I remember one time early in middle school my dad knocking on the bathroom door asking if the faucet had stopped working again, but in actuality I had just turned the water off. It just made sense to me that the water shouldn’t be running while shampooing etc. I think it's safe to say that the bus life doesn't exactly save water unless you do. It does however allow for a smack-in-the-face awareness of how much water you use. We have a 22-gallon tank and small water pump that fits behind our counter-top/dresser. Having to re-fill the water tank sometimes mid-shower forces us to be hyper-aware of our water usage. We re-fill the tank about every day and a half, so that's about 15 gals per day for two people and three dogs!
The average Maryland citizen uses about 100 gallons of water per day.
We opted for a $15 Niagara Conservation Tri-Max shower head that allows you to switch from .5 to 1 to 1.5 gallons per minute (GPM or flow-rate). The pressure on this shower head is way stronger than I have EVER had with the 3gpm one back at the trailer! In the 80s and 90s the federally mandated flow-rate was generally 3.5 or 4 gpm, but as of 1992 it is 2.5. That's not to say that there aren't faucets and shower heads sold at way more than 2.5gpm! You can check your gpm by simply looking closely at your shower head/faucet.
At the Conservation Warehouse online, I found this adapter to change the faucet portion of the shower to .5 gallons per minute. Surprisingly, this flow-rate works just fine with our propane water heater which advertises as needing a 1.6gpm flow rate to light up a flame. This lies right behind the faucet wall on our bedroom wall. As you can see, our shower is very industrial which is exactly how we like it! We assembled this water diverter in the Home Depot plumbing isle and it probably cost us around $30. 2 ball valves, an outdoor spigot/faucet and the piping.
I'm in love with our washing machine because of the manual controls. You can stop, add, drain, spin whenever you want for however long you'd like! It takes a hose (we just stick the garden hose right in it) and you have to stop the water when you're done filling it. This allows us to control how much water we use! We have all of our liquid waste draining into a dry well (thanks Joe) which is a-okay with the farm owners thanks to the use of Dr. Bronner's bio-degradeable heal-earth soaps. You can find these soaps now at Target, any health/natural store, and sometimes clearanced at T.J. Maxx (Oh! And in BULK at The Common Market in Frederick! Yay for waste free! Bring your own jar/bottle). Might I add that I had just bought a new washer and dryer for the trailer ($500 each) before selling it and it was refreshing to know that this washer was only $179! It has a HUGE washing tub which fits a normal residential wash-load and a tub for spin-drying. This gets most of the water out and just requires that the clothes are hung up for a few hours or so. It also doesn't use a lot of energy, something we routinely check due to relying on solar power. I'm only going to quickly add that you should always know what chemicals you're putting back into the earth and just as importantly on yourself! If you haven't watched Stink on Netflix, that's your homework to better inform yourself on what's going in your body. It's shocking what chemicals are not regulated and go in our bodies daily. A great laundry soap that I love is Seventh Generation because they actually break-down each and every ingredient they add, what it does, and where it's derived from! NO secret chemicals imbedded an ingredient labeled as "fragrance".
The bathroom The first extension of the bathroom The second bathroom extension + our
when we bought + the water trough shower idea. homemade hot/cold water diverter!
Tile from the clearance section @ Lowes! Twas $2 per square foot and it came in squares!
The finished product!