Chennai Citizen Action - 1 Thing to do to save 9,00,000 litres of water in a year

The advent of summer in most parts of India means one thing: the annual summer drought. We bring you one simple, cost effective change piloted by a group of Solve Ninjas in Chennai that you can make to save water.

While researching this topic, we wanted to make a list of things you could do to save water and battle the annual summer droughts, which parts of India face with the advent of the summer season. But, we realised doing just this ONE thing would bring magical results.

As we approach summer South India is plunged into water fights and water shortage. Chennai is one of the worst hit cities in the South. In 2019, the city faced a 41% deficit in rainfalls, experienced poor monsoons for three consecutive years and was declared as the first city to go dry in June by the Central Water Commission. The only sources of water for Chennaities were shady, distant water pumps or costly water tankers.

It is 2020, and the residents of Chennai do not want to be in the midst of such an acute water crisis again.

This is the story of 22 students from DAV, Chennai who made one single change and would have potentially saved 9,00,000 litres of water.

The students who are committed to change and lead as example with help of Reap Benefit’s Chennai decided to launch the campaign. Team gathered 22 students who were willing to adopt a single change in their respective households. They had to install aerators. Tap aerators are faucet flow regulators that reduce the rate at which water flows out of the taps. Aerators are designed for all kinds of taps and also prevent water splashing. Aerators work at different levels of efficiency. The installation of aerators can reduce the flow rate of water by approximately 40%!

The Solve Ninjas started the ‘Save Water Campaign’ in their home and neighbourhood.

Here are the six steps they followed to install water aerators and save water:

1. Identify the type of tap your home

The types of taps installed in our households are not standardised. We need to start by identifying the kind of tap installed and then look for the kind of tap aerator required. Tap aerators can be purchased any hardware store.

2. Calculate the flow rate of the tap

We aren’t asking you to remove your calculator and drown in formulas. Measuring flow rate is easy and very practical. Just find an empty 1 litre bottle. Open a tap at full speed and let the bottle fill. Measure the time it takes for the tap to fill the bottle. Record the number of seconds it takes to fill the bottle up. Voila, you know the flow rate.

3. Install the Aerator

It is time to screw in the aerator that you bought for your tap. Be mindful of the screwing direction and the threading of the aerator. Tightly screw it in to prevent dislodging by high flow of water.

4. Re-calculate the flow rate

Bring back the 1 litre bottle and repeat step 2. Record the time taken to fill up the bottle and well, be amazed!

5. Make the Impact calculation

The difference in time taken is considered for impact calculation. For example, let’s take two scenarios. Before installing an aerator it takes 6 seconds to fill a 1 litre water bottle. After installing an aerator, it takes 12 seconds to fill the water bottle. This means that, without an aerator, when a tap is left open for a minute, 10 litres of water flows out. On the other hand in a minute, with an aerator installed only 5 litres of water flows out. We have saved 5 litres of water already!

When 22 DAV students began this experiment in their respective households, this was the water savings recorded.

Here is the impact of the Chennai Solve Ninjas

  • Total saving per min as a collective group → 85.21 liters/min

  • Average saving of water per min → 3.86 liters/min

Assuming a tap is used for 30 min in a day per person this can save

  • 115.8 liters per day

  • 3,474 liters per month

  • 41,688 liters per year.

Assuming 30 mins of tap usage a day, as a collective group our 22 students saved up to -

  • 2547.6 liters per day

  • 76,428 liters per month

  • 9,17,136 liters per year.

Our 22 students with their little effort, were able to potentially save at least 9 lakh liters of water annually.

These places are now considered to be Efficient Water Usage Zones and the same is captured on our map visualisation platform for local civic and environment information.

Here is the link:

What can 9,00,000 litres of water do?

A human being, on an average , could drink water for 821 years, we could take bath 45000 times, or we could water cricket pitches 15 times every IPL season. We could produce 50kgs of beef, 160 kgs of pork, 810 kgs of corn, 322 kgs of rice or 544 kgs of wheat.

We could feed a family of 6 for a year!

All you need to do is install an aerator to join this effort.

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