Water, Water, Everywhere, not a Drop to Drink
This common saying has been adapted from a famous line in a poem by poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge – and it doesn’t paint a happy picture. Have you ever imagined what is to live without fresh drinking water? The quality of water we receive in most Indian cities is poor enough for us to have literally had a taste of this already, but imagine living for months every year without proper water to drink. According to a World Wildlife Fund, by the year 2025, more than two-thirds of the world population is expected to face serious water shortages. In fact, according to some scientists, the situation is bad enough already.
No one has to tell us. We face it in our cities regularly – and the summer months are specially trying.
So, what can we do?
While rain water-harvesting and recycling of used water are well known and in use, we can also modify our daily habits to ensure optimize our water consumption. Here are tips for saving water at home.
Ways to Save Water at Home
- Use containers: Don’t let the tap run while you go about doing what you are. Collect the water you think you need in a container and use that instead. You’re likely to save at least 1/3 of the water you usually do. This goes for brushing your teeth, shaving or even washing vegetables and dishes. Fill up the sink with water while doing dishes … your first rinse can be in this filled up sink, and the final rinse will take much less time.
- Plug the leaks: Check all the pipes, faucets, toilets and sprinklers for leakages and fix them as soon as you can. Here’s a drip calculator you can use to determine the impact of leaks, and here is an example. If you have two taps in your house which drip at the rate of 10 drops per minute – you’re looking at 7 liters being wasted every day. This adds up to more than 1300 liters over six months. The cost of getting this water supplied by a tanker in the summers? At least Rs. 1000. Fixing the leak would probably cross you less than Rs. 200 for years of savings.
- Reuse waste water: Do you know that around 75 per cent of the water processed by your RO goes to waste? It flows out during the filtration process. According to the Bureau of Indian standards, a family of 4 uses around 40 liters of water for cooking and drinking. Which means that your RO processes 160 liters of water, and pumps out 120 liters of untreated water every day – that’s about 8 buckets a day. Even if that’s a stretch, a family of four should be able to get 5 buckets of waste water every day – which can be used wash clothes, water your garden, clean cars, floors and toilets. To know more, click here.
- Use your machines to full potential: Make sure that you switch on your automatic washing machine or dishwasher, only when they are fully loaded. An automatic machine generally uses the same amount of water and time to wash a pair of night suits as well as the laundry for the whole house. This way you can save water at home, reduce electricity consumption and save on the monthly bills too.
- Use the right hardware: Use a shower head instead of a regular tap in your kitchen basin. Washing dishes will be easier, and it will consume less water. Now there are low-flow faucet aerators available, which should become the standards across your house. We are assuming that you use a dual-flush toilet (half and full) already!
Save water at home, for yourself and for your kids. You’ll definitely want them to have some when they grow up!