Life is possible on Earth, and the reason is ‘presence of water’. Water the most abundant resource is essential for the survival of all living organisms including microbes. 70% of the earth is the covered by water (approx 1400 million cubic kilometers), out of which 97.3% is ocean water i.e. not appropriate for human use as it is salty. And 2.7% is fresh water (approx 35 million cubic kilometers), out of which approx 70% is fixed in glaciers and ice sheets of Antarctica. So, the amount of the most abundant resource available for living use is only 1% (approx).
Now it’s high time for us to pay attention to water conservation practices. For maintaining the presence of this precious resource in our lives, we should stop contaminating fresh water resources through discharge of sewage, toxic chemical and other wastes into it. Water pollution and scarcity are the major problems caused due to a rapid increase in industrialisation, urbanisation and deforestation as the population grows. Policies should be implemented to optimise the operation of existing STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants), establishing new STPs and plan how to reuse treated sewage.
This is the time when each of us must take action for water conservation on a regular basis. Here are some easy lifestyle changes you can make to save water on daily basis.
- Fix dripping tanks, pipes, faucets, showerheads, and hoses to prevent water loss.
- Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, lathering with soap, or shaving.
- Take shorter showers or use a pail and dipper for bathing, using just enough water.
- Reuse towels a few times before putting them in the laundry basket.
- Collect grey water from bathing and washing and reuse to wash the car, clean the garage, maintain sidewalks, or flush the toilet.
- Place a brick or water-filled bottle inside the toilet tank to reduce water used in every flush; and flush less.
- Collect water dripping from air conditioners and reuse the collected water for soaking mops and rugs, or watering plants.
- Leave grass clippings on the lawn as this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
- Spread a layer of mulch around plants and trees to retain water and reduce evaporation.
- Water the plants early in the morning or in the evening when the temperature is cooler to minimize water loss.
- Refrain from using the washing machine if washing only a few clothes. Do full loads of laundry, and use just the right amount of detergent to avoid extra rinsing.
- Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin and not in running water; reuse the water for watering plants.
- Save rice wash for washing the dishes or watering plants.
- Steam vegetables instead of boiling to conserve water and to preserve their nutrients.
- Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not in running water.
- Use fewer cooking and dining utensils and dishes to reduce water use for washing.
- Choose the proper pan and pot size for cooking as bigger ones may need more cooking water than required.
- Do not let the water run when washing the dishes – fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water.
- Soak dirty pans and pots first instead of scraping them clean using running water.
- Collect and store rainwater for daily chores.
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