This is what it means when you need to be mindful of how much water you use, if, like us, you only get water three times a week for 3 hours at a time. If you’re really, really lucky.
You need to have ample storage: I have two small tanks elevated above the ground and one underground (utilized for the first time today since patched up after being punctured by roots of nearby mango tree), I also have four large plastic blue containers which granted are not very beautiful garden features but they are potentially very useful ones;
You need to adopt that faintly disgusting ‘let it mellow’ mantra with loo usage;
You need to have short, sharp showers: get under shower, turn it on, briefly, wet self and soap, turn shower off, wash, turn on to rinse. As quickly as you can. Hair washing days need to be timed with max water days, especially when you have long hair like me and so need several shampoos and handfuls of conditioner to get it both clean and comb-able. Baths are out of the question.
You need to wear your clothes – with exception of undies, obviously – for several days running; this is because there is absolutely not enough water for copious amounts of laundry; try to time clothes changes with days out so that you at least look marginally presentable and don’t smell;
Because arrival of water is erratic (you are never sure which three days nor which three hours, turning on of main tap is at the whim of dara ya maji, the local water board), you need to have a tap dedicated to incoming water supply and you need to keep beady eye on it so that you’re on the ball the moment it begins to gurgle promisingly.
When that happens, you need to move swiftly into action and fill assorted tanks and plastic containers. When they’re full, you can set about dribbling water on the dust and dead grass that is masquerading as a lawn – though usually you don’t get that far.
I can’t think about saving Planet Earth right now, all my energies are consumed with conserving sufficient water to keep my family clean enough that they don’t become health hazard or social pariahs.