The world is facing an acute water crisis, and India isn’t far behind. According to experts, 21 cities in India will run out of water by 2020. The city of Chennai, whose reservoirs have run completely dry, is struggling to provide this basic necessity to its citizens.
Complete and unlimited access to clean water right now is a rare privilege that we shouldn’t take for granted. On an average, a person wastes approximately 0-45 litres of water a day, or 30% of the standard water requirement per person in a day. However, there are several measures we can all take to minimise wastage and do our bit to prevent Day Zero (the day when the taps will run dry and we’ll run out of water).
If you’re guilty of taking long showers and leaving the tap on while you’re brushing, now’s a good time for some redemption. All you need to do is make some minor changes in your lifestyle and be mindful of the amount of water you use for tasks that require much less. Listed below are some easy ways to conserve water.
Letting the faucets run while we brush, wash our hands, shave or do the dishes is probably something we’ve all been guilty of at some point. Did you know that keeping the tap running while brushing alone can waste around 25 litres of water per day? According to Green Sutra, this type of wastage of water is the most neglected and common one. So, please be more mindful the next time you turn on that faucet!
Have you been ignoring that leaky tap for days because you’ve been too lazy to get it fixed? Here’s a reality check: Leaking faucets waste approximately 4,000 drops of water per day, which is equal to a litre of water. Can you imagine how much water gets wasted across the world on account of these seemingly harmless leaks? The next time your tap starts leaking, call your plumber right away!
When we have access to an unlimited supply of water, we tend to ignore the difference between potable and non-potable water. A lot of the water we use has the potential to be reused for non-potable purposes. Washing fruits over the sink? Place a small tub underneath. Cooking pasta or boiling vegetables? Collect that water in a separate utensil. You can use this water to flush your toilets, water the plants and other non-potable purposes.
Look, we get it--there’s no feeling better than having a nice soak in your bathtub after a long, tiring day. But did you know that on an average, a bath in your tub waste approximates 80 litres of water? For a planet that will soon run out of its most precious resource, such wastage cannot be justified. Short showers are better, but it is easy to lose track of time while showering. Switch to bucket baths, where you utilise only a very limited amount of water for your bathing needs.
While the use of washing machines and dishwashers is more eco-friendly than hand-washing of clothes and utensils, frequent usage of these appliances tends to do more harm than good. So, make sure you always have a full load of clothes or utensils the next time you use your washing machine or dishwasher.
Some of you may not know this, but watering plants during the middle of the day when the sun is at its strongest can lead to wastage of water via evaporation. This means that you’ll need more water to adequately water your plants. The solution? Water your plants when the temperature is cooler, ideally early morning!
Your pet might be used to bathing in the sink or in the bathtub, but we have a better idea that will not only be more fun for Snoopy, but also serve another purpose! If you have an outdoor lawn, we suggest you bathe your pets outdoors, because this way you don’t need to separately water the grass, which will end up saving you a lot of precious water!
Did you know that 6-13 litres of water is wasted every time you use the flush? In order to avoid such wastage, you should use the flush as sparingly as possible. An eco-friendly solution would be to install water-efficient flushes in your commode that let you control the amount of water you dispose of during a single flush.
According to Down To Earth magazine, India captures only eight per cent of its annual rainfall at present, which is among the lowest in the world. Given the fact that the country gets its fair share of rainfall, adequately harvesting rainwater is a great way to conserve the resource, which can later be used for non-potable purposes at home. There are several ways to harvest rainwater at home, from something as simple as capturing it in rain barrels (costing between Rs 300-Rs 1000) to building a reservoir on your rooftop, which would take approximately Rs 40,000 to install.
Do you find yourself paying steep water bills despite consuming a significantly less amount? It’s time to minutely analyse your water bill and metres, and this will help you realise how much water you consume, where you can cut down and how much of it is simply getting wasted. Zero-in on the amount of water you should be ideally consuming (around 150-300 litres per head), continue keeping tabs on your bills and keep cutting the excess out till you reach your goal!
Now you know that you can actually conserve so much water if you’re just a little more mindful of its usage. But remember, doing this on an individual level isn’t enough! Make it a community effort by spreading the word about water conservation among your neighbours, friends and family.
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