Back during my childhood,
When water was never a concern
I used to fill my buckets
Without thinking about any overturn.
As I played in rainwater,
Quenching my thirst and finding it refreshing,
I never occurred to my mind
That this was indeed a blessing!
But now, we need to teach our kids
To value each and every drop,
As this natural resource is becoming scarce
And its supply can anytime stop!!
Though many of us who live in big cities have the privilege to enjoy the water in swimming pools and jacuzzis, there are many places in this country that run on only water tanks, which supplies twice or even once a week, most of the summers. The situation is getting worse every year. Every resource has its own limitation and so does this. For the future generations to come, water can become the rarest and an expensive thing. The need of the hour is to take control of the things now itself.
Our ancestors already had a clue of the upcoming situations and hence they followed some great traditional ways to save water for the future generations. Let’s have a look at the 3 important traditional ways of water conservation and their state today.
- Katta, a temporary structure which is made by binding mud and loose stones. These are built across small streams and rivers. It slows the flow of water and stores a good amount of water for the dry months. The water that’s collected gradually seeps into the ground thus increasing the water level of nearby wells. However, when most of the rich villagers started to have personal borewells, the water level in open wells began to go down severely, thus taking a toll on marginal villagers.
- Madakas, also known as Johads in Rajasthan, was made upon those areas which had naturally high elevation on three sides. The soil was excavated to create a storage area. The same soil was used to create a wall on the fourth side so that the water gets stored without any leakage. These were or rather are helpful is conserving monsoon water, which slowly seeps into the ground and maintains soil moisture. Though many of these Johads have now fallen into disrepair due to the dumping of waste.
- Bawdis, typically square-shaped step-wells with beautiful arches, and motifs. These were built during emperor rule in India for storing water for basic needs. The typical lifespan of Bawdis is around 20-30 years. These are located away from residential areas and today stand discarded by society. Many of these have turned into dumping sites today.
A lot of harm has been already done and a lot of water has been wasted. But now, from this moment, every individual should work towards preserving this natural resource called water. This is not just a government’s responsibility but also of every individual of the nation.
So here are a few methods that one can follow at an individual level, right at our homes
- Use bucket instead of shower or bathtubs. Close the running taps while you are brushing your teeth. Though these are the most known ways but how many of us are implementing it actually? So just a friendly reminder.
- Use Dual flush toilets. Though these can be a bit heavy on your pockets but count it as a long-term investment. They use two different buttons to flush different amount of water. So while you get rid of the liquid waste from the toilet you will not be wasting gallons of water.
- Washing machines consume a lot of water for removing a little dirt. So store the last rinse (which will not be much soapy) of water by filling it up in a bucket and make use of the same in cleaning your bathroom floors.
- Most of the RO machines generate a lot of residual water (which is approximately 3 times of the pure water). Thankfully, I don’t have one of the kind. If you have, its good to fill a tub with this residual water. You can use this for mopping or rinsing your utensils can be a better option too. That way you will not be running the dishes under the running tap while scrubbing the other dishes.
- Serve yourself and others only the amount that is required. One should leave those table manners which can cause wastage of such a precious resource called water and should not feel ashamed of filling up only half of the glasses for others.
- If you fill a pot every day for drinking purpose, do not throw the remaining water the next day into the drains. Use it to water your plants or use it for mopping. You can even give it to your society gardeners to water the plants in case you don’t own greens in your apartment.
- Use Indian toilets. Yes weird I may sound but this can save a lot of water. All you need is from a mug of water to half a bucket which is definitely much less than gallons of water that get flushed in western toilets.
- Use drip irrigation for your lawns or huge gardens instead of hose pipes. This is sure to save not just water but your efforts too. If you can install bamboo drip irrigation, this can prove to be eco-friendly and of course cost effective.
If you have some more thoughts to share, please feel free to share in comments and join me in this great Initiative by Livpure .
Also, I have signed the petition, “Save water by adopting #Cutting Pani“. Take a minute out to sign this and take your first step to save water for the future!!