So right now in Selangor, Malaysia there is a water shortage causing rationining – millions of people are having to deal with having water only half of the time (2 days on and 2 days off).
But what’s surprising is, during the 2 days on – everyone is using water like normal and in many cases, more than normal. They don’t seem to realise that everyone can contribute to the water coming back on sooner, and in general perhaps not having water problems in the future.
You can see people still washing their car every day the water is on (getting their moneys worth from their domestic helpers apparently), watering their grass, taking unnecessarily long showers and running the tap for other uses.
Is it really necessary to wash your car often? No. Is Malaysia a country that salts the roads because they freeze? No. Washing your car often is probably doing more harm than good, you’d be better off with a bi-annual waxing. Anyway that’s a bit off topic.
Yes you can blame the government for leaky pipes and inefficient water delivery (32% in losses from recent articles), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t contribute too. It’s better for the planet too, if we take a standpoint of using as much as we need – and not more. Let’s stop needless waste.
What we would like to talk about today, is how to conserve water, in general and especially how to save water during rationing like now.
1. Turn OFF the tap when you brush your teeth
Pretty much everyone runs the tap whilst brushing their teeth, when in fact you only need water at the beginning and the end (to wet the brush and rinse it).
This can save 6 litres of water PER MINUTE!
2. Try and conserve water when using the toilet
We’ve heard a simple saying for this “If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown flush it down”.
I’ll let you figure out what that means. If you want to go a step further, try and get hold of a water displacement device for your toilet cistern so it uses less water on each flush. You can also just use an empty bottle with some sand/pebbles inside.
Also don’t use the toilet as a bin, every time you throw a small bit of trash and flush the toilet 15-25 litres is gone.
Another tip related to this, is peeing in the shower. If you pee in the shower, you can save 4400 litres of water a year per household!
3. Shorten your shower and turn it off when you can
This is a BIG one in asia as everyone showers every day, a shower uses anything between 6-45 litres of water per minute (depending on your water pressure) so taking a shorter shower uses a lot less.
You can also turn the shower off in between, wet yourself, lather up then turn the water off. When you’re ready turn it on and rinse off.
Also if you have a modern shower with an aerator it helps (as do taps with aerators) as they regulate and limit the water flow rate.
4. If you have any dripping taps – FIX THEM.
A single dripping tap can waste 15 litres of water a day or 5500 litres of water a year.
5. Utilise rainwater if you can
You can use a dustbin or a pail or anything on hand, yes the irony is not lost that it’s raining hard every day – yet we still have a water shortage.
So here’s an idea for those of you that absolutely must wash your car and water your plants – please do so with rainwater. You should do this normally anyway (even when we do have water) as Malaysia has a very high volume of rainfall all year round.
Plus watering plants/grass with a watering can uses far less water than using a hosepipe. A typical hosepipe can use 1000 litres an hour.
Same goes for washing your car, doing it with a bucket and sponge rather than the hosepipe can save up to 600 litres each time.
6. Go for full loads in your washing machine
This reduces the number of times you have to use it, so reduces the amount of water you use.
Same goes for your dishwater (if you happen to have one).
If you want more there’s 100 ways here:
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