Sustainable Development in Northern India
Water conservation: Sounds simple right? Use less, save more.
I was so surprised at how different my standard of water usage compared to others in Educare and in India was. I come from America, the land of individualism and capitalism. I’m programed as a consumer. I need excess of everything; food, stuff, and convenience in every aspect. I used to think, I’m entitled to this water, no one can take it from me and no one will care if I use more than my share. But obviously that is not the case, just my selfish conditioning taking over my thought process. My conditioning is deeply rooted and since I’ve come to india I’ve been confronted with this conditioning and my awareness has expanded.
I see India as a more collective society and many westerners here are water concious. Educare is working on creating a clean water source for the local communities using the river basin as the source. I’ve seen “water harvesting” in action which I had never even heard of before I came to India and Educare. I’ve learned that water is our most sacred resource, and while it is still abundant in the world, its access and quantity will shift as certain societies continue in their greedy and individualistic way. Certain individuals here have directly acknowledged my excess use of water and called me on it. As i’ve been held responsible for my water usage with bucket showers, and water outages, I’ve learned to rely on it less, and hold it as a more precious resource. My conditioning is starting to change with my personal water usage. Even though my old roommate who would ask why the water was on, is no longer living with me, I still hear his voice asking, and I turn it off much sooner than I’m used to. I’m not perfect and I’m still not always aware of wasted water and don’t have the strength to tell others how to use their water but I’m working on it.
A perfect example is when Mr. B, Giem, and I were walking to look at a sustainable house in the mountains. We passed by an outdoor water faucet that was leaking and I walked right past it. They both stopped and attempted to fix the faucet so the water would not be wasted anymore. It didn’t even cross my train of thought, but they both felt responsibility to conserve the public water spout. I have now started to understand water conservation, the benefits, the challenges, and the need to be less selfish with water. I’m working on recognizing external opportunities to conserve water and this will be a slow and steady learning process as with anything. I look forward to gaining the strength to share my awareness for those that are less aware than I. And at least I have less cravings to take a bath these days. Conserve water!