HOW CAN WE PERFORM 3Rs FOR WATER CONSERVATION?
Many of your everyday activities use or involve with water e.g. bathing and cleaning the house to drinking and cooking. On a broader scale, water is necessary for agriculture, power plants, petrochemical/refinery, manufacturing industrial or mining. All of us, whether a public organization, private enterprise or individuals in our own homes need to manage water resources more sustainably. The world's water resources are not infinite and it is widely recognized that most of our activities today are contributing to climate change. It is scary to note that people in 2050 will only have 25% of the resources that people in 1950 had, while world population will grow 50% or more in next 50 years. Therefore, the only way we can support future populations is by using our resources more efficiently.
The 3R's of water conservation are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle the water which are the heart of the global water conservation. The first and most effective component of the water conservation is reducing water consumption. Consumers are encouraged to reduce their water consumption by a little bit change their practices of water using. Start asking yourself, do I really need to use it? How can I minimize water consumption? This is an easy first step to start being an ecologically conscious consumer. Businesses can adopt manufacturing methods that require fewer water consumption and generate less wastewater. In addition to benefiting the environment, these efforts often offer consumers and businesses the financial incentive of lower expenses in purchases.
Despite efforts to reduce the amount of water consumption but some of wastewater still generated. And some time when we are looking in detail of wastewater qualities then we may found that the quality of wastewater from some application or some area is good enough to use in another applications or in another area, so we can reuse that wastewater immediately to minimize the strain on the environment and wastewater management. For example we may reuse boiler blowdown for cooling water make up. And in household, we can reuse water from washing of fruits, vegetables, dish and/or cup washing final rinse water to watering plants.
After minimized water consumption by reduce and reuse concept, some of wastewater is eventually discarded. In some area which have limitation of clean water resource, wastewater polishing and recycle to use is one of important method to reduce water supply consumption and minimized wastewater discharge. The great example of water recycle is water project in Singapore. Singapore has two separate systems to collect rainwater and used water. Rainwater is collected through a comprehensive network of drains, canals, rivers, storm-water collection ponds and reservoirs before it is treated for drinking water supply. Singapore's treated wastewater (sewage water) that has been purified and can be consumed by humans, but is mostly used for industries.
The water supplies are not endless, water conservation has become an essential practice in all regions, even in areas where water seems abundant. Everyone can play a part, at home, at office, at workplace or in the community, to protect and to conserve our water so that it will be sustained for future generations. We must all make changes in our lifestyles that will change the course of our water and its quality. Water conservation needs to be a way of life, not just something we think about once in a while. If we all do our part in conserving Washington's water, we can make a huge difference for the environment.