Part III of IV- Let’s take some Action!
In this article, the third of a four part series on water scarcity, Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group shares what we as individuals can do to address the issue
In the first part of the series we found that we have a BIGGER problem than we think with per capita water availability estimated to go down to 1191 m3 by 2050 from 5200m3 in 1951. In the second part we identified two silver bullets, watershed management and micro-irrigation to ensure adequate water availability. In this article we will talk about 9 things we can do as individuals to use water judiciously.
Man has been polluting water since time immemorial. The situation is dire simply because the amount of pollution has increased exponentially and the water bodies are seriously affected. Water borne epidemics, dwindling population of marine life, melting glaciers, and other issues are making us sit up and take notice.
The crisis is being exacerbated by increasing urbanisation. The per capita consumption of water in urban India is 135 litres/day compared to 40 litres/day in rural India. About 70% of our population lives in rural India today. By 2050, the population of India will be 40% higher and 60% of that Indian population will live in urban India. If the current per capita consumption numbers continue to be the same the demand for water will increase manifold.
But this does not have to be the future reality. Here are nine simple things each of us can do to reduce wastage of water:
- Stop taps from dripping. A small drip from a tap wastes 95 liters of water per day.
- Add an aerator to a tap. This can save nine litres of water per minute.
- Use a dual flush toilet, the short flush mode uses 40% less water than the normal mode
- Invest in water efficient washing machines/dishwashers. Save 50% water!
- To ensure, you make optimum use of water, use full loads in your washing machine. A machine with a 50% wash load will still use about 80% of the full water capacity.
- Turn off the tap when you brush or shave; better still, use a mug of water to clean the razor while shaving – save six litres of water each time you brush or shave.
- Take short, sharp showers. A shower can use 6-45 litres of water per minute depending on the pressure used. Bathing from a bucket takes only about 15 litres of water.
- Wash vegetables and fruits in a bowl and not running water. Reuse that to water your plants.
- Do not waste food- cooked or uncooked. Every grain has been cultivated using water. About 50% of food cultivated gets wasted through various means and the water used to grow the food goes down the drain! The supply chain of food grains can be made more efficient to reduce wastage.
You can make a difference outside your house too. See that leakages in the pipes are identified and repaired. Get the flowers/garden watered in the evening to reduce evaporation. Influence the installation of rain water harvesting in your homestead. There are many ways we can help if we wish to; both at home and at our places of work.
Anirban Ghosh leads the sustainability wing at Mahindra and Mahindra as the Chief Sustainability Officer. He has been working with Mahindra Group since 1999. A gold medal winning engineer from Jadavpur University, Calcutta, Ghosh has pursued doctoral studies in Marketing Management at IIM Ahmedabad. He enjoys music, reading, travelling, driving, cricket and tennis. He is an active public speaker and has represented the nation at the Festival of India across multiple nations.
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The CSR Journal Team