Re-use and Re-cycling water

Re-Use and Re-Cycling water is the need of the hour! The world is just beginning to realize the value of natural resources and water is one such resource. While scientists have been talking about it for decades, an average common person like you and me has started taking about water conservation seriously only in the recent years. Apart from reducing our usage of water, there are other ways to conserve water – re-using and recycling. If you are someone who is willing to take that extra step and be an environmentally conscious citizen, here are certain things that will certainly make a difference in the long run.

Reusing water in daily life

We use a lot of water for our washing and cleaning needs. This water which usually goes down the drain otherwise can be reused. ‘Grey Water’ is the term given to water used in showers, bathtubs, sinks, etc. which is not fit for human consumption but can be put to other uses like gardening. You can reroute your drainage pipes to a storage tank and use the grey water collected to water your plants. Water from sinks can be rerouted to flush your toilets.

Rainwater harvesting

Rainwater is usually allowed to run off. It could be judiciously trapped and collected to be used for our daily needs. There are ways to purify it as well so that it can be made fit for consumption. This process is called rainwater harvesting. It can be as simple as putting a bucket under a downpipe to collect the water from the rooftop. As a community you can also work with your neighbours to create more effective harvesting techniques to conserve water.


Recycling is the principal step towards, not just a green kitchen, but a green home. Make sure you have a recycling bin in your kitchen and that you have a bin for recycled waste that’s collected now and then.Recycle as much as you possibly can. Plastic, glass and metal can all go in the recycling bins. There’s also the opportunity to recycle classic stuff like paper and cardboard. Get yourself and your family into the habit of recycling, and this will become automatic later in life.

Recycling water

Just like plastic, water can also be recycled. Recycled or reclaimed water is former waste water which is treated to remove harmful impurities. While this water is still not safe for consumption, it can be used for irrigation and industrial purposes. Conservation of water, just like conservation of environment, is all about the three R’s – Reduce, Re-use & Recycle. Start small and make efforts to save water in your own little way. Each drop counts!

Cost of recycling v/s. Cost of water

Average cost of wastewater treatment is Rs.4.50 to 6/Kl which can be used for agriculture and garden purposes, and if the waste water has to be treated for direct drinking use with RO then approximate cost of treatment is Rs.12/Kl. On the other hand, metro cities spend more than Rs.20/Kl to bring potable water to its residents, like Chennai spends Rs.40 to 60/Kl, Hyderabad spends Rs.28/Kl, Bangalore spends Rs.24/Kl and Delhi Rs.20/Kl.

General aspects of water re-use

  • • Increase in efficiency of water use
  • • Reduction of water loss
  • • Reduction of evaporation/transpiration, particularly in agri and industrial water use.

However, Water Reuse Projects have its complexity which could be understood from the following diagram