Jan 29, 2017

Water service interruptions have been occurring more frequently in Metro Manila. It seems there hasn’t been a month where the city’s access to the water supply doesn’t get restricted. But above all the troubles generated by the persisting water cut-offs, there is a more threatening issue at hand. The country is experiencing a severe drought predicted to last throughout February, with dry spells lasting until May for some regions.

Despite the government’s water conservation efforts, more needs to be done to avoid immense damage to the country. With the supply priority given to Metro Manila, many of the neighboring regions are already experiencing troubling conditions from the shortage. So how exactly can the rest of us contribute to allow the supply to be spread out?

Reducing water usage in our homes can play a big role in helping the reservation of the water supply. As we unknowingly use a lot of water when doing our daily chores, here are a few methods for conserving water while doing everyday tasks.

Don’t let water run
Don’t leave the tap on while you’re brushing your teeth, shampooing, or soaping. Only turn on the faucet when it’s time to rinse. Even letting the water run for a few extra seconds every day can add up to a lot of water wasted. Try going further by collecting only the amount of water you’d need in a glass for brushing your teeth. Meanwhile, for showering, try using a water drum and tabo.

Gather water
Instead of using a hose to wash your car, gather water in a bucket and use a cloth to wipe away the suds. For chores like washing clothes and dishes, try using the double-basin method: gather water in two basins (or in the case of washing dishes, in two sinks) then use the first basin for cleaning and soaping and the second one for rinsing. Similar to the first point, this method prevents the excess running of water. By using only the right amount, a lot of water can be conserved, especially when this is practiced every day.

Garden while it’s cool
Water your garden and plants early in the day or in the evening when the weather is cooler. When you water during the hottest time of the day, the water you use evaporates faster and doesn’t reach the roots of the plant effectively. On a similar note, using cold water (not ice water) would be even better. If you want to go a step further, leave a water drum out during rainy days to gather rainwater. You can then use this to water your garden.

Do double duty
When you can find the opportunity, try doing different chores at once. For example, when you need to wash your car, bathe your dog, and water your plants, why not do them all at the same time? Direct the run-off water from washing your car to your grass or plants. Similarly, you can bathe your dog in the garden to help water the lawn in the process.


This story was originally published in Northern Living, February 2016.

TAGS: conservation environment nature nolisoliph save water