The water supply in Gurgaon's DLF city Phase 2 has calcium (ca) and magnesium (mg) salts. To tackle this, we have installed a reverse osmosis (RO) filter. But the removed salts make their way to the drain and a lot of water gets wasted this way. We have tried to utilise it, but since this water has a lot of ca and mg salts, it leaves white marks everywhere. Can you suggest a way of using salt rich water at home because I do not want to be responsible for any water wastage (specially in light of all the articles on the Gurgaon water table going down)?
Kriti Mittal, 14 yrs
The waste water from the RO plant can be used for recharging groundwater or for gardening purposes. When this water is passed through a settlement chamber, the ca and mg salts will settle down and the overflow from the settlement chamber can be diverted to recharge a well so that salt free water will be used for groundwater recharging.
Moreover, when this water travels in the soil medium, natural filtration of the salts also happens. This water can also be stored in an underground sump and used for gardening purposes. The details of the settlement chamber is given in our website www.rainwaterharvesting.org.
I have always used Weldon’s Art brushes but they are not in the market nowadays. Dealers say the company has stopped making them because mongoose hair is no longer available to them. I want to know what is original sable hair and which company manufactures these brushes. Does Weldon have these brushes?
(We had answered this query in the July 2003 issue of GT, but Ashok Kumar of the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) has sent us this update:) There is no reason why Weldon brushes should not be available as long as they are not made from mongoose hair. Mongoose is a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act (1972).
The species was included in Schedule IV of the Act which allowed a regulated trade under license. Weldon company of Moradabad did not possess such a license and therefore their factory was raided in June 2002 by authorities, and they were fined Rs 5 lakh, which they paid.
Based on distribution and trade data, an award winning film titled, A Brush with Death was made and screened in Delhi to wildlife authorities and the public. After conducting a study, the Ministry of Environment and Forest upgraded mongoose species to a higher level of protection on 30 Sept 2003 to Part II of Schedule II. Despite that, a number of parties in Sherkote town in Bijnore district were found to making mongoose hair brushes. Wildlife and Police authorities raided Sherkote on 11 December 2003 and arrested 11 manufacturers based on information made available by the WTI.
WTI zeroed in on factories making mongoose hair and another actory was raided on 25 February 2004 in Dehradun from which 6800 mongoose hair brushes were seized.The owner was also arrested. Artists, we are told have not been put to problems. They can use brushes made from many other materials including sable which is a farmed species overseas and the animal is not killed for obtaining its hair.
Mongoose hair brushes have disappeared from all major towns surveyed, including Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Smaller towns are being surveyed. Some may have old residual stock, about which they have to inform authorities. Mr.Anurag Jain's query may not be all that innocent. In some way he is associated with the brush industry. Some of the mongoose hair brush makers of Delhi had gone to Delhi High Court challenging the decision to upgrade the species. WTI intervened in the case and it was dismissed after just two hearings.
Gobar Times is a very good publication. Only it is getting too heavy. Please make it simpler for us kids to understand. We have also started to save water at home in the following ways: 1. We make our mother save the rinse water from the washing machine and reuse it the next day for the first wash cycle. 2. We have put a brick (which saves 2 litres of water) in the flush tank of our toilet.
Ananjeet Kaur, Jaileen Kaur
and Prabhleen Kaur
I want to discuss with you “water preservation”. It is true that people don't understand the importance of water until the well is dried. The common man is also waiting for this “well” (earth) to dry up. Can we stop this well from drying up? Yes, we can, only by making a person realize the importance of water.
I know that there are many schemes made on this subject and a person also learns a lot from them. But does he use these lessons in his daily life? The answer is always no because man continues to misuse water even though he knows that he is destroying his own future.
I request you to publish a Gobar Times issue on this subject and make readers realize the importance of water.
Class 7, Dehradun
GT replies: We covered water in our February 15, 2003 issue. You can visit www.gobartimes.org and check out the issue in the archives section.
Being a regular reader of Gobar Times, I would feel pleasure in giving you a suggestion for increasing the involvement of the kids in the affairs of nature and environment. This involvement can be achieved by appointing Gobar Times Reporter Kids (GTRK) all over the country. GTRKs should be issued with an identity card, a badge or something else by means of which they are authorized to ask questions to people destroying the environment.
I am really impressed by the information on terrace and kitchen gardens. After reading it I also want to start a terrace garden in my house. I have never done gardening. Could you give me more detailed information on organic and terrace garden. Moreover could you suggest me some book dealing with this aspect.
I read your cover story on Urban Agriculture. I am quite inspired to be a city farmer! Being a working woman, however, I have apprehensions about the time commitment involved. Furthermore, although I have a terrace and tiny plot of land in my parents' house, access to the same is not frequent, as we live at a distance from each other.
I would like you to give me a detailed procedure on how to go about city farming, say on a terrace, and also please let me know if the above-mentioned circumstances are serious constraints in the same.
I read the Gobar Times of March 15, 2004 with interest. I would like to know more about Kitchen/Terrance Gardens. Could you please let me have those details?
GT replies: You can get the required information from www.ruaf.org, www.fao.org/organicag, www.cityfarmer.org and www.kitchengardener.com on the Internet. You can check out www.goacom.com/oib for list of organic farming books.
Some publications dealing with the issue are: A Survey of Expertise, Capacities and Recent Experience by Gisele Yasmen, MetroFarm: The Guide to Growing for Big Profit on a Small of Land by Michael Olson, The Art of the Kitchen Garden by Jan Gertley, Kitchen Gardens in Containers by Anthony Atha and Roof Gardens, Balconies and Terraces by David Stevens.