Need vs greed

There is little talk of curbing water use in urban India. Cities’ insatiable water demand, coupled with leaky pipelines, is leading to conflicts at the intra-city level as well as tension between agricultural, urban and industrial users. Reducing water consumption and improving water efficiency in homes and buildings are two major steps an individual can take for sustainable management of water. By installing efficient water fixtures and regularly checking for leaks, households can reduce daily per capita water use by 35 per cent, according to the American Water Works Association. An increasing number of fixtures that use less water are being manufactured and made available in the market for the retail and wholesale consumers

Published: Sunday 31 March 2013

Need vs greed




The Bureau of Indian Standards, the premier standard-setting agency in India, is yet to issue standards or specifications for water efficiency in toilet or kitchen fixtures. The Indian sanitary ware market, valued at Rs 2,500 crore, would benefit from a system of labelling and rating to enable consumers to identify products that are more water efficient, without compromising on performance



These are beginning to replace single-flush toilets (>10 litres per flush). The current standard dual flush toilet uses 6 litres on full and 3 litres on a half flush.

Newer models are reducing the full/half flush ratio to 4 and 2 litres, respectively. Interruptible flush cisterns can be stopped at will but remain a voluntary act of saving, unlike the dual flush systems


Low-water-use urinals are being operated with sensors which detect the presence of people.

But better than these is the development of waterless urinal technologies, allowing for significant savings in consumption


Taps are now available with aerators which help save water and reduce splashes. These systems, which can be retrofitted to taps, spread the water flow, while providing the same flow regardless of pressure.

Faucets with water brakes, which give the option of different flow levels, and those with sensors are also reducing consumption levels


Water efficient showerheads are now available in the market which can deliver reduced flow rates at 9 litres per minute or less, without compromising the bath quality.

Some systems are even fitted with digital read out meters that display in real time the amount of water being consumed by the user and the duration of the shower

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