Definitive Guide to Reduce Water Wastage

Definitive Guide to Reduce Water Wastage

Reduce Wastage of Water – the 1st R of Water Conservation

Every day we read about the shortage of water in India and many other countries. Niti Aayog in one of its reports has suggested that as many as 21 cities will run out of ground water as early as 2020.  Such a scenario always brings up a question – is there really a shortage of water? And the simple answer is NO. There is no shortage of water. Nature gives us more water than our needs. Yes, nature is unable to give us more eater than our greed.

Quantity of freshwater is fixed – It reaches us after going through 2 cycles – Nature’s Water cycle and Manmade Water Cycle. One of the simplest ways to overcome the perceived shortage of water is to simply prevent wastage of water. It can save a lot of misery, effort and money. And numbers are huge.

How to Reduce Wastage of Water

To save water, we follow 5 R’s of Water Conservation. The 1st R of Water Conservation is – Reduce Wastage of Water.

This article is about how to reduce wastage of water. It is not yet a definitive guide on reduction of wastage of water. But it aims to be with the help of knowledgeable readers such as yourself. We have listed below ways in which we can achieve our objective of water conservation by reducing water wastage. I am sure that we have missed out a few wonderful ideas. It is my request that you share your ideas about how to reduce wastage of water in the comments section below or use the contact us page to share the ideas. We ill incorporate them in the article with due credit to you.

1. Save one bucket of water each day by reducing the consumption. In a city like Delhi which has a population of 18.5 million, if every person saves 1 bucket a day (15 liters of water), then 27.75 crore liters / day or 10128.75 crore liters / year are saved. This is equal to 42 days requirement of all families in Delhi. (Assumption each family has 5 members who require 130 liters of water every day). This is true for all cities irrespective of the population of the city. If each person saves one bucket of water every day, the total water saved will help sustain all families in the city for 42 days. The question that can be asked now is how you save at least one bucket water every day. Here are some ways to do it:

      1. Use aerators in all taps.
      2. Use dual flush system in the toilets
      3. Use a water mug while brushing your teeth instead of using running tap water in the sink.
      4. Similarly use a water mug or tumbler while shaving and not let the tap water flow as you shave.
      5. It is advisable to turn of the tap while scrubbing / soaping hands. Turn on the tap only to wet the hand and later to rinse the soap off.
      6. Use bucket or a can to water plants instead of a hose pipe.
      7. Mop the floors to clean them instead of using a hose pipe with running water.
      8. Use water in bucket to clean your vehicles instead of hose pipe with running water.
      9. Take bath with water filled in a bucket instead of using a shower. However, if you do not spend too long in the shower (under 5 minutes) then shower bath may be used.
      10. Use a bucket or large container to rinse the utensils instead of using the running tap water.
      11. Use water efficient washing machines that consume lesser water per wash
      12. Use float valves and water level indicators in storage tanks so that there is no water overflow.
      13. Serve half glass of water to your guests. If they need more water, the’ll ask for it.

2. Reduce water wastage by ensuring that there are no leaking taps. If a tap leaks @ 1 drop / second, we lose 2000 litres/month. If there are two such taps in each house, Delhi loses 49.33 Cr litres / day or 18007 Cr litres / year which is equal to 74 days water requirement of all families of Delhi.

3. RO filters are a big source of water wastage. In areas where the water is supplied by the municipal corporations, a RO is not really required since the TDS level of the water is quite low. In such cases other form of water purifiers such as UV or gravity filters may be quite enough. However, if you must use RO water purifiers, then the reject water from the RO should be used again. There are many ways in which the RO reject water can be used to reduce the water wastage after the TDS level of the reject water is tested (Water with TDS below 2000 can be used for many purposes)

      1. Cleaning the floor
      2. Watering the plants
      3. Washing vehicles
      4. Washing the utensils
      5. Flushing

As I have mentioned earlier, there must be many other ways in which water wastage can be reduced. Please share your ideas in the comments section below or write to us through the contact us page.


Excerpt From My Book – WaGu

Water the guruDear Jal Rakshaks,

As I saw more and more of Water in my work for its conservation, I started to see that Water is not a mere ‘resource’. All that you need to learn about living a life well lived, you can learn from Water. I see, Water as my Guru. Please read this excerpt from the first draft of a book I’m writing on it. Please share with me stories, ideas, existential questions….anything…. that you think must be a part of  a book like this. Also please help me find a title for the book ! 

The Guru Revealed Himself to me…..

….In Varanasi. Varanasi is a holy city on the banks of the holy river Ganges. The epicentre of the Hindu religion, the city has temples all around and thousands of people immersing themselves in the Ganga’s holy waters.

This is all about religion, not spirituality“, I thought.

Though there were temples all over, I did not particularly feel closer to God there. The holy river also looked too crowded, too dirty. I was disappointed.

You cannot see Her now. Come tomorrow morning before dawn to see the Mother” I heard someone say behind me. I turned to see a sadhu standing there smiling at me. Before I could think of something to say, he walked away.

So that’s how it came about that I reached the Ganga Ghat early next morning. It was 5.30 a.m. and the ghat was quiet. The sun was not yet up. The river, in the twilight, looked calm and inviting. I felt an intense desire to go deep into it. I looked around and found a boatman to take me for a boatride in the river……

…And, that boatride transformed my life. As the boatman rowed upto the centre of the river, I felt myself getting enveloped in peace. From being the centre of my own universe I felt myself becoming part of an eternal constant flow. The quiet splashing of the oars and the gurglng of the river became a divine music that took me far beyond myself.

