Pune: The El Nino effect and low rainfall prediction might make many realise the importance of water in the coming days. Rising population and surplus need of water, calls for water conservation and management at the city level as well. Though, there are new methods of water conservation coming up every day, they are not being adopted effectively by the citizens.Water conservation and sustainability living has to be encouraged from the household level. Around 135 litres of water is used per person per day for domestic applications. The principle of three R’s, namely, ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ is the basic rule that should be implemented.
“The Three R is nothing but an easy concept that helps in conserving water. To explain it better to the citizens here is a small example. When a car is washed, generally people use pipes and sprays thus wasting all the water. Instead to reduce the quantity of water, use a bucket and cloth to wipe the car.
The dirty water left over after the car wash can be reused for wiping any other vehicles or recycled by using it for gardening purpose,” said Surya Narayan Deo, who is working as an environmental engineer in a city-based environmental consultancy.”The situation of water availability is no longer a myth for any body. Conservation is not just necessary in the household level, but also at office complexes, malls and institutes like schools and hospitals which have high water demands,” said Shri Vidya Satish, executive director of Ecosan Services and Foundation.
According to her, the main methods by which water can be saved in non-residential complexes are by installing sensor based water taps and dual flush tanks in public washrooms, recycle the water used for air conditioning and cooling, install a packaged or de-centralised waste water treatment plant and use the treated water for gardening and flushing purpose. She added that though the initial investment increases, the amount of water saved will give a good pay back to the companies.When it rains, the water either percolates in the ground or flows down the slope to join the river streams. But due to concrete slabs laid all over the city, there is just a little amount of water that percolates. Thus, the rest of the water flows down to the sewers and the ground water recharge does not happen. “Requirement of rain water harvesting systems for ground water recharge is high in the city as it is the only way to tap rain water and not let it go waste, but citizens are not coming forward to install them. If not a full fledged system, a bucket on the terrace when it rains also saves at least 30 litres of water,” said Colonel Dalvi, working in Rain Water Harvesting Systems.
Implementing three R's concepts in water conservation
- Sprinklers in lawns of offices and complexes to reduce water for planting.
- Reuse gray waste water for planting/gardening activities
- Reduce water loss by checking for pipe leaks and faucet repairs regularly.
- Reduce water by avoiding showers for bathing.
- Recycle water used for wiping of cars, glasses and other accessories.
- Educate people around you on water conservation.
STP and Water Conservation:
More used for non residential complexes as the waste water discharge is more than 6000 to 10000 litre which is economically viable to treat, a compact or packaged sewage treatment plant is nothing but a system that helps in purifying the waste water generated in a complex. Development of STPs treating smaller capacity of 2000 to 3000 litres per day, which is also economically viable, is necessary.
Rain Water Harvesting
It is a process by which a pipe is laid down from the part of the rooftop which is at a slope beneath the ground level so that the rain water flow down and either charge the ground water table or it can be stored in a separate tank. In both, residential complexes and non-residential complexes the installment of the system requires the same method and space.