Right from our childhood, we have all learned about the importance of water in our everyday life. Water wastage is one of the biggest problems of our times, especially when several countries are going through a serious water crisis.
India is no different. After two consecutive years of weak monsoons, over 330 million people have been affected by a severe drought. As per the report released by Niti Aayog in 2018, 21 major cities – including Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad – are at risk for reaching zero groundwater levels by 2020, thus affecting access for 100 million people. What we need right now is to adopt several water conservation methods, beginning right from your own kitchens.
Here are some ways in which you can reduce water wastage while cooking:
Steaming vegetables is a better option than boiling. It only uses an inch of water, and is generally healthier too, retaining more nutrients. So if you’re someone who likes boiling their vegetables, switch to steaming and save water.
When you’re rinsing lentils or rice, or boiling pasta or veggies, don’t let the greywater go to waste. Instead of letting it go down the drain, why not use it to water your garden? You’ll be amazed just how much water you save by this small task.
Avoid using big pots and pans unless you really need them. Large vessels tend to require more cooking water than is necessary and lead to needless water loss. Therefore, choose your pots and pans carefully when cooking.
Do you have the habit of rinsing vegetables like carrots or potatoes with their peels on? It’s time to act and make the change. Next time, peel the vegetables first to remove the dirt from it and rinse after. This helps save more water and cleans off the dirt more effectively.
Frozen foods can be easily defrosted under running water, but imagine the amount of water you’re losing in this practice? Instead, plan ahead and put frozen food in the refrigerator a few hours before you need to use it. Your food will defrost slowly and safely without using water. You can also try defrosting your frozen food in the microwave if you’re in a hurry.
Avoid the temptation to scrape pots and pans under running water. Soaking your pot will help lift the food stuck on the bottom and save water. You should also refrain from rinsing dirty dishes. Simply scrape away leftover food and use these scraps to start or add to a compost bin. If you use dishwashers, ensure you put in full loads. You might find it surprising, but a dishwasher uses 85% less water than washing utensils by hand.
You can also consider installing tap aerators in your kitchen sink. Aerators are small attachments that can be fitted at the end of water taps or inserted inside the spout. They regulate the water flow, thereby drastically reducing the amount of water that comes out from the taps. Using aerators on old taps can cut down water flow from 15 litres per minute to 6 litres per minute. They can be installed on 95% of taps can save up to 1274 litres of water per month.
Little steps in your kitchen can go a long way in saving water. Taking into cognizance the ever-increasing demand for potable water, conserving your existing supply can help keep the balance in the environment. It is important to understand that managing the water situation is not just the job of the government, but the communities themselves. By keeping a check on our own usage and actions, we can contribute in a big way.
What do you do to save water in your homes? Share your ideas with us here.