05 January 2011

EcoWaste Coalition Calls for Water Conservation as Water in Angat Dam Dips

An environmental watchdog has joined the mounting call for water conservation as the water level in Angat Dam continues to plummet due to the lack of rains.

The EcoWaste Coalition urged Metro Manila water users to watch and cut their water consumption after the Angat River Hydro Electric Power Plant (ARHEPP) announced last Monday a drop of the water level to 203.25 meters above sea level (masl), which is several meters below the normal elevation of 210-214 masl.

Angat Dam's decreasing water level prompted Engr. Rodolfo German, ARHEPP General Manager, to advise water concessionaires Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services to urge their customers to conserve water.

ARHEPP’s announcement was followed by a warning last Tuesday by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) of possible water shortage in Metro Manila beginning April due to the declining water level in the reservoir that supplies 97 percent of Metro Manila’s domestic water supply.

“While we hope that the rains will come soon and fill the dam before the intense summer months, Metro consumers this early should start saving water and make it a practice all year-round,” said recycling advocate Ofelia Panganiban of the EcoWaste Coalition.

“By using water, a shared resource, carefully and sparingly, we avoid wastage and help ensure that our people’s water requirements are complied with,” she stressed.

In view of the looming water shortage, the EcoWaste Coalition has issued a set of “Water Tipid Tips” to guide consumers in reducing their water consumption.

“We hope that water consumers will find our conservation tips of use as we brace for a potential water crisis like what we went through last year,” Panganiban said.

Topping the list of 20 practical water saving tips is the commonsensical fixing of leaky pipes, faucets and tanks. A trickle from a tattered faucet washer, for example, can waste some 20 gallons of water per day.

Other suggestions include collecting and reusing grey water from the kitchen, bathroom and laundry place, taking shorter showers, organizing laundry schedule, using broomstick in lieu of water hose to clean the driveway, not letting the water run while brushing teeth, and harvesting rainwater through the gutter.

WATER TIPID TIPS:

1. Check and repair faucet and pipes for leaks.

2. Replace worn out sapatilya (washers) without delay.

3. Use timba (pail) and tabo (dip) when taking a bath and use just enough water; take shorter showers.

4. Keep a bucket in the bathroom and laundry area for the grey water that can be used to flush the toilet, clean the laundry area and car port or dampen dusty road.

5. Place a brick, a jug with stones or a bottle filled with water inside the toilet tank to cut on water used in every flush.

6. Avoid flushing the toilet unnecessarily, and put discarded tissues in the bin rather than in the toilet bowl.

7. Don‘t let the water run while you brush your teeth, shave, or wash your face and hands. Just wet your toothbrush and fill a glass for mouth rinsing.

8. Collect water dripping from air conditioners and use it in washing mops, watering the plants or flushing the toilet.

9. Organize your laundry schedule and wait until you have a full load before you use the washing machine.

10. Use laundry water for cleaning used bottles, cans and other recyclables, blinds, rugs, doormats, and car wheels.

11. Do not hose down your driveway or footpath. Use the walis tingting (broomstick) to sweep the place clean.

12. Wash fruits and vegetables in a palanggana (pan) instead of running water from the tap; reuse the water for watering the plants.

13. Do not throw rice wash (hugas-bigas) down the drain; use it for washing dishes or watering plants.

14. Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight, not on running water.

15. Use fewer cooking and dining utensils and dishes to cut down on the water needed for dishwashing.

16. Do not let the water run when washing the dishes, and collect the grey water for other purposes.

17. Never waste water served during meals; drink it up!

18. Harvest rainwater through the alulod (gutter) and use the water collected for your essential needs.

19. Water the plants after 5:00 p.m. when temperature is cooler to minimize evaporation and water them only when necessary.

20. Spread a layer of mulch around plants and trees to retain water and reduce evaporation.

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