Water is scarce across the country. And a drought is looming, or probably already here. And its time we start complaining about the situation. Right? No, wrong! We can do much to conserve water with our own effort. Maybe, it’s too late to start now. But, a habit that forms today can save the water we need for tomorrow, when the situation might be worse. Ah, but how?
I can start by giving all the expensive options. I have advocated in the past that we must live in green buildings so as to preserve energy and conserve water. But, what good is a green building to a person who doesn’t first understand the need to conserve water, or to someone who invested in a green building just because he had a lot of money to spare? The other major concern raised to me over the last couple of years is how a middle-class or lower-middle-class person can apply the fundamentals of green buildings to his humble abode. Hmmm. True. Green Building, in the way most of us sell it today, is an expensive proposition. For water conservation, the principles of green building would ask us to have separate lines of treated waste-water to be used for flushing. There is also mention of using low-flow fixtures through which the water comes with a foamy feel and at a reduced output level. Another measure which is often mentioned is to have sensor-based flushing system for water closets. With regard to flushing, there is also the option of replacing your 6- or 5-litre flush tanks with 4-litre ones. Of course, in many of our houses, these 5-litre cisterns are already in place. Who would mind changing the cisterns to reduce the water flow per flush? Not everybody can afford it.
Or maybe, I was blind. If we pay attention to the fundamentals and apply a bit of thought in everything we do, the answers to most of our problems lie in simple solutions. I repeat… simple, but effective. A few days ago, our landlady came to warn us about the water shortage and how we must try to conserve it in all ways possible. Having two kids who like to play with water, we know exactly how difficult conserving water in this household would be. Yet, my wife kept that extra eye on the kids and even her own water usage patterns. In another two days, the landlady came again. This time, she was carrying a few 500ml PET bottles, which were once used for bottling branded carbonated drinks. I was not at home and what happened next, was mostly explained to me by my wife. The landlady filled all the PET bottles with water and she immersed two bottles into every cistern on every water closet at our home. Each of the 5-litre cisterns can only hold 4 litres of water hereon. That would save one litre of water on every full flush.
This indigenous idea struck me as too simple and to my surprise, I found out some of her friends were already doing it. In our bid to promote green buildings and the various technologies available for the modern buildings, we have forgotten how to simplify things. The example of the PET bottles is probably only one among many such indigenous solutions that different parts of country have to offer. Do share your thoughts and the different ways in which you conserve water. Your effort probably only saves a few litres of water everyday. But, when every single home starts practicing your methods of water conservation, someday soon, we shall be a water-positive country. Good Day! Good Night!