Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Water Water Everywhere

Has it ever occurred to you that the quantity of water we waste is amazing? Forget the tap running while we brush/shave, shower/tub bath, or while we wash the dishes. While driving around the colony or on your evening walk just keep your eyes open and look around - especially during the morning and evenings. You will see men and women, maids and servants, in various attires, washing cars and their courtyards. Adding up is the extra run-off from coolers being refilled and gardens being quenched.

To begin with, I do not understand why people have to cement the driveways right down to the road. Isn’t it encroachment on public land? Add to this is the cementing of the pavement outside their homes. I have heard many of my neighbours tell how it helps keep the dust from entering the house. In a city which adjoins Rajasthan, at the same time, has a high quantity of suspended particle matter in its air, a little cementing can hardly help to keep the dust out, I wish to inform them. These cemented structures need to washed everyday, argument being “Washing keeps it clean.” So, first you create something to keep the dust at bay and then clean that cleaning structure. What’s more, the amount of water and time that is devoted to this activity, is amazing. The washing and cleaning with running water goes into overdrive on mornings after a late evening dust storm or rain. Women and maids with brooms can be seen everywhere, busily washing the front /back courtyards, cemented driveways and pavements.

Then, of course are all those uncles and aunties (in this aspect too, women are nowhere behind men) with hosepipes, dedicatedly washing their cars and 2-wheelers. I have noticed this gentleman, who can barely see through his thick dark goggles, with a hose pipe, first wash the exterior of his Fiat Sienna, and then within the bonnet and everywhere inside. EVERYDAY. At a causal glance, the car does not appear too new but assuming that he has been doing this vigorous a washing for a while, it is not unusual for the car to look old – perhaps it too, feels, and shows its tiredness with the wash-n-clean daily routine. The other day I saw this sweet thing who just written her 12th board exams, busy washing her car. As I knew her folks, I walked up to her and asked “Why don’t use a cloth to clean it?” After all, I continued, the amount of time teachers and schools have spent telling school children about the falling water table due to global warming or the decreasing rainfall, is substantial. Why should not the young take a lead in conserving water?
OR maybe, there is a disconnect between school sermons and what children see around them in society. School says honesty is the best policy and then the same school encroaches on government land and argues in a court of law that “the career of the children will be affected if you remove us from the encroached land. J” There are umpteen other examples of actions in dissonance with words.
It makes me feel very sad when I see water being wasted consciously because of an attitude which screams “ HOW DO I CARE!”
Water taxes are anyway very low and perhaps, public taps and public water are possibly the PM’s responsibility… or somebody else’s…. certainly not mine! So water from the tap in the park, or other public place, can flow on until eternity but I will not take the trouble to turn it off. Why should I? How do I care?

But is it really so simple to shirk off our individual responsibility for conserving this life-sustaining natural resource?

Maybe we should keep the mantra : Everything that goes around comes around. Amen!

1 comment:

Rozita Singh said...

The most annoying thing is the OVERFLOWING TANKS.Gosh!24*7 someone or the other's tank is overflowing.
i seriously thnk they dont hav n OFF button in their motor.
motor chalaake aisa lagta hai,so jaate hai,ghoomne chale jaate hai.
what do they thnk?hamesha on rakhne se paani zyada aayega?i mean a simple baloon kinda thng can b brot nd fixed in tanks.its very cheap nd it prevents overflowing!