Saving and reusing water in the kitchen

The kitchen sink is one good smart place to be water-wise . In Rajasthan where water has been scarce, a tradition had evolved which washed dishes carefully in a bowl and then the water was fed to plants. The need to emulate good practices like the Rajasthan household model in modern kitchens of urban India is possible. However it is important to recognise that Indian cooking habits with the ’masalas’ and the oil, tends to make kitchen wash water nutrient and oil rich. Hence disposal and reuse must be handed with care.

Waterwise: Recycle Kitchen water with care

Rule 1: Get 2 sinks instead of one. The first sink can be used for heavy washing of dishes, which may have detergents and food residues. The second sink could be used for final rinse or to simply wash vegetables. The second sink water can directly be used for swabbing the floor or for garden use.

Rule 2: Get a foot-tap. While doing dishes both hands are in the sink. This makes the control of the tap difficult. A foot tap provides controlled flow and can save water by up-to 50 per cent in the kitchen.

Rule 3: Put a foam tap or a shower head in the kitchen sink. We need spread of water to clean large utensils rather than volume. A simple shower head attachment can provide the spread helping do the dishes faster and thus save water. A swivel tap will cover both sinks if you have two.

Rule 4: Get a solar water heater connection to the kitchen sink. Hot water helps clean dishes faster especially those with grease or fat. The faster the dishes are cleaned, the less water is used.

Rule 5: Use a phosphate free detergent and do the dishes smartly. An initial scrubbing and cleaning of all the dishes, followed by soaping, helps save water and detergents. The less detergents that is used, the less pollution is caused .

Rule 6: If you have the space set up a simple sand filter after the oil and grease trap. Collect the water that flows of this filter and use it for gardening purpose. The sand filter usually is a small 10 litre bucket filled with 9 inches of 1 mm sand. Water is let in from the top and collected at the bottom of the bucket where a suitable hole is made and a pipe inserted to draw the water out. A mesh is placed at the bottom to hold the sand in place .

Rule 7: Finally kitchen water is organically loaded and can smell. It is only through segregation and proper treatment that it can be reused. It should never be allowed to go into the groundwater untreated.

When applying the used kitchen water make sure that you pour it into a sandy bed with a good mulch on top. This will ensure that the water goes to the root zone of plants and does not attract flies and mosquitoes.

S.Vishwanath From THE HINDU


Hubli-Illegal mining: Plea to hasten probe

HUBLI: Environmentalists have urged the central government to speed up the CBI inquiry into illegal mining in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources president S R Hiremath and A S Salanki of Jan Vikas Andolan told reporters here on Saturday that money from illegal mining had led to corruption and power politics.

“There is an immediate need to curb illegal mining by ending the nexus between politicians, officials and miners,” Hiremath said.

Investigating agencies should also look into allegations of tax evasions and violations under Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

“The inquiry into illegal mining by several companies, including the Obalapuram Mining Company and Bellary Iron Ore Private Ltd, began well but it stopped because of a stay order issued by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra and the Union governments should work towards vacating the stay,” Salanki said.

Hiremath said they would urge the seven-member multi-disciplinary team constituted by Andhra Pradesh government to expedite survey of the mines and the inter-state border. “We will also urge Karnataka CM to join this initiative,” Hiremath said.

From TOI

Hi-tech sewage plant to keep Ganga clean

Haridwar, Jan 31 (PTI) A modern sewage plant to keep the Ganga clean and capable of treating 27 million litres of polluted water will soon start functioning, a project which began as part of the preparations for the Kumbh Mela 2010.

The Rs 21-crore fully automatic plant will use the most advanced cyclic effluent treatment in the world to ensure that Ganga, whose water a recent study had said, was below the standards of the Central Pollution Control Board for bathing, flows clean.

“We are fully ready to treat the sewage. As and when the sewage is transferred here through the pipeline which is being laid by the government, we will start treating it,” Harish Karkera, General Manager (Projects) UPL Environmental Engineers, the firm carrying out the project along with GCEPL told PTI.

The plant, which is about 20 kms outside the main Haridwar city, is next to the 18 million litre sewage treatment plant that is already functioning.

A recent survey by Dehradun-based People’s Science Institute said that the Ganga has been polluted due to continuous discharge of untreated waste and effluents from various drains directly into the river.

“The construction of the project has already been completed and commissioning of the project with raw water is presently in progress. Whatever other work is left, is only related to visual appeal,” Karkera said.

