The other day, while walking past a few cars in my colony in the morning, I noticed the car cleaners spend at least three buckets of water to wash each car. The bigger cars took a little more water while the smaller ones sufficed in the amount used. It made me think about the amount of water which is literally going waste.
Say, if there are 200 cars, using almost three 20-litres buckets of water, every day, that's almost 12,000 litres of water being used on a daily basis. While the calculation is hypothetical because it's not entirely researched-based but purely experiential, we're still not cutting our cloth according to our coat! We're depleting an already scarce resource.
By 2020, around 21 cities in India will run out of groundwater and that's something major to think about and take action against.
Although water is becoming limited, we would like to draw your attention towards efforts that are being made to conserve the resource as best as we can. Apart from doing plentiful things to save water, a few engineers in Chennai have developed a remarkable way to conserve this precious resource further. Graduates from the Madras Institute of Technology (MIT) have built two types of nozzles that have to be placed on taps, claiming that this device can help save almost 95 per cent of water. That's a lot of water saved, from wastage especially!
Through their start-up Earth Fokus, the engineers have been developing a foolproof way to attach these nozzles onto taps so a significant amount of water can be saved.
So, this is how it works. You attach the nozzle to the taps and with the atomization technology the water released from the taps comes out in the form of a mist-like spray. This helps reduce the water flow from 12 litres a minute to 600 millilitres a minute from your tap! In simpler words, you can save up to 35 litres of water daily by simply attaching these nozzles to your bathroom and kitchen taps.
© Earth Fokus
“These products are made out of 100 per cent brass, not plastic. We wanted to use brass because it works better in terms of quality, and water conditions in our country differ from state to state, and even in areas in the same state. We wanted a nozzle that could sustain hard water (like in Chennai or Bengaluru) for a long time,” said Arun Subramanian, the founder, in an interview with The Better India.
Arun hadn't ever planned on building a start-up and it all happened accidentally. He loved inventing things to better the environment but not through a start-up, but through his own experimentations. The idea for these water-saving nozzles came to him when his neighbour, Najeeba Zabeer, an environmentalist came to him to ask him for help in saving water, especially when in the kitchen. Arun then thought of developing a product which could run on the principle of atomization, a phenomenon invented in the 50s.
“The nozzle atomizes water into fine gentle mist. By doing that, you save more than 95 per cent of the water, depending on the pressure of the released water. If the water pressure is above 1 bar, you're saving water up to 98 per cent. If the pressure is 2 or 3 bars, the water savings range from 95-97 per cent,” he told The Better India.
© Earth Fokus
So, if you do the math, about 600 ml of water is used while you wash your hands. According to research conducted by the United Nations, about 350 ml of this water is going to complete waste. Now, if this nozzle is fitted in your tap, you 600 ml of water to wash your hands will be reduced to about 15 to 20 ml! Imagine that! Since the maximum amount of water usage happens in the bathroom and the kitchen it is perfect to install these nozzles there.
“Subsequently, I did some research before I started the company. In six months, I developed my first prototype, which I tested with my neighbours. Initially, they asked me to remove it because the product was terrible. So, I had to fine-tune it. After much tweaking and testing, we finally came to a point where we could wash our hands in the fine mist. After showing it to my Professor from MIT, he suggested that I commercialise it. This was two years back. My mentor (Najeeba) eventually gave me some capital, and told me to start the company in 2017,” Arun said in an interview with The Better India
© Earth Fokus
Even though this nozzle can't be used for other purposes like watering plants, washing cars, or even bathing, for now, it's helping reduce water intake while washing hands and dishes and trust us, that's a rather sweet beginning. Maybe with a little time and persistence, water-saving techniques, for bigger things, will be developed by Earth Fokus, soon enough.
“You have to make sure the product sells, and people use it. That's what motivated me to develop it. That's why I started this work,” Arun added.
Atomization helps in a very effective way. With the force that the nozzle brings out, the mist creates a layer of water on your hands. While the layer cleans your hands, very little goes as waste in the drain. There is a greater surface area coverage which can even help wash utensils in the kitchen sink. The force of the mist ensures stubborn stains are removed as well. You really don't need running water from the tap to clean your utensils, when you can atomize the water and clean it the same way, while saving a lot of it at the same time!
© Earth Fokus
So, what are you waiting for? The product came out in the market a few months ago and it's doing fairly well, once people understand how important water conservation is. It's a scary depletion and we need to do anything and everything to keep it intact, and we can always start by changing our daily habits around and habituating sustainable means around our living spaces.
With inputs from The Better India