While water should be treated like a precious resource no matter where one lives, it is even more imperative when the supply is scarce.

Even though Todos Santos borders the Pacific Ocean, it is a desert community. Rain and storm runoff from the Sierra de la Laguna mountains fill the aquifer that supplies the town with its water. The city averages about 6 inches of rain a year, the mountains much more.

Water from the washing machine flows to trees at Casa Luna in Todos Santos. (Image: Kathryn Reed)

The town has a population of about 6,000, with building seeming to go on at every corner. A rumor last was that water permits had been suspended in the Todos Santos region.

Water is a limited resource and the infrastructure in this Third World country can’t keep up with the demands of expats wanting to develop here. The Gringo Gazette recently reported Los Cabos Mayor Armida Castro saying, “I will not issue any more construction permits if we can’t guarantee water supply to the population.”

My sister and brother-in-law’s nearly 14-year-old house in Todos Santos takes some of the gray water from inside and automatically delivers it to plants outside. One side of the kitchen sink, the showers, bath tub, and washing machine all drain to the outdoors.

The plants and trees have all survived with what at times is sudsy water. The amount of water is dependent on the number of people in the house. At this particular location it is not the most efficient system because plants are not getting water consistently because this is a second home with short-term renters.

The only drawback I have found is my dog AJ being attracted to the water that drains from the kitchen sink. I understand the food smells could be enticing, but the soap can’t be good for her, especially when she already has kidney issues.

Still, it’s an innovative and unique set up that could be implemented in other parts of the world.

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