Chennai in India has become one of its first cities to run out of water. 4 of the major reservoirs that supply over 60% of its water have completely dried up. With Chennai metro water tankers delivering water and prices touching INR 10 a pot you can just imagine the severity of the problem. People have turned to bore wells pumping even more from rapidly depleting aquifers. Meaning you have to sink deeper bore wells. But even here more and more people are finding saline water. One day without water for us is a crisis situation. A lack of water on an ongoing basis is an economic as well as environmental disaster. But is there something you can do help prevent a crisis like this? How can you help in saving water in India?
Reduce Your water Consumption
As per the bureau of standards of India you need to supply a minimum of 200 Litres per person per day for domestic consumption in cities with full flushing systems. Now most of these studies rely on averages. Meaning there will be tons of people over and tons of people under this limit. But lets see how to reduce our water consumption significantly. All of these measures move from easy to more difficult but are all useful to help you reduce your water consumption
1. Brush Frugally
You’ll hear a lot of advice on the internet to turn off your taps when brushing your teeth. This is an excellent suggestion. Most bathroom sinks will be using water at around 6 lpm ( litres per minute). So every minute you keep the tap shut you save 6 litres of water. Hooray. But what if you could be more mental than that?.
2. Replace areators in your taps
You can get low flow water aerators that can control your taps water flow down to 1.5 LPM. That means even for the few minutes your using the tap your saving water like crazy. If you use a tap for 10 minutes in a day . That means a total usage of 15 litres vs usage of 60 litres. Though bear in mind the taps will feel very different. And you might take some getting used to the reduced water. Try out multiple flow rated aerators to find the right one to balance savings and utility. Some of them have funny patterns that might not be to your liking. So experiment and figure it out
Shower like a king
An average shower in India will have a flow rate of around 10 lpm. that’s just average. If you have one of the ancient showers in your house this can be significantly more. So if each person has a 10 minute shower. That’s 100 liters of water used. So how can we get better from the average? Are they any hacks to help in saving water while you shower in India?
3. Use a bucket for a bath instead of showering
Using a bucket limits the amount of water you have. The scarcity somehow additionally fools our brains into making the best use of the water. It curbs the temptation of just standing under the shower and enjoying the hot water. This is again a hack that costs you no money. Unless you have to buy the bucket and a mug.
4. Reduce time spent in the shower
Every minute you reduce in the shower saves you water. The faster you can complete your shower the more water you can save. Also, consider turning off the shower when soaping up. Remember in the shower, every second counts.
5. Low flow shower head
I have already covered the advantages of the low flow shower head in this article about saving Electricity. I like my showers a lot, but does that mean I should shamelessly exploit water? Of course not. So I tried to find a middle ground where I could enjoy my shower and save water as well. Get a low flow shower head. Shifting to a showerhead with a flow rate of 5lpm effectively reduces your usage by half. Less stress on your water heater as well so double the saving. Heres the one that I use.
The laudry list
Ok now were getting serious. Nearly 20% of your water requirements will be for laundry. Considering our climate is muggy and dusty you’ll have to do laundry more often. So how do you manage laundry while ensuring your saving water in India?
6. Wait for a full load.
Half loads make inefficient use of water. Wait for a full load to run your machine. This means you use your machine for fewer cycles and save water as well as electricity. High five. Plus, this simple tip does not cost you a rupee to implement.
7. Pre soak your clothes
Want a better clean from your machine. Pre-soak your clothes in detergent so that it cleans better. Machines have a pre-soak function by themselves, but the function uses up more water in the process. This also uses more detergent. What I do is load the main soap dispenser and put the machine directly on the main cycle. Once it starts spinning and the clothes are wet. I turn the power off for around an hour or so before restarting the machine. This gives the detergent time to work and gives you a much better clean then if you run the clothes through the pre-soak function of the machine. Again this tip costs 0 rupees to implement. What it costs is the time and effort in remembering to do it.
8. Get a more efficient washing machine.
This one will cost you big bucks, but the lifetime savings costs are tremendous. Simply shifting from a top load to a front load machine can give you a saving of 40% of the water per load. Yup you read that right 40%. An average top loader needs around 140 Litres per cycle. Considering 5 days a week that’s 700 odd litres of water. A 40% saving here is 280 litres of water saved a week. Plus they also use less electricity. So if you’re looking to upgrade your washing machine. This is a no brainer in my eyes. Heres one of the VFM machines that’s on my plate that balances energy efficiency and water usage.