Open House: What steps should be taken to check the misuse of water during the peak summer season? : The Tribune India

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Open House: What steps should be taken to check the misuse of water during the peak summer season?

Making judicious use of water need of the hour

Open House: What steps should be taken to check the misuse of water during the peak summer season?

City residents must make a conscious effort to follow the guidelines and use water judiciously to avoid wastage. Illustration: Sandeep Joshi

Ensure sustainable use of water

To curb the misuse of water during the peak summer season, several measures can be implemented. First, promote water conservation awareness campaigns to educate the public about the importance of using water efficiently and responsibly. Second, enforce strict regulations and penalties for wasteful water practices such as over-watering lawns, washing vehicles excessively, and allowing leaks to go without repair. Third, implement water-savvy technologies, such as low-flow fixtures and rainwater harvesting systems that can significantly reduce water usage. Fourth, incentivise water-saving behaviour through rebates or discounts on water bills as it can encourage individuals to conserve water. Fifth, a combination of public education, regulations, technological innovations and incentives can help address the increased demand for water while ensuring sustainable usage during the summer months.

Aarti Rana Chauhan

Issue guidelines, create awareness

The government is duty bound to provide access to clean and potable water to everyone equally but mere access is not sufficient to meet the growing water needs with the onset of summer. A robust framework is needed to stop the misuse of water. For this, the government must raise awareness among citizens and issue guidelines regarding judicious use of water as also impose penalty for the violation of rules. Also, random vigil by officials to check violators and imposing penalty on them accordingly is vital. But still, the onus to curb misuse of water lies more on residents. Minor routine changes will pay high returns in the long run like instead of using hosepipes for washing cars, porches and patios, use buckets and cloth for cleaning and mopping, stop flushing out full toilet tanks even for a small trash, fixing voice indicators and disconnector on rooftop water tanks to stop wastage by overflow, stop piling up laundry after a small use and also operate washing machines on full loads only, collect rain water and discarded RO water for gardening and cleaning purposes, water the plants and open the garden sprinklers in the mornings or evenings and that too for a limited time, water faucets not being run when not in use and fixing of any leakage immediately. Actually, saving water and stopping water misuse run parallel to each other. Although water demands increase with rising temperatures, we should not choose to value water just for today and take it for granted otherwise. Water is the foundation of our sustainability and these small habits should be inculcated in our daily lives forever.


Check excess flow, avoid misuse

Foremost, the misuse of water by car washers in the morning should be prevented. The car washers use pipes to wash vehicles of their owners and waste lots of water. The owners should instruct them not to use excessive water for washing their vehicles. Secondly, awareness must be created amongst household women to continuously check all taps of their homes for water running unnecessarily from them. All taps from where water is coming out unnecessarily and is not required by them should be immediately closed. Last but not the least, and most important, there are many areas in city where water is oozing out continuously from MC water equipment which should be checked by the officials immediately. Necessary action should be taken by closing such equipment permanently as water keeps flowing from them unnecessarily and continuously.

Sanjay Chawla

Install digital meters, impose heavy tariff

Water is nature's most precious element, primarily responsible for origin and sustenance of life. But unfortunately, the value of water is undermined through its wastage which however can be minimised if not stopped totally. During summer season, the demand for water increases but the supply remains under pressure due to various factors. Therefore, it becomes imperative to check and control the demand. Presently, the water being supplied to both domestic and commercial consumers is based upon lump sum amount on monthly basis. This system allows and provokes the consumers to use water without care and consideration. To check this trend, the water supply has to be controlled and regulated through installation of digital meters at each consuming unit. The digital meters may be installed free of cost and first minimum units of water may also not be charged invariably. But after cut-off limit, the water consumed must be brought under the monthly billing system with heavy tariff regime to discourage the consumers from wasting water. This way, the people will start using water economically to avoid paying the bill and it will help save water while generating extra revenue needed for conservation of water for future generations.

