During LockDown SmartPaani’s team has been working on a blog series answering common questions around Covid-19, sustainable water management and other solutions. This is the first one written by Project Coordinator, Madan Dhodari
As we confront the new global enemy COVID 19, the availability of safe water will be a crucial factor for success. As we lockdown economies to battle the novel coronavirus, we need to understand just how critical the issue of water (clean, safe, and accessible) is.
The best defense against the pandemic is frequent handwashing (20 seconds each time) according to WHO. The 20-second hand wash, advised to kill the virus, would mean roughly 1.5-2 liters per wash; washing hands frequently would mean we need between 15-20 liters of water per person; a household of five would need 100 liters only for handwashing. This is assuming that you do not leave the tap running when you rub your hand with soap. If the water is turned off while soaping and properly washing one’s hands, the water consumption will be significantly less, and the tap handle can be cleaned with the soapy hands when we again turn-on the tap. This will reduce the water needed by 75 percent.
Availability of clean filtered water is also an effective preventative measure as hydration and a strong immune system are important (WHO). Most of us are reliant on our own source of water for everyday use. Our sources are usually groundwater or municipal water. Whichever is the source, we should not drink water directly without testing. Currently despite having our own sources, most people are buying and drinking bottled/jar water. We opt out of our own water source and move to other’s water source, forgetting the fact that the water we buy also comes from groundwater. Even if we buy bottled water, there is a risk that they are contaminated and not safe for drinking. The expenses do not stop here, these days we see people disinfecting the jars of water outside their homes after every delivery. Many people even boil and/or filter this bottled water after paying for it.
If we are paying a substantial amount of money for buying, disinfecting and even filtering/boiling this purchased water, why not use the source already available in our homes. Filtering our own water gives us an assurance on safety, save money and be a more sustainable approach. In recent times, when we are trying to limit our interactions, being self-sufficient is crucial. So, managing our existing source of water to meet all our needs is something we need to do for now and for the long-term. For example, SmartPaani’s Tripti filter can easily filter the municipal water supplied in the taps, rainwater or tanker water and make it fit for drinking.
While using our water source, a challenge comes in ensuring its sustainability. A way to solve this can be to recharge and replenish the well water with (treated) rainwater. The average household gets more rainwater on their roof than they need year-round. Collecting, using, and recharging the excess rainwater can help provide water security and improve the groundwater levels. We also need to be cautious about how much water we use and adapt simple everyday measures to conserve and recycle water.
The current situation has given us the time and opportunity to rethink our actions and way of life. We need to rethink how we deal with our water; we need to prioritize to conserve, reuse and replenish water. Save water – Save Earth.
Cover Image Source – https://food.unl.edu/article/handwashing