How to use less water

In which we are solvent… Finally, our water supply system is up and running. It’s wonderful (but unreal) to have water on tap again.

…but wondering why water isn’t rationed
Acutely aware as we are of the precious and scarce nature of water, it’s nevertheless difficult to continue our recent niggardly practices. My 3-mug bath has become a 5-mug bath. The new pump is spewing water at a ferocious rate, and the plants are getting more than they need, except the ones in the drip system. One has to run with the hose pipe from sapling to sapling in order to avoid wastage. All this makes me wonder… if it’s so difficult for even the most well intentioned of mortals to curb wastefulness, why isn’t water, our most valuable resource, rationed? I googled water rationing, and found that this is only ever an extreme measure, reserved for drought seasons. No one seems to think this is a desirable thing.

I know, I know. Stingy is not a nice trait. Carefulness and penny-pinching are uncool. We come from a culture of lavishness. Weddings are grand affairs, so are birthdays, funerals, and everything in between. We sneer at people who do things simply. And we like to show our generosity by throwing plastic and water around. This is equally true in rural and urban areas.

I’m not saying we should live regimented lives. I’m all for free speech, free everything, living your life the way you want as long as you don’t hurt anyone. But water is not free. We may think it is, but we are really stealing it from the earth, other people, animals, birds and trees. And until we really understand that there’s only so much fresh water and we can’t afford to waste it, shouldn’t water be rationed? The world over? Ground water especially? I wish policy makers would think about this. It’s so possible to live comfortably with a fraction of the water we currently use.

Easy tips to reduce your water consumption
So, do you want to rein yourself in a little, regulate your use of water? Here are some easy ways that don’t involve buying gadgets like aerators.

1. Get into the habit of opening the tap only half way, or just a trickle, especially when you’re doing the dishes or rinsing vegetables. This will immediately cut your kitchen water usage by half.2. Do half-flushes. Even the new water-saving flushes use far more water than is needed. Press the button or handle gently and you’ll find the toilet is perfectly clean with just half the water. 3. Line up to the loo! Two or three family members get to go for the price of one flush! 4. Use mugs instead of a bucket for your bath. A couple of years ago, Bengaluru apartment owners had issued the half-bucket challenge. That was a good thing then, but we can push it further. I say one can get squeaky clean with three mugs, and five is a luxury!

That’s my top four. What are yours?

2 responses to “How to use less water

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