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A few days earlier, residents of my neighbourhood got a worrisome email. It was from the head of the local association and the after sundry information about stray dogs and what have you, he rounded off the missive with updates regarding our water situation. The upshot of it was, no surprises for guessing, the groundwater levels were rapidly depleting and great care must be exercised by all if we had to last till the rains arrive later in the year.

With the summer sun still beating down mercilessly upon us in Chennai and its surroundings (the temperatures this week have been touching 42 deg C!) and no rains in sight, it is up to each and every one of us to use water wisely and ensure we have enough to last us till the end of the season.

So what can we do to ensure we do not deplete our finite reserves of water?

1. Ditch the hose pipe

Granted, they are easy to water your plants but do you know that you waste a ridiculous amount of water this way? The easiest – and environment-friendliest way is by filling a bucket of water and using a measured quantity of water per plant. This way, you do not over-water your plants and end up slowing things right down and spending more time with them. Win-win, I call it!

2. Bucket list

In fact, a bucket and mug are your best friends when it comes to watching your water usage. Be it for bathing purposes, cleaning or any other kind, having a bucket of water versus turning the taps on is a no-brainer. By using a bucket, by making sure there is only a finite quantity of water to play with, you are right away putting the brakes on your water wastage.

3. Re-use, recycle

Be it your RO (reverse osmosis) water filters or repurposing the water you used to do your washing, you can always come up with creative ways of reusing water. The filtered out water can be collected in a container and you can use this water to swab your floor, wash your bathrooms etc. Using ethical cleaning products such as those made from organic soapberries and chemical-free ingredients makes it possible to reuse the water (yes, even that from your washing machine!) to water your plants.

4. Taps on, Taps off

It may seem like a minor thing but keeping your taps turned off while brushing your teeth and doing your daily toilette saves enormous quantities of water. Keeping a mug of water handy for washing off purposes and voila, you are golden!

5. Rainwater harvesting

Many multi-dwelling blocks in Chennai follow this already, thanks to the drive created by a political party a few years back. Let us not forget the water pouring out of your air-conditioning units – collect this water in containers and use it to clean your car, why don’t you?

These are just a few of the methods you can utilise to save your precious water. Do you have any more ideas for saving water? If so, share your ideas in the comments below.