10 Ways to Conserve Groundwater That Actually Work
Jun 05, 2017
The ever-growing human population has put a lot of stress on drinking water, especially in densely populated cities. Our thirst for fresh water has been causing the ground water to deplete rapidly. To make matters worse, our bad practices are polluting even existing water sources such as rivers, lakes, and water present in deep underground reservoirs.
The only way to prevent our planet from turning into a dystopian world without drinking water is by protecting and conserving water. You don’t have to wait for your local government or community to take steps to conserve groundwater. You can follow these ten simple steps to conserve groundwater.
1. Fix the plumbing
You can begin by fixing leaks. Leaks in pipes, toilets, and faucets are a much larger problem than you can imagine. Did you know a leaking flush toilet can waste over 200 litres of water a day!?
You can also conserve water by changing high discharge outlets with low discharge ones.
2. Use water wisely
Start by turning off the tap when you don’t need it; while brushing your teeth for instance. You can also reduce water usage by changing certain habits. Taking shorter showers, running laundry and dish washing machines at full load are goodhabits that will result in water savings. Replacing our flush toilet with a low-flow unit is another step you can take.
3. Manage chemical waste
Harmful chemicals are everywhere. From the toothpaste and shampoo, you use to toilet cleaners all contain harmful chemicals, which go down our bathroom and kitchen drains every day. Unfortunately, they ultimately end up in water bodies or seep into the ground and mix with the groundwater. The story is the same when it comes to effluents discharged by industries.
While the need of the hour is to treat wastewater before releasing it into a local water body, you can also do your bit by switching to natural substances to meet our household needs. One example would be the use of lemon juice, baking soda, and vinegar to take care of cleaning duties.
4. Manage household waste
Be smart while disposing of your household waste. When it comes to biodegradable waste, instead of disposing of it (which could end up contaminating a ground water source), turn into manure and you can use to grow plants. As far as dry waste is concerned, always separate it from wet waste, so it’s easier to recycle and does not end up in a landfill.
5. Reuse whenever possible
While recycling non-biodegradable is a great waste to reduce water pollution, you don’t have much control over it as an individual. However, you can still make a difference by reusing certain items like plastic and glass articles, old clothes, plastic and paper bags, old furniture, etc. Do some research, and you’ll find that a lot of things you have at home can be reused in form or the other.
6. Avoid or reduce pesticide usage
Everyone knows how toxic pesticides are, and nothing good can come out of pesticides mixing with ground water. Unfortunately, pesticides are a major source of water pollution. While a majority of pesticides originate from farm lands, even regular households contribute to this problem to an extent since we use these chemicals in our gardens and to get rid of pests like cockroaches and mosquitoes.
The alternative is to go natural. Organic farming/gardening requires no toxic chemicals, while pests can be dealt naturally as well. For example, catnip (a type of decorative plant) can keep harmful insects away, and vinegar can be used to get rid of ants.
7. Maintain septic tanks properly
Septic tanks should never be setup anywhere near a source of fresh water. If you have no other option, they should be kept a safe distance away, and precautions should be taken so that the toxic waste from a septic tank never makes contact with groundwater. Septic tanks should be maintained on a regular basis and you should ensure they never develop leaks or get clogged.
8. Conserve rainwater
Storing and using rainwater is an excellent way to conserve groundwater as it reduces our reliance on groundwater. When your rainwater reservoir is full, you should take measures to ensure excess rainwater does not evaporate but goes underground where it can replenish the groundwater level.
9. Maintain a garden wisely
If you have a garden, you can conserve water by watering the plants early in the morning or when the sun is no longer overhead. Watering plants during mid-day will mean a lot of water gets wasted due to evaporation. Also, choose plants that don’t require a lot of water and fertilizers, and are resistant to pests. Trees can also help conserve groundwater.
10. Educate others
It’s critical that everyone in your community understands the importance of conserving groundwater and knows what measures need to be taken to ensure freshwater sources are not polluted. Once you’ve implemented steps to conserve groundwater, don’t stop! Educate others and encourage them to follow good groundwater conservation practices.
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