KUALA LUMPUR: WITH a water crisis looming, members of the public have been urged to change their attitude on managing their water use. Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan said Malaysians should take more pro-active measures in view of the crisis and not rely solely on the government for solutions. “Malaysians typically use a large amount of water for daily use because it is available in abundance and is cheap.
“However, they should also bear in mind that like everything else, water may no longer be at their disposal if they continue to have a lackadaisical attitude.” He said Muslims, for example, did not require much water to do their ablutions.
“You can properly do your ablutions even with the water in a 100ml spray bottle,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday. On Sunday, the New Sunday Times reported that in four years, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Kelantan, Kedah, Sabah and Sarawak would face high water stress levels if Malaysians did not change the way they manage water. Environmental Management and Research Association of Malaysia (Ensearch) immediate past president Ellias Saidin said besides reducing water usage, consumers could also reuse water before discharging it into drains and rivers. “Water from the washing machine, which is about 150 litres per wash, can be diverted for use for other household chores, including washing the kitchen floor, car and gardening.
“The detergents we have today are safe for plants anyway,” he told the NST yesterday. He said consumers could also get water from alternative sources like rain water and grey-water. The latter is water from baths, showers, basins and washing machines. “In Australia and parts of the United States and Europe, guidelines are available for safe reuse of grey-water within homes,” Ellias said. On innovative technologies, Ellias said a Swedish company had recently launched a “recycling shower”, which saves up to 90 per cent of water and 80 per cent of energy compared with a normal shower. Another new technology is a washing machine, “that used virtually no water but millions of tiny plastic beads that can remove stains and odours from garments”.
“After a cycle is complete, the beads are spun out of the drum and reused. “The machine requires less than 20 per cent of water used in conventional washing machines,” said Ellias. Then there was the waterless car wash technology, which used a special waterless cleaning agent, he said.
“This is a safer and simpler way to wash your car without a water hose. Only a small amount of water is required to dilute the cleaning agent and it does not require rinsing,” he said. While some of the technologies may seem costly, Ellias said these technologies provided options that could be considered for long-term solutions. “Otherwise, there will be a much bigger price to pay — our environment,” he said.