Inconversation with Mr Ganesh Iyer, India’s 1st Water Sommelier and Managing Partner Zero Percent India Pvt Ltd. for World Water Day

New Delhi (India), March 21: 

How to save Water on our Day today at homes and offices?

Before that lets look at some startling facts shared by UNICEF on the challenges of Water Scarcity faced across the world

  1. Four billion people — almost two thirds of the world’s population — experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year.
  2. Over two billion people live in countries where water supply is inadequate.

(C) Half of the world’s population could be living in areas facing water scarcity by as    early as 2025.

( D) Some 700 million people could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.

( E) By 2040, roughly 1 in 4 children worldwide will be living in areas of extremely high water stress.

In the light of the above, lets try and implement simple steps to save water in our homes and office premises

Fix Faulty & Leaking Taps and Faucets – 

As per the US environmental Protection Agency – a leaky faucet drips at the rate of 1 drip per second leading to 3000 gallons of water wastage per year. Skip the shower and use the bucket instead. A power shower consumes 75 litres in 5 minutes whereas a bucket consumes 80 litres for your bath.

Recycle Kitchen Water for the Garden- 

The kitchen waste water should be used to water the plants in the garden. Small kitchen gardens can also be set up and the water can be used. While this would not only help save litres of freshwater from being used just for plants, it would also help grow simple fruits and vegetables which the family or the community can use.

Invest in Rain water Harvesting Systems

Rainwater harvesting is a very crucial water conservation technique. We usually let the rain water drain away and do not save it. Collecting and storing rainwater not only increases groundwater level, it also stops soil erosion and flood hazards to a great extent. The govt should make it  Mandatory for high rise buildings to have Rain Water Harvesting systems before granting Occupation Certificate ( OC)

Limit the frequency of Car Wash to Once a Week. 

Car Wash are guzzlers when it comes to water and if at all once need to use water use A community Car Wash wherein Water can be used in bulk to clean multiple cars

Switch off the Tap when not in use

Do not keep the tap running while doing chores. For example, turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. As per a report, during brushing teeth one wastes 4 gallons of water each time which is equivalent to 15 litres of water.

  • How to conserve and preserve Water resources?

Water conservation has become mandatory in all regions, even where water is available in abundance for now. That’s because our water resources are limited , and they are getting smaller

every year.

Lets look at this at a broader and at a industrial scale what the govt aims to do in this regard. The National Water Mission ( NWM) ‘s objective is conservation of water, minimizing wastage and to ensure that the distribution of water is more equitable through the integrated Water resource management. The mission’s motive is

( A) to maintain and update water data base in the public domain and to assess impact of climate change on Water

( B) Reactive and rejuventate Water Bodies and Lakes in coordination and conjuction with NGOs and Water Warriors in all states

( C) To encourage citizens and state for water conservation , augmentation and preservation

( D) Focus on areas in states where water exploitation is rampant and check measures to reduce that in consultation with municipal and panchayat level representatives.

(E) To promote basic level integrated water resource management

( G) Over the years on account of global warming and other reasons, rainfall has been scant and to make sure that agriculture does not suffer its important to use drip irrigation system across all levels where agriculture is involved

  • What does it mean to be a certified water sommelier?

Wine sommeliers have been around for a while but with the emergence of the   fine water category and the growth of the fine water industry, it became necessary to have qualified individuals who can educate, train and speak about the category especially in the culinary environment.

A water sommelier is someone who is able to detect, recognize and differentiate different types of natural waters based on their different natural characteristics such as minerality, carbonation, vintage, hardness, orientation, virginality, hardness and various other elements.  A water sommelier has extensively trained on the subject and basis his/her expertise can suggest on how to pair different waters with different cuisines, wines & spirits in the culinary environment.

  • How did you foray into the mineral water industry?

After having spent close to 2 decades plus learning alcobev & non alcobev categories and have had the distinction of being part of teams that launched 6 different brands of natural mineral waters and sparkling waters in India from the 90”s with VEEN being the 7th water brand I felt that it was a opportune time to validate these learnings and get a technical and through understanding of the scope of water and its multiple applications. That’s when I got myself enrolled for a 16-day residential program at DOEMANS Academy Munich.

  • How do you detect, recognise and differentiate between types of water? How would you describe the nuances of water?

At the elementary level I would submit that  the similarities are akin to that of a wine tasting process which is your ( A) Sight ( B) Smell ( C) Taste + Haptic Sensations. However the similarity ends here. In the Wine tasting eco system, flavours and tastes are in a common understanding or taste space. Its easier to relate to a vanilla or a gooseberry flavour as compared to detect the level of  magnesium or potassium or silica in a mineral water. So there are a whole range of off flavours in water which are helpful and detrimental in defining the taste of the water. In some cases the mineral content of a said water can also help in determining the taste of the water. For eg waters with low mineral composition are likely to have a bitter taste. But this bitterness should not be equated with traditional bitterness. They are best described as haptic bitterness. Since the taste profile is so nuanced you can experience the difference only when one consumes water that is entirely in contract taste profile as that of the earlier one.

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