Rural Training Center, Thailand (RTC-Thailand)

Simple Ways to Conserve Water

Apr 29, 2008

Everyone should practice water conservation. International studies indicate that nearly 50% of the people on Earth cannot get to clean drinking water at least once a day. One of the challenges of climate change is the increasing probability of drought. Water conservation can be done in many ways. You can follow the ?“Reduce, Re-use, Re-cycle?” approach we teach in the Green School Project of REEEPP (Rural Environmental Education Enhancement Pilot Program).

Reduce Use / Reduce Waste
The easiest place to begin is to use less water. A simple practice such as closing the tap while you brush your teeth can save several liters of water. Take shorter showers, or better yet, bath in a more traditional Thai way. Scoop some water from a tub to get wet, soap yourself up, then scoop more water to rinse off. But there is something you can do with the ?“waste?” or used water. You can use it again.

Re-use Water
Keep another tub or bucket handy to catch all of the waste water from washing your face, brushing your teeth, and bathing. You can use this water to flush the toilet. Does it make sense to throw good clean water into the toilet to make it dirty? If you use the collected waste water to flush, you won?’t be using or wasting clean water. Each time you flush the toilet, you use about 5 liters of water. Multiply that by the number of times people use the toilet each day and you can save quite nearly 90 liters of water each day. The savings add up to about 32,850 liters each year! This could give a person basic drinking water for nearly 22.5 years! (It is estimated that a person needs a minimum of 4 liters of drinking water each day.)

Water used in the kitchen to wash fruits and vegetables can also be re-used. Water from the clothes washing machine can be diverted for use to water the garden. If you wash the car, do it over the lawn so you water the yard at the same time. Don?’t let the water flow to the street.

Re-cycle Water
Waste water can be re-cycled. In the near future, the RTC-TH will conduct tests on solar water distillation units to purify ?“gray?” waste water (water that does not contain human or animal wastes). This follows the natural water cycle using evaporation to change liquid water to gas called water vapor. Any organic or inorganic impurities are left behind. When the water vapor is condensed, it is clean. This is the same process that changes salt water in the oceans to fresh water that falls as rain.

If you have public water service in your area, you pay for the fresh water used to wash your hands and to flush the toilet. In our house, we only pay for the fresh water used to wash our clothes, food, and ourselves. These simple water conservation techniques save both money and water. With growing concerns over the prolonged drought, water conservation should be a top priority. And when simple conservation practices also put money in your pocket, it makes even more sense to do it.

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