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Published: April 2010

The Last Drop

irrigation

The Last Drop

We may not get all the water we want.
But we can have the water we need.

By Elizabeth Royte
Photograph by Siegfried Layda, Getty Images

Living in the high desert of northern New Mexico, Louise Pape bathes three times a week, military style: wet body, turn off water, soap up, rinse, get out. She reuses her drinking cup for days without washing it, and she saves her dishwater for plants and unheated shower water to flush the toilet. While most Americans use around a hundred gallons of water a day, Pape uses just about ten.

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