A single drop of water trickles down from the tap that has been dry for years, as a line of thirstful kids with parched lips forms around it. They’re fighting for it, that one drop of water they’ve been longing for. Water is the elixir of life, or simply the reason life sustains on this planet. And this is what our life would be if we do not preserve this resource. Over centuries, decades and years we have exploited the only thing that kept us alive, and it’s time we realise that we have not inherited this earth without a rent to pay. With growing population rates and such a small percentage of all the water on Earth fit for consumption, it only makes sense that we must preserve and conserve this precious resource.
Water conservation means using our limited water supply wisely and caring for it properly. Since each of us depends on water to sustain life, it is our responsibility to learn more about water conservation and how we can help keep our sources pure and safe for generations to come. Our available water supply is finite. That means we do not have an endless amount of water.
In other words, water conservation is not a job that is reserved for scientists, hydrologists, foresters, wildlife managers, city planners, farmers, or mine owners. Instead, it is up to each and every one of us to conserve water. So how do we do that? How do we conserve this nectar of life?
1. Around 600 gallons of rainwater can be harvested from about one inch of rain if it falls from a thousand square foot roof. Doesn’t that sound like a lot of water that you could harvest and use for free?
Rainwater harvesting is collecting the run-off from a structure or other impervious surface in order to store it for later use. Traditionally, this involves harvesting the rain from a roof. The rain will collect in gutters that channel the water into downspouts and then into some sort of storage vessel. Rainwater collection systems can be as simple as collecting rain in a rain barrel or as elaborate as harvesting rainwater into large cisterns to supply your entire household demand. We believe that rainwater harvesting is a viable technology in an urban setting. All that is necessary to take advantage of this resource is to capture the free water falling on your roof and direct it to a rainwater storage tank.
2. Turn off the taps
Don’t let your water consumption run out of control. Save 6 litres of water a minute by turning off your tap while you brush your teeth. Fix leaky taps too – and stop what could be 60 litres of water going straight down the drain every week.
3. Time your gardening
Water outdoor plants in the early morning or at the end of the day to stop water immediately evaporating in sunlight and heat. Water the soil so that the liquid goes straight to the roots, where it’s needed. In a heatwave, animals need water too. Instead of watering your lawn, leave out a water-filled container, like a casserole dish, for birds to drink from and wash. Thirsty bees and other insects will need a saucer or bowl with water and stones in it.
4. Be plumbing prepared
Regularly check your kitchen pipes and the dishwasher hose for slow leaks. Find out where your household stop valve is and make sure that you can turn it on and off. You’ll thank us if you ever have a burst pipe – because you’ll be able to cut off the flow before it floods the house.
Find a contact number for your water supplier, so that if you find a leak you can let them know and stop water being wasted.
by Tanishka Khattar