Jagdish Chander

Encourage sprinkler, drip irrigation

With the onset of summer, water consumption increases manifold. To get relief from the scorching heat wave, while there has been an extensive surge in usage of water for irrigation purposes, a potential requirement of drinking water is also noted to save living beings. On the contrary, our natural water resources are depleting due to ruthless cutting of trees and mountains on the pretext of infra development and lack of care towards water recharging reservoirs. The consequential environmental changes and ecological effects have led to scarcity of water and this crisis is deepening every year. Ironically, groundwater level too has gone alarmingly low because of deep boring for dug wells, which is affecting millions of our population and the crop output. Notably, the United Nations has already warned India against rapidly depleting groundwater due to deforestation and intense urbanisation. Apparently, stringent move against undue exploitation of natural resources will have to be undertaken to save water for the protection of habitat and environment. As a cognitive action to suppress the demand for agrarian sector, diversification from water-guzzling crops to less absorbing ones is an imperative. Apart from this, sprinkler and drip irrigation methods may have to be encouraged through cost-cutting support. All commercial units should be mandated to erect rain-water tanks to conserve water for their requirements and install filters to divert surplus water on treatment for irrigation of the fields in their vicinity. Any kind of encroachments on village ponds and other water bodies will have to be stopped forthwith. In urban areas, municipal bodies may resort to fixed hours of water supply for households while a periodic check on unusual wastage for domestic car washings, etc. has to be curbed strictly. The Jal Boards/Sewerage Boards must adopt scientific ways for regulating supply and set up STPs invariably to cleanse sewerage water on treatment for watering the plants and community parks. In all, water being a vital household concern, the government will have to maintain bare supply during the forthcoming extreme weather conditions. Nevertheless, it is the paramount responsibility of citizens to save every drop of water for their own survival and safety of future generations.

Nirmaljit Singh Chatrath

Take practical steps to check misuse

Gurbani, the Sikh scripture, has accorded the status of 'father' to water…Pavan Guru Pani it provides the very basis of life on earth. However, having a limited albeit depleting supply, its conservation is essential, especially during summer when water scarcity becomes a common problem. Therefore, practical steps need to be taken to manage its misuse. First, address the issue of fixing the waste by repairing leaking faucets and toilets, which can lead to an average loss of eight litre of water per day. To prevent its misuse in bathrooms and toilets, low-flow shower heads should be used. Showers should be kept short and bathtub filling be avoided. A bucket flush system can be installed to collect the cold water that runs before it is too hot to shower and use it for watering plants or flushing the toilet. Water wastage in the kitchen can be reduced by using water-efficient appliances, running the dishwasher only when it's full and scraping dishes instead of rinsing them before loading. Watering the yard should be done in the morning or evening when evaporation is lower, and mulch should be used to retain soil moisture to reduce the need for frequent watering. Consider drought-resistant plants for the garden and install water-saving devices such as low-flow faucets, dual-flush toilets, and rainwater harvesting systems. Water-efficient methods should be applied for washing cars or cleaning outdoor surfaces with a bucket instead of a hose. Driveways and sidewalks should be swept instead of hosing down. Laundry should also be done in a water-smart way, waiting for a full load before operating the washing machine. Front-loading machines are more water-efficient than top-loading ones. Grey water can be reused for watering plants. Such practices can contribute to reducing water misuse to combat its scarcity during summer season.

