’s thoughts of water conservation, I remember a story Ernie Maxwell told about how he dealt with washing dishes after Betty died and he lived alone. He held off until not one clean dish or utensil existed in the house, then he’d haul all those dirty ones out into the yard and hose them down.

Some years back when the Hill water districts declared extreme emergencies during another drought, the subject of conservation dominated our lives, as it begins to again and will continue to throughout the year.

We bought water tanks to collect rain and use for gardening. We caught greywater in small tubs in the house to do the same, whether legal or not, because it made sense. We took fewer baths and when taking showers, we shut off the water while soaping up.

We backed off on overly clean lifestyles on the principal that a little dirt won’t hurt; a lot of water will.

We recited and practiced our favorite mantra: “If it’s brown, flush it down; if it’s yellow, let it mellow.”

These challenges make us stronger, right? Taking better care of the Earth by practicing conservation in just each of our own little nooks will not have much impact on the state crisis.

But think about how this time around we might succeed in getting our county leaders to support greywater usage — think washing machine and bath water (using biodegradable soap) for gardening. Think about plumbing redirecting these outflows to support outdoor plants rather than running into septic tanks or sewer lines.

Idyllwild Water moved ahead on thinking for the future and currently seeks a grant for recyling water, a positive governmental effort we can get behind. How are you conserving?

Becky Clark,