It’s getting warmer in Mumbai and in a few months Monsoon will be here. For people like us (the normal middle class), it’s not a big problem. We start using our AC’s to cool down our homes and jump into the pool. But for many people in Mumbai and all over India, the ongoing heat is a big problem. My maid told me the other day that they have only 2-3 hours of running water in their houses these days as the municipality rations the water consumption. The lack of water resources affects the poor the most. Many farmers have problems to water their fields, etc. In some villages, people have to take the train to collect water from far away places. Because of all this, I decided to share with you all the below whatsapp message that I received the other day:
Ideas to reduce water consumption in our homes and do our bit for the water crisis
1. Check for leaks ⚠️ and fix them promptly – especially toilet flushes (if there is a major leak, shut of the main valve until the leak can be fixed). Even a small leak can waste lots of water.
2. Report water wastage and leaks in your area to your ward officer. Many building’s overhead tanks overflow and people don’t pay attention. Millions of liters of water are wasted this way every day all over the city. All buildings should install float valves so that the pumps are shut off automatically when the tanks are full.
3. Reduce the pressure of water flow at all main inlets so that the house saves water as a whole, with a special focus on the kitchen.
4. Explain to domestic staff that if they waste water while working in your house, if affects them in their homes too (the big picture!). People living in slums suffer the most from water cuts and the “tanker mafia”.
5. To break the habit of staff leaving taps open as they work elsewhere, a habit of replenishing water from a container instead of a tap can be adopted.
6. Move to a limited bucket bath or a timed ️shower bath as a practice.
7. Shut off taps when water is not needed throughout the task such as washing dishes, brushing teeth, shampooing, soaping, shaving, etc.
8. Use a small flush for small jobs You can control this on many types of toilets.
9. Water in which vegetables/fruits, rice, dal etc are rinsed can be collected and used for watering plants. Plants don’t mind dirty water as long as it doesn’t have soap or other chemicals – the residues from washing rice/dal etc provide nutrition to the plants.
10. Car cleaning can be restricted to a wipe down with half a bucket of water per car with a less than daily frequency. And the remaining water can be poured into the plants in the compound.
11. Unused bathrooms in homes need not be washed daily whereas balconies can be swept and mopped rather than washed.
12. Water can be collected from appliances such as air conditioners, dehumidifiers and dryers and used for cleaning purposes. AC drain pipes can be positioned so that the water drains into your plants – like a drip irrigation system
13. When clothes are handwashed, the last rinse can be used for cleaning purposes.
14. The kitchen sink drain can be plugged or you can use a dish pan during the last rinse of vessels and that water can be used to rinse dirty dishes before soaping.
15. If you use an RO water purifier, collect the reject water in a bucket and use it for cleaning or watering plants.
16. Only run full loads in your dishwasher or washing machine, and choose efficient appliances. If using a dishwasher, just a quick pre-rinse in a basin of water or a wipe is needed when loading dishes.