April 22nd is celebrated every year as Earth Day, to me personally it is special as it is also my birthday. I resolved last year to contribute my bit in preserving the planet for next generation. I focused on 2 aspects, one water conservation and two planting trees to increase green cover. In this post I will discuss the measures taken over last one year to conserve water.

Water Usage
At Cocoguru factory at Kallarpe, Puttur, we use about 1.5 lakh litres of water per month. We were lucky to get good water through borewell and have been using it as the only source of water for all our requirements. Water is used for steam generation (35%), Hot Oil cooling (25%), watering plants (10%) and remaining 40% towards canteen, washing, toilets for 30 employees. We made an effort to carefully collect the usage data to find ways of managing water.

Water Conservation tactics
We thought of conserving water in 3 directions.
1. Minimise water usage. Awareness was created among people to minimise wastage.
2. Use waste water effectively. Use used water where fresh water would have been used instead.
3. Source water from a easily recyclable source than bore-well. Rainwater, stream water and open-well are the sources worked on for supplying water. Use bore well only if water from all other sources are not available.

Waste water
Water from steam condensation and drinking water use are the source of waste water. Many tree saplings and vegetable yielding plants were planted in available land. Waste water is distributed to irrigate those plants. It not only saves water but also avoids draining of waste water to stream causing water pollution.

Water Sources
Rainwater – It rains continuously for 4 months from June to September. Then, rain water is collected from building roof and is directed to use.
Stream water – Water runs off the earth surface in a stream adjacent to our plot till the end of December. Building a check-dam across it in November extends the availability of stream water by another month. So, stream water is available for 4 months from October to January. Water does flow in full force during rainy season but it is not needed.
Open well – A well is dug for about 15 feet depth near the stream, it collects shallow groundwater and are easily rechargeable. Water is available even in summer for 2 months i.e. February and March. The check-dam retained water recharges the open-well and all other aquifers nearby making the ground water-rich.
Bore-well – That leaves bore-well water required for only 2 peak summer months of April and May. To keep the bore-well in useful running condition, it is also used round the year in small quantities for canteen drinking water.

Expenses – 80,000 for open well, 40,000 for rainwater collection and usage system, 30,000 for check-dam, 15,000 for waste water irrigation system. Total of 1.65 lakhs. With these steps, the bore-well water usage is reduced to 1/6th of last year.