Kulwant Singh Phull

Make efforts to follow norms

With the blazing summer season approaching, water remains key to good and healthy survival. Water is crucial for maintaining hygiene and having a good time in the months from May to September. At present, one of the topmost priorities of the administration should be to ensure a quick, efficient and uninterrupted supply of clean and safe water to every residence. Given the current situation, all households must have access to a reliable and sustainable source of water that can meet their daily needs without any hindrance. The administration must take all necessary measures to ensure that there is no scarcity of water. To ensure this, we need to find out the reason to highlight this topic. Underground water is used for 80 per cent of agriculture in Punjab, while only 20 per cent of farming is done with canal water. A recent report by NITI Aayog (2021) reveals that out of the 133 blocks in Punjab, 109 have turned into dark zones. The situation has only worsened after that. The prime cause of the scarcity of water in Punjab is that groundwater is the only source of water for drinking purposes here, which is now depleting at a formidable rate. The reason is that the users are the violators. We must take responsibility for our actions and make a conscious effort to follow the guidelines to ensure a safe and positive experience for all. For years, the masses have been listening to these ways and children are taught about these in Grade 2, yet most of these are ignored by people, and today, the situation is on the verge of getting out of hand. Nonetheless, it is always better to be safe than sorry. So, let us once again discuss these ways in the hope of a better future. There are several simple yet effective ways to reduce water consumption in our daily household activities. For instance, we can opt for traditional methods like washing cars using buckets instead of high-pressure pipes or using a jug of water for personal hygiene purposes. For example, avoiding the use of showers for a bath instead of opting for buckets can save much of the daily use water demand. Furthermore, the government should launch programmes such as use of drip and sprinkler irrigation systems to help farmers irrigate their fields and save water. Also, rainwater harvesting is an effective way to make the maximum out of the minimum and fully optimise the use of nature's resources. This is one way in which the misuse of water in peak summer season could be avoided.

Lakshit Jindal

Ensure need-based supply in areas

The recent spell of rain in Dubai, Oman and Islamabad resulted in flooding and put the environmentalists in dilemma over the changing climate. The area where rain was considered to be a miracle has thrown life out of gear, especially in areas where there were sandy deserts in the Middle East. Similarly, Rajasthan which was known for very less rainfall has shown a rapid increase in spells of showers and flooding for the past few years. As the Meteorological Department has already predicted a hot summer, it is necessary that the timings for drinking water supply should be increased from noon to 2 pm additionally so that in the scorching heat, one can quench one's thirst. At night, the department should allow water for parks and plantation on the central verge. Similarly, the officials concerned should strictly enforce 24 X 7 drinking water supply at bus stands and railway stations so that the travellers may utilise the facility for clean potable water. The officials should keep a check on public taps so that water does not overflow from the taps due to any fault in them.

Rajat Kumar Mohindru

Give MSP for crops needing less water

With the summer season approaching, demand for water tends to increase. People need clean drinking water at bus stands, railway stations, places of public gathering etc. The onus will be on state municipalities to save water from getting wasted and supply the water where it is needed at the right time. The people need to be educated and awakened about the judicious use of water. People cleaning cars with tap water on roads should be punished. Similarly, water should be supplied to indoor plants in the evening so as to have a maximum impact. Also, people who keep taps open in the kitchen should be punished through penalties for wasting water. Farmers should also use water judiciously. Agricultural universities' recommendations about saving irrigation water must be implemented strictly so as to save water from wastage. Depleting groundwater is a serious matter. Water-guzzling crops like paddy should be avoided and alternate crops like maize should be given preference. The government should ensure MSP for crops which require less water. There are villages in desert areas of Rajasthan where people travel kilometers to get drinking water. The government should make available water in all remote villages through mobile vans. Similarly, a sewage treatment plan should be established to reuse waste water. A water harvesting policy should be made to save rain water. There is a famous saying that the Third World War would be fought over water. Every country and state should make a proper policy of saving water at the farm and domestic level. In the end, the government alone cannot do anything unless people unite and make strenuous efforts to save water.

Harvinder Singh Chugh


The city apparently is not ready for the monsoon season. The recent rain exposed the tall claims of the MC regarding monsoon preparedness as several roads and localities are still inundated. While monsoon is yet to arrive, what steps should the authorities take to check waterlogging?

Suggestions in not more than 200 words can be sent to [email protected]  by Thursday (April 25)

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