Reading your post from the Cronkite News Service, "Payson gets aggressive on water conservation" reminds me of a drought we went through in the San Francisco Bay area in the late '80s.
In the San Jose metropolitan area, there were two million people who needed water service at the southern end of the San Francisco Peninsula. Much of the water was piped over 130 miles from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Sierra north of Yosemite, and much water was collected in local reservoirs from the local coast range. In any case, the water was distributed into shallow percolation ponds, which allowed the water to be absorbed into the local aquifer. Very little water was allowed to run off into local streams and end up back in the salty ocean. As in Kingman, all water was then pumped from wells to supply the region.
During the drought, we were expected to conserve water, and of course, washing cars and watering lawns was frowned upon. I had a home in a 'nice' neighborhood and didn't want to lose my lawn and plantings, so I invested in a cheap, simple suction pump and several lengths of garden hose. Then whenever we took showers, we put a stopper over the drain and pumped the shower water, soap and all, out onto the lawn. Despite admonitions in the paper about using soapy water on lawns and trees, our lawn and bushes remained surprisingly healthy! We also found ourselves well below the water allotment for two people in a modestly large home and yard, and we had amassed a large number of "brownie points" by the time the drought ended.
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