Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Save Water - Tips to Save Water in Domestic Use

Water has been much glorified in all the civilisations to the extent equating it with the God. All civilisations and scriptures have at least a few rituals wherein water is at the centre of rituals. And, all these aura and veneration around water are not without reasons. Archaeological relics indicate how our ancestors have conserved water and obviated its shortage by its judicious use. In modern times, each speaker at environment meet harps on Save Water.

One cannot think of life without water – even the simplest form of animal or plant needs water. Human body is composed of 60% of water. Human being needs water for various physiological functions and domestic use. Nearly 70% surface of the Earth is covered with water of which about 2.50% is covered with fresh (suitable for drinking) water. Most of the sources of fresh water are difficult to exploit for domestic use due to financial, spatial, topographical, political, etc reasons. 

This has resulted into severe shortage of water for domestic use. Some of the heart-wrenching videos and images portraying the unhygienic ways of quenching the thirst by the poor people have been making rounds in the social media from time to time. These videos and images highlight the urgency of saving water, its frugal use and equitable distribution. 

It is found that the major cause of strained relations amongst the neighbours in areas hit with water shortage is usurping by the rich and mighty the due share of water of the poor and the weak. In fact, same is the situation in the cases of nations in water-poor regions.

Why the world is facing shortage of water for domestic use:

Confining the discussion to domestic/household level, following are the reasons leading to the shortage:
·         With the rise in living of standard, overall per capita domestic use of water is increasing.
·         Rapid urbanisation increases the domestic use of water – a person living in a village uses less water but uses more water after migrating to a city.
·         Awareness to save water is increasing but practicing the awareness in daily life is decreasing.
·         Most of the developing countries supply domestic water at a subsidized rate leading to indiscriminate use, rather wastage, of water by a small section of the society who is able to manage the supply to suit their needs.
·         Average family size is decreasing leading to higher per capita use of water for same strength of population in the region.
·         Inefficient storage facility (No ballcock / no auto monitor to turn off the water supply)
·         Over flow of storage tank going un-noticed as the overflow water pipe is directly connected to drainage pipe.
·         Leaking pipes, taps, toilet flushes, etc
·         Care for Personal hygiene is a must for health but onslaught of marketing ads for personal hygiene products has graduated such care to an obsession to the level of hygiene practices required for medical team of operation theatre. 

Tips to save water in domestic use:

(Readers might find some of the tips “strange” but they are valid and worth considering for implementation)

  • While shaving, turn off the tap. Use tumbler for water you need while shaving.
  • While brushing the teeth, turn off the tap. Use brass/copper lota or such other utensil
  • Take “Bucket Bath” rather than shower bath or tub bath.
  • Do not change clothes on each occasion of going out of home during the same day.
  • Do not destine the clothes to laundry bag every time you put off the clothes during the same day. Give your clothes due opportunity to serve their due tenure till they really need washing. You can afford water to wash many pairs of clothes in a day but society cannot when there is shortage of water.
  • Exhort servant/domestic help/driver, if you have any, to use water as required and not “as available”.
  • Sweep the stone or tile cladded open area with broom rather cleaning with water pipe.
  • While washing clothes manually, use the leftover water after rinsing the clothes for beating the clothes with washing bat (wooden thapi or dhoka).
  • Select a washing machine which is smart / efficient in water use.
  • Load the washing machine with recommended washing load.
  • Soaking the clothes in power added water for about 6 hours before washing needs less water and efforts to wash.
  • Wash your vehicle with one bucket of water and a rag of cloth instead of hose pipe. If you do not know “how to”, watch the man who provides this paid service every morning to your neighbours.
  • Use the utensils for cooking, serving and taking meals thoughtfully – some of the utensils used once can be reused without washing.
  • Clean your used utensils immediately after the meal is over. Do not leave the used utensils overnight. Used utensils kept in wash basin overnight needs more water and energy to clean. It also provides strong attraction for household insects and rats too.
  • RO plant takes in 4 litres of water for giving you 1 litre of pure water. Collect the waste water for suitable use.
  • Take in glass only such quantity of RO water as you need.
  • Consider: Can we use the tap water for cooking rather than RO water? Remember: tap water is a better source of minerals than RO Water and it will, in most of the cases, not harm once boiled.
  • Repair / replace the dripping water taps/faucets as they are major component of loss of water. 
  • Use Dual Flush (Half / Full Flush)Water Efficient Toilets, water saving aerator taps / flow restrictors in kitchen and wash basin.
  • Put a tightly closed plastic bottle/jar of appropriate size filled with sand/water in the cistern of the toilet flush if the quantity of water gushing out is more than  required.  The same objective can also be achieved by manipulating the intake tap and bending the rod of the ballcock.
  • Leakage from concealed water pipe is apparently does not get noticed and wastes good deal of water, particularly when the surface is facing the sun. Look out periodically for such blind spots, particularly in old houses.
  • Exhort family members and friends to use water wisely. Do not shy away from nagging in deserving cases.
  • Before just tilting down a bucket of used water, think how it can be meaningfully used for some other purpose.
  • Lifting water from source of bulk raw water, conveying it to water plant, its purification and distribution consumes good deal of electricity and efforts of the water supply utility agency till it reaches to your door. In most of the cases you also use electricity to pump it up to overhead water tank in your house. This means when you save water, you also save on electricity bill.
  • Installing Water Meter and charge the user as per the quantity consumed is the most effective way to rationalise the use of water. As an individual co-operate with the Municipal Corporation/ Apartment Owners Association / Housing Society for installing water meter.
  • Lawn needs large quantity of water. Consider its plastic cousin – the artificial green grass turf. Or grow hardy plant, shrubs and trees in place of lawn wherever practical.
  • Our age old practice of harvesting the rainwater from rooftop (collecting and storing in an underground pucca tank) for domestic use is practically forgotten. Wherever feasible, this practice should be implemented. This could solve the shortage of at least drinking water round the year.
Do you want sufficient water round the clock, round the year: Waste not, want not.


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