6 Easy Ways To Conserve Water
March 22nd is World Water Day. If recent reports are anything to go by, the world seems to be headed towards a serious water crisis. Here are some easy ways to conserve water and do your bit to save water at home.
 
 

March 22nd is World Water Day. If recent reports are anything to go by, the world seems to be headed towards a serious water crisis. Here are some easy ways to conserve water and do your bit to save water at home.

Water is a strange thing. Its unusual characteristics are something that science finds utterly weird. For example, it is denser as a liquid than as a solid. Its unusual molecular structure allows it to exist as a liquid at room temperature, where similar materials exists as a gas. Even its molecular formula, good old H2O, may actually be H1.5O (but only in the realm of quantum physics). But despite its weirdness from science’s perspective, it is all too familiar to us both at an individual level and at the level of larger society. Water is a vital component of the human body, making up almost 65-70% of our body weight. It was the life blood of ancient civilizations. The Indus Valley, Chinese, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian civilizations all grew up on the banks of mighty rivers carrying precious water. Where there’s water, there’s life. Where there’s no water, life – especially of the human kind – struggles.

How Much Water Do We Have?

So, how much water is available on the planet for humankind? At first glance, that may seem a rather lame question. 72% of the planet is water. But you can’t quench your thirst with salty water! 97% of the planet’s water is just that – salty. Good for the fishes but not for us. Desalination technologies which take the salt out of the water are enormously expensively and aren’t much of a solution unless you’re rich and desperate. That leaves 3%, of which 2.5% is frozen in the Antarctic, the Arctic, and glaciers. (Of course if global warming has its way, that may soon change, but that’s a whole other problem.) That leaves us with 0.5%, and only about one-hundredth of that 0.5% is available on the Earth’s surface in lakes, rivers and reservoirs; the rest is stored in underground aquifers which are expensive to get to, though that hasn’t kept them from being exploited and depleted.

The Earth is a pretty big place, so even this miniscule fraction is a big-sized chunk. But we’re 7 billion people! So it isn’t surprising that the world is heading towards a water crisis. Today, an estimated 780 million people live without adequate access to clean drinking water, and nearly 4000 children die every day due to dirty water or lack of proper hygiene. Even parts of the developed world are facing a water crisis. 56% of the land area of the contiguous United States is currently under drought – one of the worst in the US in recorded history. If global population grows, so will water demand, and at current trends, close to 3 billion people will live in water stressed areas by 2025. Mumbai and Delhi are expected to top the list of cities in terms of water demand.

Globally, several rivers are running dry due to overexploitation.

While it is true that a major portion of fresh water is funneled into agriculture and industries where wastage is often rampant and policy changes are the need of the hour, we as individuals can still be aware of the problem and save water (and thus, also money) at least within our own homes. This by itself may not solve the whole problem, but it can form a basis for a large-scale movement to influence national and international policy.

Save Water At Home

List

  • Turn off what’s not in use: Running the tap while brushing your teeth can waste 15 liters of water.
  • Fix any leaks: Leaky faucets that drip at the rate of one drop per second can waste up to 10,000 liters of water each year.
  • Recycle, reuse: Everything takes water to make. Buy only when you need to and reuse what you can. It takes 2500 liters to make a cotton t-shirt and 10,000 liters for a pair of jeans. Buy fewer clothes, and when using a washing machine or dishwasher, wait till you have enough for a full-load.
  • Bath-time: Bathtub – bad! Shower – okay. Bucket – best!
  • Gardening: Water used in landscaping and gardening accounts for a major portion of domestic water use, especially in the developed world. Moreover, 50 percent of water used in gardening goes waste due to evaporation or runoff caused by over-watering. Consider installing a drip irrigation system rather than using a hose or sprinkler. Water your garden in the morning or evenings, ensuring that less water is lost to evaporation. Use local plants in your garden. Check if your garden actually needs watering. If the soil is still wet 2 inches beneath the surface, your plants don’t need water. Spread some mulch around your plants. This will help retain moisture and save water, time, and money.
  • The water you “eat”: If you are a non-vegetarian, consider reducing your non-vegetarian meals. A kilogram of chicken costs 3900 liters of water in terms of water input for chicken feed and for processing; a kilo of mutton costs 6000 liters. In contrast, a kilo of wheat needs 1000 liters. Rice is rather expensive though, a kilo needing 3750 liters. Like a cup of coffee in the morning? Think about shifting to tea. A cup of coffee needs 140 liters of water in terms of growing the necessary coffee beans, and processing; a cup of tea needs only 30.

The shrinking of the Aral Sea over 4 decades.

It doesn’t take a whole lot to make a big difference in our water consumption. With awareness and a few minor changes in lifestyle, we can save water, and money as well. Unless we learn to conserve water and use it judiciously, the future of coming generations looks bleak. Take for example, the case of the Aral Sea in the former USSR, which was once the fourth largest lake in the world. Thanks to irrigation projects that diverted its two main source rivers, the Aral Sea has shrunk to a miniscule fraction of its former size. Hopefully, there won’t be any other “Arals” in the future.

