7 April 2014, Quezon City. An environmental group promoting zero waste has appealed to Metro Manila’s 12 million people to conserve water amid the sweltering summer heat.
The EcoWaste Coalition aired its appeal after the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) approved last week the reduction of Metro Manila’s share of water from Angat Dam due to the dwindling water levels in the reservoir.
Angat Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan is the major source of water supply for the bustling metropolis.
“Like in previous years, we can expect the water levels in Angat and other dams to decline during the summer season due to lack of rains,” said Aileen Lucero, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We can avoid the possibility of yet another water crisis by making some small adjustments in the way we consume water, a precious but finite resource,” she said.
“Saving water will significantly slash our water bill and also make sure that every household will have access to this vital resource,” she added.
“For example, everyone should be a leak detective and ensure that all leaky faucets and pipes are duly repaired as one drip of water every second is said to add up to five gallons a day,” she said.
As fossil fuel energy is widely used to pump out and transport water into our homes, the EcoWaste Coalition added that conserving water will also translate to minimizing the release of greenhouse gases driving climate change.
As mercury rises, the EcoWaste Coalition issued the following 25 “Tubig Tipid Tips” (water conservation tips) to help consumers trim down on their use of water this summer and all-year round.
1. Check pipes, faucets, showerheads, hoses, toilet and water tanks for leaks and have them fixed at once. Replace worn out sapatilya (washers) without delay.
2. Don‘t let the water run while you brush your teeth. Wet your toothbrush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.
3. When washing your face or hands, turn the water off while you lather.
4. Take shorter showers and use just enough water. Turn off the water while you shampoo your hair or soap your body.
5. Reuse towels a few times before putting them on the laundry basket.
6. Place a bottle filled with stones or water inside the toilet tank to reduce the amount of water in every flush.
7. Place used tissues in the bin rather than in the toilet bowl, and avoid flushing the toilet needlessly,
8. Keep a bucket in the bathroom and laundry area for the grey water that can be used to flush the toilet, clean the laundry area and car port or dampen dusty road.
9. Organize your laundry schedule and wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine. Match the water level to the size of the load.
10. Use laundry water for cleaning used bottles, cans and other recyclables, blinds, rugs, doormats, and car wheels.
11. Collect water dripping from air conditioners and use it in washing mops, watering the plants or flushing the toilet.
12. Do not hose down your driveway or footpath. Use the walis tingting (broomstick) to sweep the place clean.
13. Wash fruits and vegetables in a palanggana (pan) instead of running water from the tap; reuse the water for watering the plants.
14. Do not throw hugas-bigas (rice wash) down the drain; use it for washing dishes or watering plants.
15. Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not on running water.
16. Use fewer cooking and dining utensils and dishes to cut down on the water needed for dishwashing.
17. Do not let the water run when washing the dishes, fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water, and do collect the grey water for other purposes.
18. Pick the proper pan and pot size for cooking as bigger ones may need more cooking water than necessary.
19. Do not scrape pans and pots in running water; soak them first to reduce water use.
20. Never waste water served during meals; drink it up!
21. Harvest rainwater through the spout and use it for your essential needs.
22. Water the plants after 5:00 p.m. when temperature is cooler to minimize evaporation and water them only when necessary.
23. Leave grass clippings on the lawn as this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
24. Spread a layer of mulch around plants and trees to retain water and reduce evaporation.
25. Reward household members, especially the kids, for conserving water and for reducing the water bill.