I felt the river talk to me. She was part of me.

I looked back towards the ghat. For the first time,I saw it with the eyes of the River. From birth to death, the entire play of human life was being played out there. There was a new born child being baptised, young children frolicking in the shallow Water. The local stall owners were having their daily bath and others were setting up stalls. I saw an old sadhu sat in yogic meditation oblivious to a woman washing her long tresses right next to him. A family offering the ashes of their loved one to the River while the dobhi ghat nearby was slowly filling up with washermen with their load of washing for the day. An old woman begging, a young running into hordes of pigeons to make them fly. And next to all these vignettes of life – a cremation ghat with a pyre still burning. Stacks of wood piled up waiting for their turn to give salvation. The boatman told me that this cremation ghat was part of ancient history – a folktale about Raja Harishchandra.

From birth to death in one blink of the eye. Not in sequence but all happening at the same time. Different faces in different stages – but on the same journey. And watching it all, a quiet, flowing river.

The wisdom of the ages, the combined  life experience of all those who throng the ghats, the birth rites for infinite lives and deliverance for souls of infinite dead….all in that patient, eternal River.

At this very instant, The Sun burst through the horizon in all its radiant glory, as if to bless me in my moment of truth. I sat back to enjoy the naughty flirtation of the oar with the blushing river and the caressing rays. The river became a sprightly, happy, vain young girl playing one suitor against the other. I felt complete – a part of this happy complete picture.

But not for long……  I saw a sewage pipe emptying its black filth into the river. The foam from the washermen’s soaps soon stood on the water like hillocks of cotton.  Garbage floated in the river as the flower sellers threw yesterday’s leftovers into the river. Disturbed by these sights, I felt the magic fading.

Suddenly, the boatman stopped rowing. Startled out of my reverie, I saw him then pick up a bamboo from the base of the boat and throw it into the river.

Almost upturning the boat as I lunged to stop the bamboo from falling into the water,  I shouted at the boatman “Why did you do this? Isnt there enough muck in the river already?”

The boatman looked surprised” Muck? Where? And the bamboo is to help the birds eat” Sure enough, a pigeon flew down and perched himself on the floating bamboo. From this secure perch, he pecked at the invisible floating stuff. ” The birds drown trying to eat from the Water. All of us put these sticks to help Ganga Maiyya feed them.”

‘Ganga Maiyya’ – Mother of a species that lives so comfortably with its contradictions! Men who think nothing of poisoning a River go all out to save a pesky pigeon from drowning!

“I’ve spent the past hour listening to you talk about Ganga Maiyya . If you revere Her so much, why do you people pollute Her ?”I asked the boatman.

The boatman looked at me increulously and replied “Kaisi baat kar rahin hain aap ! How can we pollute Her? She is purity itself! Her divine purity cleanses our souls – how can she be impure?”

Silence – of frustration on my side and complete conviction on his.

The boatman still looked troubled. He asked ” Have you been to ‘Gaumukh’? “

No”, I replied.

He nodded knowingly and continued, ” That’s why you don’t understand! Gaumukh is where the Holy Ganga starts her earthly journey. Through millions of cycles of birth and death, Ganga maiyyaa is reborn every year, as pure as always, from the always pristine Gangotri. You know why that is?”

Of course….glaciers  are…?”I tried to explain about glaciers as  origins of perennial rivers……

The boatman ignored this interruption, “Pollution, of the mind or body, happens when dirt clings to you. Ganga Maiyyaa, takes her Godly form to discard our black sins before her rebirth at Gangotri. She carries the divine knowledge of healing in herself. Even as she flows, she decimates all that is impure.”

He then rummaged around in a cloth bag he had. He fished out an empty plastic bottle, handed it to me and ordered “Fill it with Ganga Jal.”

I look around and gingerly filled the bottle.

Mollified, he smiled and said, “Keep it. You’ll need it for pujas. And see the proof of her purity – the Water will not go bad, however many years you keep it.”

I still have that bottle. It’s been more than 5 years – the Water looks and smells the same.

Science or faith? Does it really matter? What matters is the wisdom of the River which knows what to keep and how.

When we reached the river bank, I got off the boat, thanked the boatman….and then, just sat at the river bank for a long time. I know, the River knew my tumultous thoughts. She kept caressing my feet, spraying mist over my head and making cooing sounds to soothe my soul. Entranced, I watched Her as she weaved her way gracefully but with determination through obstructions.  I traced her cyclical journey from Gaumukh to the sea in my mind.

That day, I understood why the River allows the sacrilege we commit. We invade her space, change her form and sully her, all, in the name of religion or, worse, out of sheer apathy. But, She flows on, unpertubed, because  Her wisdom gives Her empathy. She knows, that our desire for control, comes from our frightening knowledge of our mortality. So, She offers comfort in whicheverway we seek.

The River denies us nothing because….She is secure in Her immortality.

Is God not immortal? Unconditonal love, acceptance and support – forever and ever – Is this not what we ask of our Gods?

The simple boatman, had shown me what I had not seen in all my years of working with Water. He showed me Divinity in Water….

…and if  75% of our body is Water…..then….he showed me….Divinity in Me.

Make God your Guru

Let Him tell you what to do

Listen he’s calling, calling you

Take time to listen

Take courage to obey

The inner voice is calling, calling you

There are voices all around me

My enemies and my friends

Do this, dont do that

The chorus never ends

But i shall always listen to that quiet inner voice

It is swift and definite

And I have made my choice

Make Water your Guru….

My God, My Guru had revealed Himself to me- Water.

© – Jyoti Sharma

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