To make youngsters more conscious about the need to save water, the civic body will introduce books on water conservation in June for students from Class 1 to 10 across all municipal schools in the city.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will be the first civic body in the country to use classroom reading as a means to promote water conservation. The books include stories and graphics depicting ways to save water and also comprise paintings by students. “If students develop the culture of water conservation, it will benefit the whole society,” said Suprabha Marathe, chief, rainwater harvesting and water conservation department, BMC.
The department is also encouraging children to become water monitors during their summer holidays and audit the daily use of water at home. Children can log daily activities that consume a large quantity of water and can send their findings to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The department is actively promoting water conservation. Civic officials believe that Mumbaiites’ casual attitude towards water is because the BMC supplies water at very low cost —Mumbai has the second lowest water tariff in the world. The recent proposal to hike water tariff may go some way in making people use water more responsibly. “The cost always brings about responsibility,” said Marathe. “In 2009, when the telescopic tariff was introduced, which charged Rs14 per 1,000 litres for consumption of more than 250 litres a day, we got calls from people for advice to set up rainwater harvesting systems.”
Since 2002, it has been compulsory for all new housing societies occupying more than 1000 sq metres to set up a rainwater harvesting system. “Existing societies must also implement it,” said Ramesh Prabhu, chairman, Maharashtra Societies’ Welfare Association.
“All societies should plan for a green building, and water management is an important aspect of it,” said Lata Jha, founder of Greenophonic, a not-for-profit that works for awareness about green buildings.