– By K P Baney

Water is main source of Life on this Earth. Water is required for almost everything – In Irrigation, which in return provides us with food, for Cooking and Drinking purposes, for bathing. Water is required for Tree growth, which gives us oxygen, and support Beasts, Birds, & other micro organisms. Water is used as a carrier. Shaving, Bathing, Cleaning, flushing tanks, Sewers are examples of water being used as a carrier.

With unabated development and population rise, requirement of all natural resources, specially water has substantially increased. Water, as per our needs/ requirements is unavailable. Supply is not commensurate with the demand. We are still lucky here, in this part of country. The problem is much more severe in other parts, like Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Therefore water is commodity, which is worrying everyone. It is our duty to conserve water as much as possible, at least not waste it.

Various ways are discussed to save consumption and conservation of water. Some of the suggestions are theoretically right, but practically not possible. Some proposals are good, but need sustained change in way of life.

Major and important steps, which can save water, are discussed here

Leakage of Water – A few years back, some one had workout figures for Pune City. It was estimated that losses by way of leakages in Municipal lines was to the tune of about 45-50 %. Water Supply Pipelines, so also Water Sumps, GSRs etc. have to be checked for leakages. This one step will save lot of water. This must be taken on war footing.

Same is the case with Private pipelines. Go to city, in Wadas you will find, people complaining about no pressure, or reduced pressure of water mains. If you really go deep, many times, you find that pipelines were rusted and water was leaking at places. Once the pipe line is changed, water pressure increases, and more water comes through the same size pipe line. Due to using Well water and bore-well water, and water being hard, forms scales on inner surface of pipe line, which in return reduces effective diameter of pipe, and corrodes pipe lines faster.

Attending to leaking pipes should be first step in saving Water.

Rain Water Harvesting – Conditions, in our city are still not so acute, that we may try to collect the roof top water in underground tanks, as they do in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Simple method, which is suggested here, is to have trench on the lowest level/ boundary. The trench can be filled with debris, or loose soil. Water falling on the ground in particular colony – complex, does not then go to street and flow down. Aim here is to see that all the excess water goes inside the ground, which helps in raising underground water table, thus recharging underground resources. This also helps in increasing green cover.

This is most inexpensive method of rainwater harvesting. All Builders should adopt this method, This could also be made Compulsory on all new developments.

Recycling of Water – As said earlier, we are still fortunate enough to get natural water. But there are many countries, which are so much short of water that they have to partially or fully depend on recycling of water.

Leaving aside, water required for cooking and drinking, about 85% of the water is required for washing, bathing and flushing. This water, which is not required for drinking and cooking purposes, is recycled. One can imagine as to how much saving of water could be achieved.

Modern Effluent Treatment Plants are compact, do not take much space, are maintenance free and affordable. The process is clean and does not attract flies and mosquitoes. BOD and COD of treated water keep well within the prescribed limits. Recycled water can easily be used for flushing and gardening.

Ban Quarter – Turn taps – Quarter turn taps are very convenient, but waste lot of water. With use of these taps in tall buildings, wastage increases many fold. Old screw type cocks are more suitable from water conservation point of view.

In High Rise Buildings overhead tanks on two levels are recommended. Pressure-release valves also help in reducing pressure, thereby reduction in water consumption and wastages by leakages, if any.

Looking to the water position, it is imperative, that we start thinking about water saving and conservation of water. 4 Points, suggested here, need utmost attention, because they will give us huge savings, without loosing any of the comforts that we are enjoying today. After this is achieved, and if further required, we can think of adopting other solutions on micro level.

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