From Yahoo India

Tamilnadu: Cycle rally to create awareness on global warming arrives in Salem

Cadets cover over 250 km in Namakkal, Salem and Erode

SALEM: A team of 15 NCC cadets of Thiruvalluvar Government Arts College, Rasipuram, took out a cycle rally covering over 250 km in three districts to create awareness on global warming and various environmental issues.

Promoting conservation: NCC cadets taking out a cycle rally in Salem on Friday to create awareness on environment issues. — Photo: P. Goutham

The rally, which began at the college premises on January 27, arrived in Salem here on Friday.

The cadets covered 250 km in Namakkal, Salem, and Erode districts.

The cadets visited a number of importance places in three districts: Puthuchatram, Pudhansanthai, Namakkal, Tiruchengode, Pallapalayam, Erode, Chitthodu, Bhavani, Komarapalayam, Sankagiri, Mahudanchavadi, Kondalampatti and Salem.


The cadets issued handbills carrying information on global warming, tree plantation, rain water harvesting, the negative effects of use of plastic and polythene products and the ill effects of tobacco.

They also interacted with the people explaining issues such as female infanticide and HIV/AIDS.

The team was led by Captain R. Sivakumar.

The rally was sponsored by the Rotary Clubs of Rasipuram, Namakkal, Tiruchengode, Komarapalayam, Sankagiri, Gugai and Salem.


Periyar Dam Water Level: Saturday, Jan 30, 2010

MADURAI: The water level in the Periyar dam on Friday stood at 114.60 feet (full level 136 feet) with no inflow and a discharge of 400 cusecs.

The level in the Vaigai dam was 46.62 feet (71 feet) with an inflow of 201 cusecs and a discharge of 310 cusecs.

The combined Periyar credit stood at 2,089 mcft.


Mettur Dam Water Level: Saturday, Jan 30, 2010

The water level at the Mettur dam stood at 76.81 feet on Friday against its full level of 120 feet. The inflow was 822 cusecs and the discharge nil.


Mumbai: Illegal mining seen at Alibaug

MUMBAI: Despite a complete ban on sand mining on beaches, illegal mining is continuing at Alibaug, as confirmed by TOI during a visit to the beach on Monday.

Only an hour from the Gateway of India, Alibaug is a weekend getaway for many wealthy Mumbaikars who own farms along the Raigad coast. However, unbeknownst to them, when they are away their properties become ideal storehouses for the illegally mined sand. Local villagers, though aware of the illegal activity, keep mum for fear of being harassed by the mining mafia.

Abbas Jasdanwala, a businessman who owns a bungalow in Mandwa, said the mining has increased. “I go horse riding in the early morning on the beach and I frequently come across JCBs dredging up sand on the beach. This is collected in one spot, then filled in a truck and taken away,’’ he said. Earlier, the sand would be manually dug up and taken away in bullock-carts. Jasdanwala, who has made Alibaug his weekend getaway for 25 years, said the mining has increased tremendously in the past one year.

A favoured site, villagers claimed, is near the bungalow of an industrialist. A mound of sand was there when TOI visited the spot. “Mining happens late at night or in the early morning, when no one is on the beach,’’ said a villager. Villagers said the sand is sold in Pune and locally for construction.

Jasdanwala said the beach was being depleted at such a fast rate that stones are visible on the once smooth beach. The collector’s office is yet to take cognizance of his repeated complaints.

On January 13, activist Sumaira Abdulali, who filed a public interest litigation against sand mining in 2006, said in a written complaint to Raigad collector Subhash Sonawane that sand was being illegally stored on a property in Jhirad that belongs to a Mumbai doctor. Abdulali named three local landowners as the culprits.

Ramesh Surwade, resident deputy collector, Raigad district, admitted receiving complaints from Abdulali and the Bombay Environmental Action Group. “We have registered First Information Reports, seized properties and are taking action whenever it is brought to our notice,’’ he said.

Last month, Sonawane filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court detailing the action being taken by his office to stop sand mining. Surwade said, “We have put a stop to it. Every time there is a complaint we attend to it within 30 minutes.’’

But when TOI visited Mandwa beach, local villagers showed several pits caused by sand dredging and spots where sand had been stored to be later ferried away.

Abdulali said mining is on at the Awas and Nandgaon beaches too. She was brutally attacked when she first protested against sand mining in the area.

From TOI