Here are some of the things that citizens can do when water shortage become the order of the day as summer approaches.
Use as less water as possible. In the case of a city such as Bangalore, one litre of water saved is equal to two litres of water generated, since almost 50 per cent of the water pumped into the system is non-revenue water.
Check for leaking taps, showers, sump tanks, overhead tanks and water closets and get them repaired as soon as possible. Leaks can drain away enormous amounts of water every day.
Put a 1-litre plastic bottle filled with water into your flush cistern. This will save a litre every time there is a full flush.
Put a shower head in your kitchen tap. What one needs is dispersal of water to clean the dishes, not volume.
Install a tippy tap, an innovative and low-cost water saving device. This will dispense 40 ml of water and will be enough to wash one's hands with soap.
Use the washing machine only at full load and stagger the washings so that full loads are reached. Consider replacing the detergents used with a soap-nut powder mix for at least two washes out of five. Detergents end up polluting waterbodies or put a heavy load on the treatment plant and the less you use them the better for the plant.
The Pongaemia tree and many other trees are in full bloom. Make sure they get enough water but also collect their seeds, grow saplings in milk packets and take care of them till June so that you can plant them and increase the green cover of the city and your neighbourhood.
If you have a lawn in your garden, consider reducing its size to the bare minimum possible and replace it with a tree-based cover or even a bougainvillea-based landscape.
Make provisions for a bird bath and sow it with azolla or water lettuce seeds. Remember to introduce guppy fish into it to keep the mosquitoes away and top it up with water every other day so that birds and insects get a place to drink water during the hot summer.