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Saving Water

Water—every drop counts. On World Environment Day, read on to learn more about different ways to save water.

Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink! In the last century, several wars were fought over oil. However, in this century, experts predict that majority of wars will be fought over control and use of water bodies. Growing deforestation, melting of glaciers, pollution, etc. have put serious pressure on available water resources. The United Nations celebrate June 5 as World Environment Day. But is one day enough to save the environment? As children, you are going to inherit the earth. Make this world a better place for you and future generations.

Did You Know?

  • Around 71 percent of our blue planet is covered with water yet only one percent is fit for drinking.

  • One billion people routinely drink unhygienic water.

  • According to a UN report, by 2050, four billion people will be affected by a water shortage, which currently affects 400 million.

  • Scientists predict that an ancient glacier feeding the River Ganga will melt by the end of the twenty first century due to climatic changes caused by global warming. Initially, this may cause flooding of the river, but eventually, the river may run dry, which can have disastrous effects on the lives of millions.

  • It is estimated that 50 percent of water pumped into the city of Delhi is lost in leakages due to broken pipes and faulty pumps.
How can you make a difference?

Start at Home

Conservation begins at home. Identify the areas in your home where maximum water is used. List a few ways in which you minimise usage.

Here are some tips to add to your list:

  1. Do you have the habit of taking long showers? Of course, bathing is necessary, but you could reduce water usage simply by cutting down the time you take for a shower.

  2. Avoid the use of bathtubs, as they waste a lot of water in a single session.

  3. Encourage people in your family to avoid wasting water while washing and shaving.

  4. Immerse all the dirty dishes in a tub of soapy water. After that, simply rinse them under a slow-moving stream.

  5. Car washing is one of the biggest water guzzlers. Reuse water as much as you can. For example, dirty water that was used to wash clothes or dishes can be used to wash your car. Avoid using a hose to wash your car. Instead, use a bucket of water and a cloth to clean your car.

  6. Use efficient ways to water your plants, such as drip irrigation.

  7. If you have a garden, plant trees and shrubs that do not consume too much water. Nilgiri or Eucalyptus, for example, is a water guzzler.
Speak to your family members about the following water-saving measures:
  • Installing a water-saving flush where the amount of water released can be controlled, depending on whether urine or stool is to be flushed

  • Using a water-efficient washing machine

  • Keeping faucets, old pipes, and taps in good condition

Harvest water

Did you know that rainwater could be 'harvested'? Every year, a huge amount of rainwater goes down the drains or is lost due to evaporation. This water can be collected in a storage tank and used throughout the year.

Create a Rainwater Harvest System

With the help of your family members, friends, and neighbours, you can create your own basic rainwater harvest system.

  • Identify the areas where rainwater collects the most.

  • The terrace of your house or building is a perfect place for collecting water. If you have a naturally sloping roof, you could simply allow the water to flow into a bucket. Create an artificial slope using sheets of plastic or metal to collect water to one point.

  • Use a pipe to collect this water and transfer it to a tank or well.
The harvested water can be used in a variety of ways such as for gardening, washing the car, etc. If the entire rainwater harvest system including the storage tank is well-maintained and clean, you could use the water for drinking and cooking. You could attach a readymade water filter to the pipe or create a manual one to remove solid impurities. Clean this filter on a regular basis to remove debris and prevent clogging of the pipe. Remember to boil the water before consumption.

Involve Your Community

Your friends, neighbours, and other people will also benefit from knowing about how to save water. Some tips:

  • Ask your teachers and organise a water-conservation seminar at school. Brainstorm and collect ideas.

  • With the help of your friends, create colourful pamphlets out of waste paper that highlight the importance of water conservation. Distribute these pamphlets in your neighbourhood.

  • Educate your family members on how to save water and the benefits of rainwater harvesting.

Do you believe we may be in for a water crisis? What has been your experience with water conservation? Do you know any innovative ways of saving water? To share your experience and tips, click here.

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