Opinion / Blog

Don't waste precious water

By pnp ( Updated: 2015-07-23 17:24

Many parts of China are experiencing drought conditions; households don't have enough water, farms are parched and crops destroyed.  

Despite wide media coverage, the message still does not hit home.  Many Chinese continue to waste precious water.  We often see that happening in public, especially in public toilets.  And often, careless construction workers damage underground water pipes with their excavators, sending water shooting high into the sky and flooding roads. Because this results in residents going without water the water department hurries to repair the damage.  The same cannot be said of leaky public taps and pipes which no one pays attention to.

It is very disappointing to see precious water going down the drain when with a little care and social responsibility, this can be avoided.  I have, on more than one occasion, turned off the tap in public toilets left running by previous users, and sometimes reported leaky taps to shopping mall managements.  What puzzles me is that many toilet users saw what I saw, but none bothered to act; taking their 'buyao guan xian shi (mind your own business)' attitude to the extreme. 

Fortunately, most public toilets are fitted with sensor-operated taps which automatically turn off but that is not foolproof; sometimes a faulty sensor leaves the tap running long after the user has left. The lack of social responsibility on the part of the Chinese means that the fault remains until a foreigner chances upon it and reports it, by then a lot of precious water has already been wasted.

Household taps are not often fitted with sensors, but that's fine, as owners would not leave them running.  The only problem is when Chinese friends visit and they pop into the toilet to wash their hands; they, as a habit, would turn on the tap at full blast, wasting a lot of water by the time they are done.  If they visited more often my water bill would go through the roof.  I have tried to educate them, but they are too set in their ways to change.

The Chinese could do with some education on how not to waste precious water, and the sooner the better.  

Every drop of water counts.

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