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Updated: February 27, 2013 17:50 IST

I know what you did last summer

MARIANNE DE NAZARETH
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You dare not waste those precious drops this summer. Photo: K. Gopinathan
The Hindu You dare not waste those precious drops this summer. Photo: K. Gopinathan

Cityscape: People share experience and tips on how to conserve water this summer

Bangalore is reeling under curtailed fresh water supplies, and we are not even into the height of summer. As citizens, the best way forward is to reduce wastage in our homes across the city. Fresh water supplies are finite and we have to learn how to cope with the situation as best we can.

Gloria Rozario who lives in Australia, where water has always been scarce, gives some practical pointers which make a lot of sense and need to be heeded to help ourselves.

“This is a typical day in Australia — we wash our cars from a bucket yes, but the run off flows onto the lawn as well. We always close the tap while brushing our teeth rather than have the water running. We also put a large, full plastic bottle or two into the flush tank to use less water per flush, we never use a full flush. I also keep a bucket in my shower and use the water filled during the shower for my plants,” she says. Gloria also sets a four-minute timer for maximum time in the shower, and she always uses mulch and compost heavily in her flower beds in the garden, to avoid excess evaporation. “Australians are champions in this area in my opinion, and are naturally careful in fresh water use,” she says.

With numbers growing in our city and fresh water supplies dwindling, Bangaloreans shared their tips on conserving fresh water in the city. Ashok Kumar who lives in Thalaghatta Pura, Kanakapura Road, says, “Water from the kitchen sink and the washing machine is directly routed to the garden. We also have a Rain Water Harvesting facility for collecting water from the entire sloped roof and storing it in a 3000 litre sump. This is used to water the lawns. Instead of taps which remain open on turning the knob, it makes sense to use taps which release water only on applying pressure. The most important requisite which we must learn to do, is to measure our usage, even if the water is from your own borewell. I sincerely believe that what we cannot measure, cannot be controlled.”

Neecia Majolly who is a voice trainer in the city and lives in Lingarajapuram says, “We have rain water harvesting installed, and use a bucket of water to wash the car, and also to bathe the doggie at home.”

“Sacrificing a shower and having a bucket bath instead helps. Running the washing machine only when I have a full load and using a small bucket with water at the sink instead of using running water to wash our hands is also an effective way of reducing water consumption in our home,” shares Madhusmitha Kondepudi.

Dawn Lee who lived through the decade of drought in Australia, where water scarcity became really quite alarming said, “There was a challenge the state government launched, to keep water use to a certain number of litres per person. There was also talk of fines per household for excessive water use, not watering the lawns every day, and water was released to even-numbered houses on certain days, odd numbered on other days.”

With fresh water supplies becoming an issue in most homes in the city, its better to check and plug all leaking taps in the house, verify if your sump cuts off as soon as it is full, and use grey water for the garden, toilets and the public areas of the house.

Plus if anyone notices a broken fresh water pipe on the road, alert your nearest BWSSB supply office, to avoid waste which we can least afford.

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