Smart water management: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Water scarcity is a year-round predicament in Nepal. The problem cannot totally be solved without dedicated effort from the government, but it is possible to alleviate its impact on our lives. We should follow the 3-R principle of reduce, reuse and recycle. In my family, all the members are extremely conscious regarding minimal use of water. We re-use water saved from washing and cleaning for watering the plants and bathroom use. We collect as much rainwater as possible. These measures provide us with some respite in these arduous times.
— Prakshit Raj Shakya, New Road, Kathmandu
Many of us, primarily living inside Kathmandu Valley, go through water shortage during the dry season. Currently I am living in Ghattekulo, which is a densely populated area in Kathmandu. Before migrating to this place I used to live in Buddhanagar. The sufferance depends on how much your house owner manages to supply water in your house. Previously my house owner didn’t have enough storage to buy and store water from a tanker. Now, at least we don’t have the problem, however we do follow some smart things so that we don’t even have to buy water from costlier tankers.
What we do basically is reuse water for various purposes. Like water used in cleaning vegetables is reused for flushing toilets. We consume water wisely when washing and doing laundry as it needs lots
Current burning issue in our society and every home is water shortage for daily requirement. This problem is increasing due to urbanisation where population is increasing in city areas with the same ratio housing and the need of water are also increasing. How we handle this issue is by careful water uses. Waste water from washed vegetables can be used for gardening. Similarly waste water from washing clothes can be used for cleaning toilets to reduce the overuse of water in latrine purposes to keep toilets clean. There are smart choices you can make to use water in effective and efficient ways that we are making for daily management of water. Another smart choice is to collect rainwater in pots which can be used for washing dishes, clothes, and even drinking purposes after properly filtering it.
—Santosh Bayalkoti, Prayag Marg, New Baneshwor
1. Make food that can last for at least two times a day (lunch and dinner). Rice and daal do not go bad within a day, if placed in a certain way. That saves not only time, but also water to make the food plus cleaning pots and pans, et cetera.
2. Get rid of plants. I know they look pretty and all. But let’s be realistic here, and understand the fact that, there is hardly enough water for human, let alone be water for plants around. Or choose plants that thrive in dry conditions.
3. Recycle water as much as possible. Water that has been used to clean vegetables can be used to do other things, like cleaning your utensils, cleaning bathroom and for restroom. Recycle water when washing clothes too.
4. While bathing, use this strategy — wet your face and body; shut off the water as you shampoo and lather up, and then finish it all with a quick rinse.
5. Use dry shampoo. I can do with not washing my hair for at least two days, by using a dry shampoo. Try baby powder as an alternative to a dry shampoo.
What could be the best and smart ways to minimise the water consumption or how to manage the threshold amount of water needed for human subsistence? The main thing to note is we cannot reduce the amount of water to drink daily but we can reduce or minimise or reuse the amount of water needed for household chores such as cooking, cleaning, bathing, et cetera. I have some scintillating ideas on how to reduce water consumption on a daily basis, which are mentioned below:
• Using ‘use and throw’ type of dishes.
• Storing rainwater especially in the rainy season.
• Storing water when it is surplus.
• Bathing occasionally rather than daily, though it is not good for personal hygiene.
• Having juicy fruits instead of drinking too much water.
• ‘Dry–cleaning’ clothes rather than normal ‘water –cleaning’.
• Reducing outing.
• People living in the rural areas can go to river or ponds for bathing and cleaning.
The temperature this summer has turned out to be really hot. So whenever I travel out, I drink too much of water. Although it has increased my expenses, I have not put on any quotas on buying water. But it’s completely different at home. I always try to control the amount of water I take. I try not to eat too much of salty and spicy food so that I do not feel thirsty time and again. I always try to save water and that is what my mother always says — ‘don’t drink too much water, there is shortage of it’.
The best way to deal with domestic water conservation is smart use of water and should be based on the three ‘R’ of conservation — reduce, reuse and recycle. I always like making a realistic estimation of the amount of water needed per day and design a reasonable water use. It is important to fix priorities and allocate water accordingly. For example drinking, cooking and washing of utensils are mandatory for everyday use; while shaving, bathing, washing of clothes and house cleaning could be done in appropriate day gaps to avoid excessive use of water when the resource is limited. I reuse water that is not suitable for human use and consumption in watering indoor plants and my kitchen garden or roof garden alternatively. Any available rainwater is stored in suitable containers and used accordingly. I reuse the water that is used in washing vegetables after a simple cheese cloth based filtration in cleaning dishes and other utensils and also for washroom use.
