Water conservation tips for Chennai households to face looming water crisis in the near future!!

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 After the recent Madras High Court order on the ban of exploitation of ground water for commercial use,  the water tanker owners who supply water to most homes, factories, hotels, etc., went on a strike in Chennai and now  the consumers were left in the lurch, presumably high and dry . GMWSSB (Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewage Board daily supplies 4.30 crore liter of potable water for distribution across the city and the private water suppliers supply twice that  supplied by the metro. It is a mind-boggling figure and it points out how carelessly ground water is being over- exploited by us to meet the city's water demand that is ever growing faster than the predictions. Chennai's vast stretches of high-rise apartment complexes, gated communities do not get assured piped water supply. Water being elixir of life, too much dependence on water tankers in a city like Chennai is not good but the state Government which does not possess a fleet of water tanks has to depend on private suppliers. It is a piquant situation in the city . People belonging to weaker sections are heavily dependent on piped Metro water supply which is available for a short  duration only. Roughly  80 per cent of the city, which is heavily dependent on water cans, will bear the brunt of this development in the wake of court orders and  strike by the water tanker owners. More than 4000 water tankers were off the road.

  It is likely that  water crisis  may be looming over the city in the coming months  as two of its major reservoirs that supply  drinking water to the city have gone bone dry. At Poondi and Cholavaram reservoirs, the situation is dismal  with low storage level -14mcft as of August, 2018 (according to the Metro Water website in the 3rd week of August). The NW Monsoon failed to provide adequate water for the city's reservoirs.

As the present volume of all four prime drinking water sources to the city is merely 11% of its total capacity, officials  warn that  this will cater to the city’s needs only for the next two and a half months. The combined capacity of lakes at Poondi, Cholavaram, Red Hills and Chembarambakkam was 2.43tmcft in June. In a month’s time the storage levels had dipped to 1.79tmcft with current level standing at 1.25tmcft as of 3rd week of August. 

World over, potable water situation is grim.  With climate change becoming a big global issue before the countries world over and consequent water scarcity problems looming large in populous countries like India, water management is very important, Equally essentials are proper conservation plans, public awareness and commitment. If people do not cooperate and fail to follow the government guide lines, water conservation won't yield the anticipated results. water conservation offers a cost-effective and environmentally easy way to address these challenges as opposed to capturing, transporting, and treating new supplies that need adequate funds. Water conservation starts at home. This will save water usage, money on water bill and minimize their environmental footprint. A small town's concerted efforts will have cumulative impact and result in better contribution goals during the times of shortage.

 To curb  water use in American households, people are advised to follow some suggestions. Among them are  making simple changes to your daily routine and installing a few water-efficient appliances, reducing shower times and toilet flushes, doing only full loads of laundry, and installing Water Sense and ENERGY STAR labelled products, just to name a few.
 To tide over the impending water crisis, the following Tap water tips may be of help to the general house holders of Chennai:

01. The toilet is one of the most water-intensive fixtures in the house. Do you need to flush every time? Use low-flush toilet in your house. 

02. Reduce your shower or bathing time to five minutes to 10 minutes. Shower heads use as much as 15 yo 20 liters  of water
 per minute.
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 03. Use energy /water saving washing machine. Several models are available on the Indian market. Use the washing machine  a few times a week and don not fill up the tank. This way you can save lots of water.

 04. Many people, when cleaning dishes, run the water from the tap/faucet continuously. With adequate water stored in a vessel, you can do all the basic scrubbing, cleaning, etc and at last run the tap water to do the final cleaning. Lots of liters
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ers or gallons of water can be saved this way. 

 05. If you have leaky taps/faucets or pipe joints in the water supply line, see to it they are fixed. Do not delay repairing leaky pipes, taps, etc.
06. In the western toilet, see whether the water tank is working properly. If the flushing mechanism is faulty, slowly water will drain through the tank into the closet. If unchecked, a fairly big overhead water tank may become empty over night. 

 07. In the case of Western closet, after urination, do not flush till the tank is empty, Instead hold the water tank lever down for  a few seconds and then push it up. This way you can complete the flushing and at the same time save more than half the tank.

08.  In India, in particular in Tamil Nadu, people wash the drive way, garage, balcony, open stairway built outside the house and terrace almost daily with water. If you do it thrice a week in the summer when the water table goes down, you can save a fair amount of water. 
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09. While brushing your teeth turn the water off. Use minimum water to wash your hands.

10. Building an efficient water harvesting system to collect rainwater falling on the terrace, roof, etc will improve the ground water.

This way the average household can reduce their indoor water use by up to 45% (70 gallons (roughly 300 liters  per household per day).

Materials provided by Taylor & Francis. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Benjamin D. Inskeep, Shahzeen Z. Attari. The Water Short List: The Most Effective Actions U.S. Households Can Take to Curb Water Use. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 2014; 56 (4): 4 DOI: 10.1080/00139157.2014.922375