A few days ago, after a hectic schedule at the office, I decided to visit a friend and spend some quality time relaxing. During our conversations, I could hear some sounds from the washroom. I was curious to know what was happening and came to know that my friend’s son and his classmates were working on a water conservation project for their school.
It is always amazing to see projects on water and energy conservation. The children were fixing a self-made wash basin, connected to the toilet’s flushing system. When the flushing mechanism fills the tank, a pipe channels extra water to the basin, dedicated to washing one’s hands.
I was amazed by the concept. There were a few young boys working on it and the tools they used were all simple. The basin was a simple ice cream tub and two pipes were connected to it as an inlet and outlet.
In this newly created flush system, when you flush, water from the storage tank moves to the toilet and fresh water fills the tank for the next flush. While filling the tank, some water is redirected to this wash basin. This water supply lasts for about a minute, or until the tank fills up. The water collected in the basin then goes to the tank for the flush. It saves a large volume of water!
One of the students told me: “Normally, we need 20 seconds to scrub our hands with soap and then wash up, but this process consumes a lot of water. This model will save this resource.”
In a day, a person washes his or her hands seven times on average, as stated by WaterWatch, a US-based non-governmental organisation. During hand wash, up to 14 litres of water can be consumed by just one person. But, by using the device created by these students, only 5.6 litres of water would be consumed by one individual in a day. In a family of four, that saves up to 33 litres of water per day. And the best part is, all this water is then reused, to flush the toilet.
I later found that the students had implemented the idea in different places, and thousands of litres of water were being saved in their school and in the homes of some of the students. This idea is the brainchild of Keerthi Kumar Jagannath, an administrative staff member at the Abu Dhabi Indian School, Al Wathba. He deserves great appreciation and honour for initiating, motivating and encouraging students to take up such projects.
He has a target of equipping 1,000 washrooms with this set-up. When I spoke with him, I found it was his passion to invent, demonstrate and inspire others with such innovative ideas.
Such efforts should be endorsed, in order to foster improved environments. The power to save the planet rests with us. I hope more schools, malls and corporations adopt this simple method in their flushing system so we can save a huge volume of water every day.
— The reader is based in Abu Dhabi.
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