— Saikat Kumar Basu
Each drop of water is invaluable and inevitable to sustain without. So, I have adopted few steps to manage water uses. I use used water from bathing or washing to flush the toilets. I manage to wash my face, hands, legs and brush teeth with minimum water. Pipes of showers and taps may sometimes leak, which is a wastage of water. Thus, I monitor and mend them. Next technique to reduce the water use of mine is to turn off the shower after soaping and then turn it back on while rinsing the body parts. I do not let the tap water run while washing the utensils and vegetables either instead I accumulate water in a pot. This is how water saving is being done in my house.
— Arjun Babu Dauliya, Balaju-16, Kathmandu
Though Nepal is rich in water resources, it has been facing the problem of water since many years. Deforestation, rise in temperature and global warming are some of the major causes for the crisis of water.
If there is a problem, there must be a solution. There are various ways to face water crisis. Managing water uses is one way. I minimise excess water uses and reuse water collected after washing vegetables for other purposes. I also try to store water as much as I can.
— Bikram Dhimal, Morang
Water shortage is a serious problem. We get air bubbles instead of water when we open water taps. Even the landlords do not have enough water for themselves, let alone the tenants. Mostly the tenants found in this area are students who cannot pay for water time and again. In this condition, all we can do is adopt smart water uses like collecting rain water and using it for cleaning and washing purposes. We also reuse used water collected from cooking and cleaning vegetables. Using mug and bucket while brushing and bathing instead of using shower and tap also reduces the wastage of water. To wring out clothes into flower pots or kitchen garden is a good way to water plants in this acute shortage of water. Soaking rice before preparing it requires less time and water. A little bit of awareness in us can lead to the saving of a large amount of water. We should think ten times before wasting water because our carelessness can lead someone go thirsty.
— Ananya Mishra, Balkhu
We are making the most of the underground water. And the water we get through pipelines in our house is used for washing clothes. We also reuse the water after washing vegetables and fruits for watering the garden plants. We have never been habituated to misuse water because we know it’s invaluable. In our case, we don’t have the problem of acute shortage of water because of two different reasons — effective utilisation of water and by the grace of god. Although there is a shortage of water in our locality, we are on a safer side.
— Pratik Shrestha, Buddhanagar, Baneshwor
I’ve not applied smart techniques of water accumulation in my daily life. Nonetheless, I collect rainwater in buckets and drums during rainfall for washing and cleaning purposes. After washing clothes, I collect and use the used water for flushing toilet, watering plants and cleaning the surroundings thinking that it would not be a waste. Moreover, my mother shares drinking water with the nearby neighbours in order to help each other during difficulties or at the time of water crisis.
— Sanjog Karki,Tansen-6, Basantapur, Palpa
We all are facing the water problem. We are not getting sufficient water from the water pipes, so we have to buy water from the tankers. But due to the high demand of water tankers, we have to wait for three to four days to get water from the tankers. And getting the water is like we have won the battle. Some of the strategy we are using nowadays to manage precious water are — collecting the rainwater and using it to wash clothes and utensils and utilising water from washing clothes to use it in the washroom. These methods have really helped us to save some amount of water in this period of scarcity.
— Sonika Lamichhane
In my case whenever there is shortage of water in my house, I don’t hesitate rushing towards my friends’ houses, packing towel and extra clothes. I have been facing this problem on a regular basis. Sometimes I have to depend on water jars for daily uses. Although it sounds weird but reducing the use of water is the smart way to manage daily use of water by cleaning utensil once a day, bathing twice a week et cetera.
When anyone gives us lemons, make lemonade out of it. So is the case with ongoing water crisis. It is obvious that the crisis is tormenting our daily lives. So rather than complaining or blaming anyone, we have to do something to cope it. My family and I, in particular, is relying on neighbours’ tube-well for washing and bathing. We have routinised our lives, to bathe and wash clothes only twice a week, in maximum. And we barely let any water go to waste, so that the same may be used sometimes later. Similarly, we have a good number of buckets too, for storage purposes. And for drinking purpose, we are buying water jars.
