Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mug the Challenge!

Lush green paddy fields, gentle ripples of backwaters and wells with water as pure as a mountain spring; all these and many more painted the picture around the small town in which I was born and brought up. Scarcity of water is something that was unheard of during my childhood. In addition, the water we needed at home was always drawn from the well and we never received a paper with the title ‘Water Bill’.

The picture got slightly blurred when I first moved out of my town to my neighbouring state for higher studies. I was first introduced to the concept of ‘hard water’. It was quite difficult initially to get used to this different genre of water. It was there I first saw this strange sight of people buying mineral water in bulk. It was strange since there was a drinking water dispenser at the college hostel from where many of us took water from. When asked I was told that they use mineral water for head bath since hard water will spoil the hair. Imagine the kind of money people spent for this!

Life moved on and soon I was in the metropolitan city of Bangalore. For the first time in my life I had to buy drinking water for my daily consumption since there was no supply of drinking water at the place where I stayed. On top of this an additional amount started appearing on my monthly expense statements. I started paying water bills though the amount was quite minimal compared to the electricity bills.

A few years later I got married and as destiny had its way, we ended up in the desert kingdom of Dubai. One fine day after our first month in Dubai we received a bill from Dubai Electricity and Water Authority. How would you feel if you get struck with a heavy-duty sledgehammer? That’s the status we were in, seeing the amount for the water we consumed. It was a shocker to realize that we really need to pay more for water than power!

Thinking about this transition itself is quite dreadful! From a literally free supply of water to rationed supply of hard water to nominal payment for consumed water and finally to a state where we end up paying more for water than electricity itself! It was high time we realized the path we are heading to. We had to do something really drastic to reduce the consumption of this limited natural resource.

One of the solutions appeared in the form of a simple item present in our bathroom. An innocent little mug! When we started looking at our water usage, we realized that the washbasin tap is a big culprit who contributes to the scary numbers on our water bill. It never dawned on us till then the quantity of water that gets lost while using the tap. Most of us don’t realize that when a tap is opened we end up losing more water than what we really need. Do you have the habit of holding water in your open palm to wash your face or to brush your teeth or for any other morning routine? Next time you do this; notice the amount of water that flows out of your hand as well as from the tap against the actual amount of water you really use. The delta will be huge!

Our approach was quite simple. We started using the mug to hold water from the tap and use exactly the quantity that we needed. This helped us to reduce our water consumption quite significantly! The water bills in this part of the world, where lives are built on top of a desert, continue to be high. Nevertheless each drop thus saved directly added to our piggy bank.

You are not just doing yourself a favour, but in fact you are saving this depleting natural resource for your kids and the generations to come! A simple change with a huge impact!

So, do you have it in you to take up this challenge?! 


  1. No way currently...But living with TH, I have learned to be more cautious about electricity and water usage. He even complains when the live-in maid uses the kitchen tap in full force wasting a lot of water.

    Not using shower is another way to save a lot of water though many people seem to think otherwise.

  2. I totally agree on the shower!


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