The Summer Scorch
Over the past decade, the average temperature across the globe has been soaring to record highs, leading to water shortages.
India – Monsoon floods but still water shortages.
Scorching summer heat to Monsoons causing floods, the Indian peninsula is known to touch the extremes of weather possibilities.
In spite of reasonable monsoon and flood situations in major parts of the country, other regions surprisingly remain dry leading to water scarcities. A NITI Aayog research points that 40% of the population in India will have no access to drinking water by 2030.
Villagers have been observed to migrate to cities and other towns in search of water as the pumps and wells in their own villages dry up. In 2019, Chennai home to nearly 4 million people, experienced one of the worst droughts in its history with four of its water reservoirs depleting to nothingness.
The situation is no different in many other regions of the world, prolonged rainfall deficit caused an acute water shortage in the South African city of Cape Town.
This is an indicator for us to gear up and start our efforts in order to conserve water at the earliest.
The groundwater level has been depleting and if rainwater during monsoons is fed to the ground, we can greatly help to improve the groundwater level. Effective conservation of water during the monsoons could help us in the subsequent summer seasons.
Can we do something, individually or by collaborating with the community around to minimize this risk? Let us look at options to save water in the monsoon and help prevent, if not completely eradicate water shortage.
How to Save Water
Save Water in the Monsoon
Undoubtedly, the best way to conserve water is to harvest rainwater. Here are some of the ways we could adopt in order to help save water in the monsoon for a better summer next year –
Installing Rainwater Harvesting System
Individual houses could set up a rainwater harvesting system. The cost incurred for a house of 3000 sq. ft would cost anywhere between Rs. 2000 (~$25) to Rs. 30,000 (~$400).
For community living, efforts can be made to install a rainwater harvesting system in the apartment basement or common area like a park by making community contributions like it done for festive celebrations and parties for new year’s eve.
While this is the best way one could harvest rainwater, there are other cost-effective methods we can adopt to begin at a smaller scale.
Installing Water Barrels
An easy and cost-effective method to save water in the monsoon is setting up smaller water barrels. A 50 liters water barrel can cost Rs 1000 (~$15).
Water can be collected in barrels installed in open areas in households which could then be used for different household purposes.
To prevent mosquito or insect breeding, the mesh could be installed on the water surface. A few drops of oil could also help solve the purpose.
Installing Rain Saucers
Rain Saucers help increase the water catchment area over the barrels or collection centers installed in households.
You can do as small or as large with the use of rain saucers. The cost of such saucers could range anywhere between a few 100s to Rs. 10,000 ($50 to $150).
Saucers could also be made at home!
Promoting Ground Water Percolation
Water lost in drains during the monsoon could be avoided by channeling the rainwater across the empty ground to promote groundwater percolation.
This methodology can be adopted in conjunction with the rainwater harvesting system to store as much water as possible and the overflow to be able to help increase the groundwater level.
If there is a possibility, water that cannot be collected could be used to divert to nearby water sources like lakes, ponds, and rivers.
This method will require higher investments to set up pipelines to flow the water from the terrace to the nearest water body.
Collect Rain Water in buckets or small tanks
If none of the above methods are possible, at least try placing buckets or small tanks in the open area when the rain falls and use the collected for household activities like –
- Toilet flushing
- Floor Swiping
- Household cleaning
- Car Washing
Plant as many trees as possible during the rainy season. Increasing the green cover helps in increasing groundwater level since water is held by the roots of trees. Also, the early stages of germination require more water thus making monsoon the best season to drive plantation initiatives.
Save Water every day
To save water in the monsoon, an individual is dependent on nature, but conserving water should be a daily exercise.
Here is a quick video on saving water in our day-to-day lives.
Some more ideas to save water
Using Faucet Aerators
Installing faucet aerators help to keep excess water usage in check as against normal faucets. Average cost Rs.100 to Rs.400 (~$5).
Washing Machine Last Cycle
Water that comes out after the last cycle in the washing machine can be collected to be used for activities like floor cleaning.
Isn’t it curious how a place that faces extreme floods also faces water drought? It is time that we take the matter into our control and contribute. Let us save water in the monsoon in the best possible way for a better summer next year.