Chennai, which is reeling under severe water crisis as all four reservoirs around the city have dried up, is making residents and hotels use water responsibly and initiate water conservation drives.
Residents in the Central Park South Apartment complex on the high profile IT Corridor on the Old Mahaballipuram Road have cut water consumption by 45 per cent by installing a water treatment plant. They have no piped water supply but they recycle their sewage in-house and pump it again for flushing toilets. The recycled water also keeps their garden and lawns green.
Rajesh Ohri, the association's president told NDTV, "It's very much the need of the hour. We used about four tankers of water for flushing earlier, now we are using zero."
R Sunanda gets water only for four hours in her apartment, in two two hour slots. All taps run dry during other times and her family would get no showers but only a bucket of water for bathing. But nobody is complaining, she says.
"It is okay, we have to help our city. Many people don't even get this much water. So we are thankful that we are getting water two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening," she says.
Showers in hotels account for 30 per cent of their consumption. Turyaa, a 5-star hotel has installed aeration device on showers to cut consumption at least by 30 per cent. It also rations water for washing dishes so vessels could be accumulated and washed in one go at fixed timing. The giant washing machines will run only with a full load and they've installed even "waterless" urinals which consume very little water.
Arun Raj, the General Manager of the hotel, says, "Our showers normally use 24 litres of water every minute but this being new technology uses only 12 litres of water. There is more of air bubbles and guests will feel the same comfort of having a full shower."
With Chennai in the list of cities that could be totally out of ground water by 2020, the stakeholders are turning responsible and innovative to conserve water. However, many ask would this turn into a movement making fundamental changes from use of water to preserving water bodies, besides increasing storage.