Until we are hit by water disruption or rationing, most of us would hardly ever think about conserving water. In those times, we are reminded that fresh, clean water is a precious and limited resource, and we should take steps not to waste it. In general, water conservation falls into the five categories mentioned below, which can be performed concurrently for best results.
By following these steps to use water more efficiently, you will sail through the dreaded water rationing and disruption periods, help save on your water bill and also do your bit for Mother Earth.
Step 1. Conserving Water
Find ways to perform your daily activities with less water. Thankfully, hygiene and aesthetic standards do not be affected, and you’ll feel better knowing that you’ve saved a significant amount of water:
- Wash the car less often, but keep the windows, mirrors and lights clean
- Keep your showers short. Longer showers mean more water usage.
- If you have just a few dirty dishes to clean, wash them by hand instead of using the dishwasher.
- If you must use a dishwasher, get one that is energy-efficient and doesn’t require you to pre-rinse the dishes and cutlery. Also, always use the dishwasher when it’s on a full load to maximise water usage.
- Use a front-loading washing machine as it is more efficient and uses less water and detergent compared to a top-loading one. Use it on a full load as well.
2. Efficiently Using Water
This option requires no lifestyle changes, only replacing existing fittings with more efficient ones that perform the same jobs using less water:
- Install water-saving faucets such as tap aerators and sprays.
- A leaking tap or toilet can waste an average of 30 litres of water every hour. So, detect and fix any leaks you may have as soon as possible.
- Change the shower head design to a water-efficient one. Some designs claim to use 90% compressed air and just 10% water, which is equivalent to less than 500ml of water per hour.
3. Using Only What’s Needed
This requires you to be mindful of your water usage and to use only the exact amount for your purposes:
- Do not leave the water running when brushing your teeth. Better yet, use a glass of water to rinse your mouth after brushing.
- Install a dual flush on your toilet.
- Avoid excessive garden watering. If there is a rain forecast, turn off the automatic sprinkler systems.
4. Replacing Water With Something Else
By substituting the use of water with something else, you will save gallons of water in the long run. However, some water substitutes may cause more environmental impact and cost more than water; for example, dry cleaning your clothes instead of putting them in the washing machine:
- Use a broom, brush or wash cloth to remove particles of dirt around your house instead of using a hose to wash it away with water.
- Instead of tossing your relatively fresh shirt into the laundry when there’s only some dust or lint on it, use a clothes brush or lint remover to make it look clean again.
- When shaving, use an electric razor rather than constantly rinsing off your manual razor blade with running water.
5. Reusing and Harvesting Water
Keep the cycle going to ensure that rain or lightly used water does not go to waste! The water can be used to water the plants, flush the toilet and clean outdoor areas:
- Collect rainwater in barrels or fibreglass tanks. Slim tanks and water harvesting systems are available for the smallest spaces.
- Save water from steaming or boiling your vegetables instead of throwing it down the drain. Rich in nutrients, it is a great natural fertiliser when watering the plants.
- Reuse leftover drinking water. If you or your guest couldn’t finish that glass of water, save the water for your parched plants. They would be so grateful!
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