Ever since we were kids, we’ve been taught about the importance of conserving water– both at home and in school (sometimes it was even part of our exams!).
But as we detailed in our previous post, HERE, the need to conserve water has become even more urgent now. Even without El Nino, the water elevation in the Angat and Ipo dams continue to be at less-than-ideal levels given the scant rains over the surrounding watersheds in these areas. This, along with the increase in water demand among Metro Manila residents as we all fight the spread of COVID-19, plus hotter weather conditions.
Luckily, Maynilad was able to suspend the daily water service interruptions after the National Water Resources Board (NWRB) increased raw water allocation for Metro Manila and nearby provinces amid the COVID-19 threat.
While water is now available most times of the day, it doesn’t mean that we should stop being responsible in our use of water because, the truth is, the water level in Angat Dam is still not at the ideal level, and rains are not yet coming to refill the dams.
While the basic “turn of faucet when not in use,” and “use a glass when brushing your teeth” still apply, there are a lot of other things we can do to save water and do our part in preventing even more shortage.
As they say “Its 2020 na! So it’s time to upgrade with these water saving tips I learned from our Dam hopping tour with Maynilad!
- Check for leaks (both inside and outside your house!): I think this is the most important tip of all, because no matter what you do to save water, leaks will just negate all those efforts. To check for internal leaks, make sure to close all faucets in the house, then head outside and check your water meter. If the wheel continues to turn, that means it’s time to call a plumber to check your pipes. But if you see a leak on the street outside your house, immediately call Maynilad 1626!
- Do the toilet test: To check if your toilet has leaks put a few drops of food coloring or a dye tablet into your toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl, your tank is leaking and silently wasting up to 100 gallons of water a day.
- Save on flushing: Did you know that about 30% of domestic water use comes from flushing the toilet and uses more water than necessary? Toilets made between 1980 and 1992 generally use about 13 litres per flush and older toilets even more. If you are planning to change your old toilet check for the GPF gallons per flush or liters per flush. It only requires 6 liters for a full flush. To save water when flushing put a small brick inside the toilet tank. If you don’t have a piece of brick, you can fill up a plastic bottle/s with stones or sand, seal it off and place it in the cistern or toilet bowl tank. This can significantly reduce the volume of water being flushed, and save you many liters every day.
- Water your yard either in the morning or evening. Water evaporates quickly when the sun is high, so it’s best to sprinkle when it’s more likely to stay in the soil. Be sure you are watering the plants and not the sidewalk or driveway. If you have turf grass, you might want to look for a less thirsty alternative like a drought-tolerant garden that doesn’t need precious drinking water, or mowing. Water your lawn only when it needs it. One way to test if your lawn needs watering is to step on it. If it springs back up it doesn’t need water.
- Shorten your shower. This one is a bit hard because if you’re like me, I love the feel of running water on my skin especially during a long busy day and I tend to stay in the shower for at least 10 minutes. BUT for the sake of saving water, I might just need to make it a bit quicker. Did you know that two minutes off your shower can save up to 1,750 gallons of water per person in your household each year? Or you can use the old-fashioned timba + tabo combo.
- Install a rain barrel. Rainwater is great for plants, and it’s free for collecting! Use an old drum or plastic container to collect rainwater, just make sure that it is properly sealed so it won’t become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
- Reuse water properly: Rice wash is good for watering plants, while you can reuse bathwater for flushing, cleaning the garage, or your sidewalk. You can also collect water dripping from air conditioners and reuse them for soaking mops and rugs, or watering plants.
- Be smart when doing laundry: Refrain from using the washing machine if washing only a few clothes or schedule a wash day instead. Do full loads of laundry, and use the right amount of detergent to avoid extra rinsing. Reuse towels a few times before putting them in the laundry basket, and do not sit or lay on the bed with dirty clothes so you don’t soil your bedsheets and you can use them a bit longer.
- Use the tap wisely: We have always been taught to turn off the faucet when brushing our teeth, washing our face or shaving, but do you also turn the shower off as you soap up, scrub or shampoo?
- do not let the water run when washing the dishes, instead fill one basin with wash water and the other with rinse water. Wash fruits and vegetables in a basin and not under in running water. Try to use less dining utensils and dishes when eating and make sure to use the right kitchen ware, pots, and pans when cooking. Another tip is to soak dirty pans and pots first instead of scraping them clean using running water.
EXTRA TIP! Use a water bottle: We all need to stay hydrated especially during the hot summer days. So you probably have a tumbler/water bottle in your office. But when you are at home chances are you use a drinking glass. Right?
Since each family member drinks several times a day, imagine how many glasses you need to wash every time. So why not use water bottles at home as well? It not only keeps your water cool (or hot), you only have to wash it a couple of times a day consuming less water.
There you have it–10 Tips you can use every day to save water and lower your utility bills. Instead of complaining, let’s do our part in conserving water, and maybe we wouldn’t have to worry about a water crisis in the next few months!