The recent heat spells may have dampened our spirits and our
foreheads -- and surely increased our awareness of the
country's serious water shortage. One person coolly suggested
that heat waves are prominent in the Torah. Our nation had
its happy beginning when Hashem "removed the sun from its
sheath" and created a sizzling day to protect Avrohom Ovinu
from visitors. He was so distressed, however, that Hashem
sent him the three angels who announced the future birth of
We again find blazing hot weather prophesized for the times
of the war of Gog and Magog, when Hashem will cause the evil
ones to wither away in the intense heat. So just hang on
there and learn to bear it. The real thing may be just around
We present here two articles on saving that precious natural
How to Save Up to 30% on Your Water Bill
by Abe Berkowitz
Israel is facing a serious water shortage. Hundreds of
millions of dollars are being spent to build desalinization
plants; the country is also seriously considering importing
water from Turkey. [Who wants to be dependent on foreign
countries for something as basic as water?]
If you own a single handle toilet with a water tank, there is
a simple, inexpensive device that takes one minute to install
inside the reservoir tank (called the `niagara' in Israel)
and saves money on your water bill. it is a heavy metal `cup'
called chaschan mayim l'niagara. It acts as a weight
that allows the water to flow for only as long as one presses
down on the small water handle. It is available in most
hardware stores for 18 shekel or less.
A family in Har Nof with five children installed this device
in two of their single handle toilets. Their water bill went
from 300 shekel to 200 shekel. That is a 600 ($150) shekel
saving over one year.
The saving in water and money occurs when there is liquid
waste in the toilet bowl which requires only a small fraction
of the water in the reservoir. By pressing the handle for
half a second, the toilet bowl is evacuated. For solid
wastes, one need press the handle down for only four seconds.
As soon as everything is flushed down and the handle
released, the water stops flowing. This is usually before
half the tank has been emptied.
It takes one minute to install the chaschan mayim
l'niagara water saver. It may come with its own diagram,
but in case it doesn't, or only has Hebrew instructions, read
on: Press the button on the outside of the reservoir to
release the lid. Open. Place the metal cup on top of the
mechanism which stops and starts the water flow inside the
reservoir. Position the metal cup so that its slot fits over
the arm attachment to the handle. See illustration.
[Once the lid is open and you can look in, experiment to see
how much water is saved/wasted with both methods. You will be
It is everyone's responsibility to save water. The
chaschan mayim l'niagara is a painless way to save
water -- and your money. Besides, with all the money you save
on your water bill, you can take your wife out to dinner and
give more money to yeshivos. No kidding -- just put that
saved money aside and use it!
Drops in the Bucket
by Yaffa Shepsel
For those of you who are seriously concerned over the
country's water shortage, the following ideas can make a
difference -- for you, in your water bill, and as an effort
to show Hashem that we care. If the following tips are
adopted by enough people, it WILL make a difference. Even at
the home level, it will make the difference to you.
Invest in an extra two pails. Put them to use as follows:
BATHING: Bathe your little ones together. Use a plastic tub
for two, or the tub for three. In any event, PUT THE PLUG IN
and use this water again. When your family showers, tell them
to keep the plug in the drain. When they are finished
bathing, gather up the water in your new pails. You will be
astounded at how much water you use, at least two pailfuls!
This water can be used for watering plants, cleaning and
washing floors. It can also be used for hand laundry. (Also
If you have learned to open the lid of your `niagara' from A.
Berkowitz, leave it on loosely, and pour some bath/shower
water into the tank after you have flushed down. One shower
should carry through a morning of flushing! It may seem like
work, but if you get into the habit, it will become
YOUR WASHING MACHINE: Try this before saying `No'. 1) Most
machines have a cycle for half loads. These use half the
water. Try washing a FULL load on a HALF cycle. The clothing
will come out just as clean, I promise, and smell even
2) Another way to save water in laundry is to simply flip the
machine past ONE or TWO of the rinse cycles. Your clothing
does not need all that rinsing! You will get into the habit
by being around the machine when it launders, doing things in
the vicinity, and listening to when it reaches the first
rinse. Then flip the button to the next rinse. It will become
second nature and you will feel very good about saving all
that water. Your clothing will NOT suffer!
3) You have two pailfuls from your bathwater. Use this to
load your machine for its first wash water. It is clean
enough for that! Pour in carefully.
4) (Alternate to 3). Where does the machine water drain out?
If the pipe is accessible -- and it can be made more
accessible by moving the machine a bit -- you can benefit
from the last rinse water. Have two pails handy nearby.
Program your machine for NO SPIN. When it is finished
washing, it will stop. At your convenience, put on the Spin
and guide the hose to fill up your two pails. This water can
be used for floors -- or for loading the next machine. The
water will be clean enough to wash that next load -- even if
you have skipped a rinse cycle or two! I know -- I do it all
WASHING DISHES -- since we don't want to make watercarriers
out of all our readers, this water- saver tip can be done
standing at your sink.
Get a plug for your sink or plug it up with a plastic bag.
Let enough dishes accumulate, then fill with soapy water.
Place a pail half full with clean water and dip each soaped
dish in. Great for after Shabbos. Use the pail water for
floors or cleaning.
If you don't like dishes accumulated in the sink, rinse off
each dish as soon as it comes off the table. The reside will
come off very quickly and you will be saving water, too.
Readers are asked to send in their tips, just as Mr.
Berkowitz did. I think we can consider water saving a big
mitzva in times of drought, no matter how small the amount.
It is the act of saving that counts, that shows Hashem that
we are concerned.