[by Engr. Guillermo dela Cruz]
Water is an important commodity necessary for the sustenance of human life. While the supply seems abundant, water is not a limitless source, particularly the fresh potable water most necessary for human survival. Without conservation efforts, the vital supply of water may be exhausted.
During summer, water consumption will be at its highest. Not only do we use it for our daily household consumption, but the agriculture industry will need it more during this dry season. There is news that the effect of El Niño will still be felt in the country. According to PAGASA, we’ll be experiencing water lack in the middle of the dry season so preparations should be made so that adverse effects will not be felt too much.
Some industries have already incorporated water conservation efforts year-round. You may have already noticed that more shopping malls in the country are already using water-less urinals. As per the manufacturer’s claim, these types of urinals can save up to 150,000 liters of water in a year. Some malls are even recycling their water and this is specifically used for flushing urinals and toilets. Other establishments are using dual-flush toilets and automatic sensors for faucets.
We as ordinary water consumers can also do our part in helping the effort for water conservation. There are many small but effective ways to conserve water in and around your home.
In the Bathroom:
1. Make sure your toilet is an ultra-low flush toilet. You can also use a dual flush toilet that uses less water for flushing for liquid waste. In some cases, an adjustable toilet flapper is used to adjust the amount of water to be used for flushing.
2. Check the toilet for leaks. Put dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there’s a leak that should be repaired.
3. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or when shaving. Use a glass of water to rinse your mouth after brushing. When shaving, use a pan of water or fill the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor.
4. Take short showers instead of tub baths. Showers use less water than filling your bathtub. If you are going to use the shower, turn it off while soaping or shampooing. Turn it back on for rinsing.
In the Kitchen:
1. If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with rinse water. If you only have one sink, use a spray device or short blasts instead of letting the water run.
2. When washing the dishes, use the least amount of detergent possible. This minimizes the amount of rinse water needed.
3. Don’t defrost frozen foods with running water. Either plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator overnight or defrost them in the microwave.
4. Don’t let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan.
Doing the Laundry:
1. Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine.
2. Consider purchasing a high-efficiency washing machine, which can save over 50 percent in laundry water and energy use.
3. Collect laundry rinse water. You can use this for flushing the toilet or cleaning your car. The final laundry rinse can be used for watering your plants.
Outside your house:
1. Water your plants during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus.
2. Use a broom when cleaning sidewalks or driveways instead of hosing them with water. If you need water to remove stubborn dirt, use collected laundry rinse water instead.
3. When washing your car, use an adjustable nozzle or sprayer and turn off the water stream while soaping your vehicle.
4. Collect rainwater. Rainwater from a good collecting system can be used in a variety of ways inside the household aside from watering plants.
These measures are just a few of what we can do to conserve water in our household and the easiest to put in place. Make conserving water a daily part of your life especially these trying times that we are always inside our house while the children were likely to play in the water. And remember when you save water, you save energy and money!
Resources: Washington State Dept. of Ecology; Mono Lake Committee; Livestrong.com; Eartheasy.com
Images from Google