Water, being one of the most important parts of our lives, need a lot of monitoring. Water from river, sea, lakes, streams, how do we know if they are safe for consumption? Such questions are the reasons for monitoring. This responsibility is taken up by many organizations around the globe. Every country and its government have laws that oversee the process of monitoring, purifications, and supply.
The Origin of the Day
The day was established back in 2003 by America's Clean Water Foundation (ACWF). It was named as World Water Monitoring Challenge, which later became the 'EarthEcho Water Challenge'. The World Water Monitoring Day is celebrated as a global education and outreach program. It includes educating people about the significance of saving water and preserving water resources. The day is celebrated today, which is the 18th of September, but the entire program takes place between March and December.
The data collected from the monitoring of all water resources, usages, wastage, supply, etc, is uploaded on an international database. Water monitoring test kits are available everywhere for purchase and can be easily used by anyone.
In 2006, the Water Environment Federation (WEF) and the International Water Association (IWA) was given the charge of coordinating the event. The main aim was to have 1 million people participate from 100 countries by 2012. In 2015, all the coordinating power was given formally to EarthEcho International.
How Can You Save Water?
Earth is 71% water, then how come we face water scarcity? This question is asked by almost everyone. The answer is, Yes, earth has a large portion of water, but not all of it is fit for consumption. The water that we drink, use for cooking, or laundry, undergoes an extensive process of purification. Most of the household in India have water purifiers installed in their home, and other drink RO water (Reverse Osmosis). Urban lifestyle wastes lots of water, and all of us are in some ways responsible for it. So how can we reduce wastage and save water?
Repair leaks in toilets, kitchen, and bathrooms: We all have taps in our homes which leak. Get them Repaired! Toilets also have a problem with leaks. Put a few drops of ink or food color in your toilet and observe it. If it fades away without a flush, that means your toilet is leaking. You may also use low-flush toilets. It seems like a few drops but is actually over the year accounts for a large wastage. For a family of 4, the wastage by leaks goes up to 12,000 gallons.
Stop flushing pads, tissues, cigarette butts in the toilet: All the water needed to flush them is a waste. But these in dustbins instead.
Monitor your water pump: In India, I have seen this happen a lot of times. The owner switches on the pump and forgets to switch it off. Liters of water is lost due to overflow. Do your best to avoid this.
Take shorter showers or bucket baths: A lot of people around the world have bathtubs in their homes. They are a huge waster of water. Instead, take shorter showers. A typical shower consumes 5 to 10 gallons of water/minute. Switch the shower off while cleansing with soap. You can also use water-saving showerheads. Want to save some more? Have a bucket bath.
Turn off the tap while brushing and shaving: It happens a lot that we woke up too early and are sleepy. We then end up sleeping on the toilet with the brush in our mouth while the tap is running, sounds familiar? Turn off the tap when you not using it while brushing. The same applies to guys while shaving.
Use the washing machine only when it is fully loaded: One cycle uses 30-35 gallons, hence do not use for only a few clothes. Wash them with hands instead.
Do not keep the tap running while doing dishes with hands.
Use Mulch around plants and trees: Mulch prevents the moisture from being evaporated from the soil.
Reduce your wastage of food: The food we eat needs a lot of water. Hence reduce the wastage. Try to donate the leftovers from parties and events to NGOs which feed the poor.
Water your plants in early morning or evenings: Water that is evaporated is much higher during day time and afternoon. Water the roots, so that the water is absorbed by the plant and wastage is reduced.
Practice rainwater harvesting: One can easily install a rainwater harvesting system. One can also attach an additional purification system to use the water for drinking purposes.
Eat less meat: Non-vegetarian diet has the largest carbon footprint among all other diets, as well as the largest water consumption. Hence less meat=less water.
Check your Virtual water consumption: Did you know that 125ml of coffee needs 140l of water? Learn about Virtual water here- https://www.projecthelpngo.org/post/virtual-water
Responsibility of Local Governments
There is a dire need for governments to take steps to reduce consumption as well as wastage of water. Large corporations need to be made accountable for the excess of water they waste, and the chemicals and by-products they dispose of in the rivers. Ask your local authorities about the guidelines and learn about the legislation of your place.
I hope this article was useful for you, and you practice water conservation. Every drop counts!
Author: Subhasri Banerjee
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