Are we really using water as judiciously as we should be?
The issue of water scarcity is one that has been haunting India for a long time now. It is calculated that more people in rural India have access to phones (41 percent) than to safe drinking water (18 percent).
“Only around one-thirds of rural households in India are reached by water pipes. The rest still lives “beyond the pipe”.
In such a situation, preservation of water is extremely essential.
Reclaiming water is the process of converting wasted water into usable water. This water is then used for mostly non-potable (non-drinkable) purposes such as irrigation, cooling water for power plants, industrial processes, toilet flushing, concrete mixing and other construction activities, and artificial lakes. The level of treatment is decided depending on the level of human exposure to the reclaimed water.
Reclaimed water, if treated properly, can satisfy most water demands.
Not reusing water leads to the problem of not treating water before it is discharged into waterways. This pollutes the source itself and makes the water unfit for consumption. The water intended for drinking is drawn from the same source and if not properly treated creates numerous public health problems.
Reclaiming water can help in:
- Reducing the amount of pollution going into waterways
- Reducing water bills
- Using fewer water resources
- Having a stable source of water during droughts or restrictions
- Help save money on infrastructure for water supply
As of today, Israel leads the world in water reclamation. Israel treats 80% of its sewage water which is almost 400 billion litres a year.
It also treats 100% of the sewage from the Tel Aviv area and uses it as irrigation water. This enables Israel to not depend on rains for its water supply since it rains only in winters. Through water reclamation and reuse, it has been able to successfully survive droughts and thrive.
Recycling or reclaiming water at home is not a difficult task either. Firstly, to recycle the water it is important know the kinds of waste water created in households.
It is water from non-toilet plumbing fixtures like showers or taps. Greywater filtration systems use a series of filters within the container to filter out harmful particles. Treated greywater can be used to irrigate most food plants as well!
It is water that has mixed with toilet waste. It includes water from kitchens and dishwashers as well due to the potential contamination by pathogens. Blackwater is often harder to filter at home as it has more toxic particles.
It’s time we start paying attention to the fast pace at which the consumable water in our country and all around the water is depreciating in quantity and quality. Apart from reclaiming water, two easy steps you can take to save water at home are –
- Water plants at dawn
Doing this will require lesser water since the temperature will be cooler and less water will evaporate. When watering the plants, a watering can will help save gallons of water compared to a hose. It also allows you to carefully oversee the amount of water used in each plant.
- Rainwater harvesting
Accumulating and reusing rainwater to water plants and flush toilets is a great way to help conserve water. In fact, setting up a rainwater harvesting system in your house yourself isn’t very difficult to do. This website explain it and gives many ways to go about it – http://theselfsufficientliving.com/making-diy-rain-barrels/.
These steps are just small ways we can help save water in our everyday lives. All of them are simple steps and will help you save money from your water bill as well. They don’t require much work at all but can help save gallons of water over time!