By Amira Naushad
Water is one of the most valuable resources of this Earth. It is a necessity to such an extent that it is unimaginable to live without it. No form of life on this planet can survive without it. However, many cities have been facing acute water shortages, especially during the sizzling months of summer when its requirement increases to the maximum.
Our population is experiencing a massive population explosion. Population is rising steadily at a fast rate. With this rise the global demand for water will also continue to rise accordingly. Therefore, public understanding of water management and water related issues is essential to solving present and future water shortage problems.
Unfortunately, most people are vaguely aware of this problem and the role which water plays in their lives are simply taken for granted. The long-term solution to this problem requires people in general be educated towards being water literate. As responsible citizens, what part can you play to save this elixir of life from further depletion?
Here are some tips and suggestions that can help you do your bit. There are several ways to conserve this precious commodity in almost every area of usage. It just requires modifying your usage habit to control undue wastage in different areas of your house. Let us start from the kitchen, about 8-12% of water usage takes place in the kitchen. Here are some tips to conserve water as following.
From The Kitchen
- When washing utensils, wait till a few pieces accumulate and then wash them together in the sink instead of washing them separately under running tap water.
- Instruct your maid and other domestic staff to shut off the tap once the bucket or pan is full. It is a common observation that while doing the dishes, washing clothes or cleaning the bathroom they let the water run on unnecessarily until they are finished with the chore.
- Wash vegetables and fruits in a pan and not under running water. The water can then be used to water plants.
- When thawing food, let it thaw in the refrigerator or microwave instead of thawing it under running hot water. If needed, thaw it in a pan filled with a little hot water.
- Steam vegetables instead of boiling them. This also results in greater retention of vitamins.
- Serve drinking water in small sized glasses. Many a times people just take a sip and throw the rest away.
- Use recycled water left from boiling eggs, washed vegetables and fruits etc. This can be reused to water plants. This water being fortified with minerals is also very good for their growth.
From Personal Use
- Check regularly for any leaks and fix them. Most common bathroom leaks are found in toilets, taps and water hose pipes.
- Turn off the tap while brushing and shaving.
- Install low flow plumbing fixtures in kitchen sinks, showers and taps. This will reduce water consumption up to 40% compared to conventional fixtures.
- Don’t use the toilet bowl as a trash can. People tend to flush away things like cigarette buds and tissue papers which can be dumped in trash bins. Flushing them is a criminal waste of water.
- Operate washing machines only when a full load accumulates. Adjust water level where possible.
- Supervise children’s water related activities like bathing and watering plants and guide them about its judicious use.
- Repair faulty ball valve of overhead tanks and cistern flush which can be a source of continuously wasted overflows.
From The Garden
- Water plants only when required and not as a habit.
- Water the plants and not the ground.
- In summer, water the plants in the evening to reduce the loss by evaporation of water. Also arrange potted plants in the shade, either that or a large tree or build one for them.
- Plant ‘water wise’ plants. They have low water requirements. The number of water thirsty plants must be reduced.
Benefits of Conserving Water
- Saving water can reduce your bills, saving you money.
- Reduction in water usage cut waste water, reducing overflowing gutters which contaminate the environment.
- Cleaner environments benefit ecosystems and habitat protection.
Be a good human. Report broken or leaking water mains to appropriate authorities. Create water awareness and make at least one person water literate. If these simple tips are to be followed, the earth will not go dry. Our generation will not go thirsty. Reuse water whenever possible. Following the above steps can go a long way in preventing wastage of water.