From Antivist

Water conservation refers to reducing use of fresh water, through technological or social methods. The goals of water conservation efforts include:

  • Sustainability - To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate.
  • Energy conservation - Water pumping, delivery and wastewater treatment facilities consume a significant amount of energy.
  • Habitat conservation - Minimizing human water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating waterfowl, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure.



  • recharge pits, which capture rainwater and runoff and use it to recharge groundwater supplies.
  • low-flush toilets, composting toilets and waterless urinals can have a very large impact, particularly in Western societies, as conventional Western toilets use large volumes of water.
  • energy efficient shower heads
  • Don't trash toilets and drains
    • Save water by preventing clogs and using the trash can for garbage -not drains or toilets.
    • Use the trash can for grease, produce stickers and garbage. Only food waste down the garbage disposalâ�¦better yet, compost food waste at home or place it in your yard waste bin. See Food Waste Composting for more information.
    • Keep hair out of the drain by using an inexpensive drain cover.
    • Since each flush uses water, don't use the toilet as a trash can. Put only toilet paper in the toilet, and use the trash can for everything elseâ��protect the sewer system, the environment and conserve water.
  • Add food coloring to your toilet tank to detect leaks.
  • Install low flow fixtures and save water with every use.
    • Low flow toilets conserve up to four gallons per flush.
    • Low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators can reduce water flow by up to 50 percent.
    • Water efficient washing machines save water and energy and are easier on your clothes.
  • Wash only full loads of clothes and dishes.
    • If washing dishes by hand use partially filled sinks rather than running water to wash and rinse.
  • Place a plastic bottle weighted with pebbles and water in the toilet tank as a water displacement device.
  • Take a short shower--don't linger in the tub!
    • A bathtub holds up to 50 gallons of water, an average shower uses 25-45 gallons. Short showers also conserve energy used for hot water heating!
  • While waiting for water to warm or cool, collect it for watering house and yard plants.
  • Water early in the morning and late in the evening to avoid evaporation. Water half an inch to an inch of water once a week. Using an empty tuna can is a great way to measure when you've reached an inch.
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch. Two to three inches of mulch in a garden bed acts like insulation. It helps retain moisture and cool temperatures in the summer and helps protect plant roots from frost in the winter. Mulch conserves water and inhibits weed growth.
  • Let your lawn go golden, or consider replacing it with native or low-water landscapes.
  • Put in rain barrels in winter or early spring and capture some of the rain for watering this summer.
  • When watering, use a hose with a shut off nozzle. Better yet, buy a cheaper, more efficient soaker hose or opt for easy installation drip irrigation.
    • Using a shut-off nozzle on your garden hose can save up to 10 gallons a minute.
  • Use a broom and not a water hose to clean walkways, driveways and sidewalks. This saves water and protects local water bodies from polluted water run-off.

Fresh water requirements

A conservative estimate of the water needs of a family of four is 150 to 300 gallons per day. The water capacity required depends on the following factors:

  • Everyday Needs: drinking, cooking, bathing, toilets and appliances such as dishwashers and automatic washing machines
  • Seasonal Uses: watering of a lawn or garden, car washing, swimming pools and hot tubs
  • Specialized Uses: animal water, crop irrigation and water treatment devices that require backwashing
  • Fire Protection: putting out fires
  • Heating and Cooling: in mildly extreme conditions; for comfort

Fresh water sources

  • Well water is drawn from below the surface of the earth by means of a pump through a water well. Many well pumps are submersible pumps. Many different power sources are used for submersible pumps, including AC and DC electricity.
  • Rainwater harvesting is a method of collecting and storing rainwater primarily for non-potable uses but can also be used to collect and store potable water

Below are simple, economical and eco-friendly ways how the rooftop rainwater could be recharged to the ground water reservoir (aquifer):

Abandoned dug well

  • This method is suitable for large buildings having the roof-area of more than 1000 sq. m. In this method, recharged water is guided through a pipe to the bottom of the dry/unused dug well or below the water level to avoid scouring of bottom and entrapment of air bubbles in the aquifer. Bottom of the dug well should be cleaned and all fine deposits should be removed before recharging. Recharge water should be silt-free. The well should be cleaned regularly. Periodic chlorination is required to prevent bacteriological contamination.

Abandoned/running hand pump

  • This method is suitable for small buildings having roof area upto 150 sq. m. In this method, collected water is diverted from the rooftop to the hand pump through pipe of 50 to 100mm in diameter. For running hand pump, a closing valve is fitted in conveyance system near the hand pump to avoid entry of air in suction pipe. Recharge water should be silt-free. During the recharge, chlorination is necessary before drawing water from the pump.

Recharge Pit

  • This method is suitable for small buildings having the rooftop area of upto 100 sq. m. In this method, a recharge pit of 2 to 3 meter depth is dug to recharge the shallow aquifer. Recharge pit can be of any shape. If the pit is trapezoidal in shape, the side slopes should be steep enough to avoid silt deposition. After excavation, the pit is refilled with boulders and pebbles at the bottom followed by gravel and then sand on the top. Thus, Recharged water is filtered through the pit. Every year after the rainy season, the sand layer in the pit should be removed and replaced.

Recharge Trench

  • This method is suitable for buildings having rooftop area of 200-300 sq. m. Recharge trench is advised when permeable strata of adequate thickness is available at shallow depth. Trench is constructed across the land slope along the boundary walls. The trench may be 0.5 to 1 m wide, 1 to 1.5 m deep and 10 to 20 m long, depending upon the availability of land and rooftop area. The trench is filled with boulders at the bottom followed by pebbles and by sand on the top. The collected water from the roof is diverted through the drain pipe to the trench. The trench should be periodically cleaned.

Gravity Head Recharge Well

  • This method is most suitable in areas where ground water levels are very deep. This technique is appropriate where land availability is limited and aquifer is deep and overlain by impermeable strata. Borewells or tubewells can be used as recharge structures under this technique. The silt-free rooftop water is channelized to the well and recharged under gravity flow condition. The well can also be used for pumping. The number of recharge structures can be determined in limited area around the buildings depending upon the rooftop area and aquifer characteristics.

Recharge Shaft

  • This technique is suitable where shallow aquifer exists below clay layer. A recharge shaft is dug manually or drilled by the reverse/direct rotary drilling method some 10 to 15 meters away from the building for safety. Diameter of recharge shaft varies from 0.5 to 3m depending upon the availability of water to be recharged. Recharge shaft is back filled with boulders, gravel and coarse sand. The bottom the shaft would end in permeable strata i.e. sand. Recharge shaft should be cleaned regularly by scrapping the top sand layer and refilling it periodically.

Defunct Borewell

  • A defunct borewell can be used for recharging rooftop water. A circular pit of 1m diameter for a depth of 0.6 m below ground level is dug around the borewell. The bore and the pit are filled with broken bricks. The top 0.3m portion of the pit is filled with sand. The circular pit is covered with perforated slab at the top. The slab requires regular cleaning so as to keep its holes open to receive water.


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