Editor's Note: Check out Project GreenHands’ Facebook page for more environment news and tips.

Sources: Managing the water-food-energy nexus
Water - Facts and Trends
Mumbai, Delhi lead in need for water: McKinsey
The Hidden Water We Use

 
 
 
 
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3 years 1 month ago

The water runnin short is due to the population! If only people will listen that bringing more kids= less water for the future. Also switching to vegan food will save tons of water!

5 years 3 months ago

we can also shift to Millet from rice & wheat. Millet consumes much lesser water and are nutritious than rice or wheat.

5 years 3 months ago

This is an amazing article. Only goes to show how much Sadhguru not only cares about religion, education, life, etc. but also nature. True, water is one of the natural resources that is slowly running out. While we still have the chance, let us do our part on how to save.

2 years 3 months ago

Thank you for adding the Isha blog article on conserving water. Blogadda has done a great job on gathering tips about post Holi care, very unique and informative.

5 years 2 months ago

Simple and good tips. Thanks!

2 years ago

Thanks for the great ideas to conserve water. The best was including how much water is actually needed to raise the animals we eat, though I was also surprised by the amount used for coffee!

5 years ago

We will be running short of potable water and good quality air to breathe as pollution levels continue to rise. So now the "mineral water", industry is doing booming business and the day is not far off when we will have people with oxygen cylinders jogging on the streets. So you pay for water and pay for air. Non Veg food beside being heavy on water usage is also just as bad for nature as several hundred kgs of green matter as grass etc is required to produce a kilo of meat.

4 years 11 months ago

Thanks Sadhguru for this insight on the usage of water....

4 years 3 months ago

Wake Up to an unpleasant reality... Water Scarcity …

Every day, one sees two sets of contrasting images, juxtaposed…One of people carrying vessels of water for their daily use...for drinking, cooking, ablutions, etc. The other, of endless trails of water overflowing onto the streets from homes which have just washed their driveways or their vehicles…thousands of liters of water just gone waste, not used to quench someone's thirst, not used to feed hungry stomachs, not used to water the trees which are so necessary to maintain the ecological balance…this water is simply wasted…

If one stops by and asks these people, who help at our homes or offices, not to waste water and to use a bucket and mug to wash their driveways and vehicles, the common refrain one hears is that they have a bore well of ‘their own’ or their owners afford to buy tankers of water. And more importantly, they are using ‘their’ water and why are ‘we’ bothered about it. People fail to see that ‘water’ is a common natural resource!!!

If we are aware that water is being wasted in our homes and offices and we have not done anything about it, then we have no excuse and must take full responsibility of the problems we are creating for ourselves, for the future generations, for our planet and everything that inhabits our mother earth and If we are not aware of this wastage in our homes and our offices, even then, we are equally responsible because we are not doing justice to the education we have received and the awareness with which we must lead our lives.

If we continue to waste this precious & limited natural resource at this rate, soon, within the next 15 to 20 years, there will be no water for basic needs…there will be no water for survival…the poor will perish first but nobody will be spared because money can only buy so much water and after a while, the disparity between the have and haves not will be so great this it will lead to social unrest, looting, rioting…

Is this an over exaggeration? Another dooms day theory? No, it isn’t…over the past thousands of years…civilization after civilization have disappeared, vanished - as if overnight, because they did not maintain the necessary balance between the environment and consumption…and there is no reason to believe that it will be any different for us…

The only hope is that this unhappy, not to mention scary, situation is that, it can be reversed. It will take time, but it can be reversed. Amends can be made to this sorry state of affairs. Amends ‘MUST’ be made. Judicious use of water is the only hope. Planting as many trees as is possible to have green cover so that the rain cycle is maintained. Rain water harvesting and adequate replenishment and recharging of ground water sources is imperative. And this has to be taken up at national/ global scale and cannot be limited to certain pockets alone.

In many countries, lands which had ever green forest covers and very fertile lands have become barren wastelands in the last 25 years because there has been over urbanization in the surrounding areas…without care or thought for the balance that needs to be maintained with nature.

Having recognized the seriousness of this problem, in many countries, approvals and sanction of plans for construction of apartment building are not given if they are unable to prove a regular/ sustainable source of drinking water for the next 25 years!!!

With folded hands, I plead, let us make every possible effort to Save Water and do our part towards water conservation.

The start can be simple…as is the 'Superflo' Dual Flush...Its Small. Its smart. Its a start.

Gautam Vir

C.E.O. & Managing Director

SUPERFLO

3 years 3 months ago

Sadhguru: The Dead Sea

A sea that you cannot even drown in
It takes life even to take life
Only in constant transaction
Even the possibility of cosmic action

The sea that got walled in
Cannot host even a wandering jinn

To soak in this mineral soup
Is like being in the motherly sap
The salty sap of the earth
Life nourishing but named Death

May be beyond H20 :-), I bow down

3 years 3 months ago

Water, Water every where but drinking water ????
We must preserve the precious liquid.

3 years 3 months ago

Very good article. I am sharing this. Muchas gracias.