— Sujan Subedi (Biratnagar)
The problem of acute water shortage is not a new one as we Nepalis have been suffering from this problem since ages. In such a crucial state, it’s been very difficult for us to mange water uses in the daily basis. Luckily we have a well in our house and some way or the other my daily use of water is being managed by it which can be considered as one of the smart water choices.
— Tejaswi Pahari, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur
We all are facing acute water shortage; though our country is one of the richest countries in water recourses. There is no water in the pipes, a long queue at the water tankers or you have to wait for days for a tanker to arrive to deliver your water. In such a dry state I am buying water to drink and for other uses as well. I use water sparingly and advise others too to use it carefully. I also recycle water and use it for various purposes.
Water scarcity is one of the burning problems that the city dwellers are facing. It is very unpleasant that we should live this way in the country which has more than 6000 rivers and rivulets. Being a city dweller, how can I be untouched by this problem? So, it’s appropriate time to make smart choices!
Firstly, the water obtained after washing clothes, cleaning vegetables should be reused for watering plants. Secondly, water pipes and connections should be checked for any leakage. Thirdly, rainwater should be used for different purposes. Finally, water should not be misused anyway.
— Diki Lhamu Sherpa, Arunima H S School, Kathmandu
In this acute problem of water, we all are compelled to manage
water to some extent in one way or the other. I have a water well to draw underground water. And that water is used for two different purposes: drinking and washing. Clean drinking water can be obtained through filtration process whereas washing can be done directly. I am not wasting any pint of water.
— Resha Mudbari, Jorpati, Nayabasti
Water shortage is common phenomena in the summer season. I have been facing the same problem of water shortage. Luckily, in my neighbourhood, there is a public water source (dhungedhara) from which I manage to overcome the problem of water in such a horrible situation of water shortage.
Meanwhile, these days I have been reducing my haphazard water uses because it helps to save water to some extent. Besides this, I also store rainwater which can be used for my cleaning purposes like wathing clothes, cleaning and so on. In such a way, I am hoping to manage this water problem as smartly as
— Saroj Wagle, Dumarwana, Bara
Today people around the world are prone to water crisis. In dry state, water availability and its rational uses is a very difficult task. It is required to distinguish the primary and secondary necessity of water to manage the water utility. The primary needs should be given the first priority. For instance drinking and cooking are the first priority. Besides this, water reuse system can also be adopted to minimise the uses of water. Water that has been used for washing clothes and utensils can be further used for cleaning and flushing toilet.
The rational water consumption can be further done by reducing the use of daily water uses. One can minimise the frequency of water uses like bathing and washing. Sometimes, problem of water crisis can be coped by changing our lifestyle: food that we cook daily can be
replaced with fruits and juice or other items which does not require use of water.
I do remember the earlier days when my mother used to wake me up early in the morning to collect and store tap water. The quantity of water was not sufficient then. But, the problem has heightened and water has almost completely stopped to come and I don’t have to wake up early, but it’s my unfortunate. More adverse condition arises when water tank vehicles are unable to meet the demand of public. To fulfil my basic need of water for drinking purpose, I have to rely on plastic water jars available at the shops. For my daily purpose of washing and cooking, I have been depending on spring water which is situated about few hundred meters away. My friends and I go to take bath at the source of the spring water during holidays due to scarcity of water at home. But the rainwater of pre-monsoon has been a relief. Rainwater collection at home is
being used for other purpose
— Rabindra Maharjan, Kirtipur
Nepal is rich in water resources. Since our childhood our teacher taught us this but still our country has the same problem of load-shedding and water supply. It is a shameful truth of our country. When we cross the Kathmandu valley, there is a place called Naubise, I have observed that the hotels of that area have taps from which water is flowing 24 hours, daily. Government should use that source of water for Kathmandu Valley. Government should also invest in the projects related to water supply. Moreover Nepali citizen should also be aware of keeping the water sources clean. So, that the water of different water sources like river, pond, lake, et cetera can be recycled.
— Kajal Beriwal, Adarshnagar, Birgunj