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Important! Save water NOW!

Merril Diniz | April 05, 2005

Twenty-six-year old Shalini, a resident of a Mumbai suburb, bathes with three or more buckets of hot water on an average every day.

Rachel Pereira, a resident of the same suburb, laments the shortage of water in her household for the last month: "I have written to the municipality. The situation has not improved. In the last few days, we have had to visit friends or relatives to take a bath!"

WaterSuch is the current paradox.

In fact, a new study conducted in seven cities found that household activities -- washing clothes, bathing and washing of utensils -- result in maximum water wastage.

This, even as 65 per cent of the households face water deficiency.

The study, conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, was based on the water consumption pattern of households across Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Madurai, Delhi, Kanpur and Kolkata.

Some more facts

i. Kolkata households consume the maximum water at an average of 445.5 litres per household.

ii. Madurai households consume the minimum water, with an average of 370.9 litres per household.

iii. Wastage is highest in washing clothes (83 per cent). It is followed by bathing (56 per cent) and washing utensils (49 per cent).

iv. Water usage for bathing and washing clothes contributed to about 28 per cent and 19 per cent of total consumption respectively.

v. The total average water consumption per household per day is 408.6 litres.

vi. The total average consumption of water per head per day is 91.6 litres.

The solutions

TISS faculty (urban studies unit) Dr Abdul Shaban says:

i. Use a bucket of water to bathe instead of the shower.

ii. Use low sud detergents which consume less water to wash clothes.

iii. Consider recycling the bath water for gardening.

Says Dr Shaban, "The need of the hour is to increase awareness on the conservation of water and a collective conviction from our countrymen to internalise this social cause."

As water consumerism reigns supreme, it is up to every one of us to take responsibility and use water with discretion.

Use water effectively. Here's how

Ganesh S Nochur, an environmentalist and former campaign director of Greenpeace, has some simple but effective tips to share about inculcating good water usage habits in your lifestyle. 

1. Though the shower may be more fashionable and convenient, bathing with a bucket is truly a great way to save water.

With a shower, you lose count of how much water you are using. Besides, the new swanky showers spew out at least 40 to 60 litres a minute!

In comparison, one bucket holds between 15 and 20 litres of water. Thus, you can control the amount of water you usee.

2. Give your plants some extra nourishment by recycling the water you use to wash your your vegetables, fruits, rice, dal and other organic food items.

Of course, make sure there is no detergent used. These could be harmful for your potted babies.

3. The flush tank in your toilet consumes a lot of water. In fact, more than is required to maintain regular standards of hygiene.

To control the amount of water being flushed out at one go, insert a bottle of mineral water into the tank, or a brick wrapped in plastic. This occupies the same volume of the actual water. Thus when refilling, less water will fill up. But there will still be enough to keep the pot clean.

4. Make sure none of the faucets in your house are leaking.

If you lose a drop of water every second, it amounts to approximately 10,000 litres of lost water in a year! Thus, repair all leaking faucets and make sure you close the ones that work properly, nice and tight.

According to the TISS survey, besides bathing, laundry is another area which counts for the highest water wastage.

Here are some suggestions on how to watch water usage while washing clothes:

i. Use full loads of laundry whenever possible.

ii. Use low sud detergents which will consume less water while washing clothes. This consumes only one bucket of water against three buckets of ordinary detergent wash.

iii. For hand laundering, put a stopper in the washtub during washing and rinsing. Don't let the faucet run.

Illustration: Dominic Xavier

With inputs from ANI

Share your comments

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Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 4

Sub: Liked the idea of Saving Water

hey, That was an impressive article on SAving water. I liked it. I will some of the solutions. thanks

Posted by Kumar Ahuja

Sub: Well Done, Good Article.

All of us should go through the excellent options listed to conserve water effectively. The richer becomes a person, greater becomes his water requirement. In ...

Posted by Gaurav

Sub: Save water now to save the human civilization.

Irrational use/misuse of water will result into an incalculable harm to the human civilization. And the future generations will hardly pardon us. The present generation ...

Posted by chanakya

Sub: How To Make Mumbai Citizens To Save Water :- Very Easy

Hello, All you all briliant & intelegent makes noise to save water, because Mumbaikar use more water. SOLUTION: Control Water? How ? Make amendement at ...

Posted by Mangesh


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