May 25 2018 0comment

How to avoid “Day Zero”

We all might have heard the word “Day Zero,” but what I want to specify here is the day on which Government has shut down all the water connections to homes and Corporations. Yes, this is exactly what happened to one of the most popular cities in the world- Cape Town. This has again turned the spotlights on to big metro cities like Bangalore. In a recent BBC report, it is claimed that Bangalore could be one of the cities to face the same fate if measures are not taken at this very moment. The fear became more evident when Bangalore Development Minister admitted that by 2031, availability of water per person would reduce to only 65% of what is actually prescribed by the Central Health and Environmental Engineering Organization.

Reportedly Government will be taking steps to combat the situation. But what as citizens should we do?

What we need to do right now, is conserve what we have, and that can be done by following merely two steps. First, use water only the amount you actually require. Second is, making sure the water that is getting drained post usage can be reused. Now, how can we inculcate these habits!

More than 75% of our daily water consumption is for cleaning and washing purpose. So, our first aim should be to consume less for these purposes.

One very feasible solution is, using alternate products which take less amount of water for solving the same purpose. A very common example can be using detergents or shampoos which generate less amount of foam and hence require less amount of water to wash off. Sadly, we think detergents that generate more foam are better for usage. Rather than choosing foam generators, focus more its quality.

Coming to the second point, we need to identify ways so that we can reuse what we are draining now. The major focus area should again be the 75% drained water used for cleaning and washing. Presently, even if we want, we can’t re-use this 75% as they are full of chemicals in the form of surfactants like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate(SLES), Benzalkonium Chloride (ADBAC), Linear Alkyl Benzene Sulfonate(LAS) and Alkyl Phenol Ethoxylates (APE).

• Surfactants like Benzalkonium Chloride which typically is used in floor cleaners as highly toxic to fish (LC50 = 280_g ai/L) and very highly toxic to aquatic invertebrates (LC50 = 5.9_gai/L) on an acute exposure basis.

• Other cationic surfactants such as APE possess greater challenges. Biodegradation of APE leads to the formation of nonyl and octylphenols, which are highly toxic and if get into the water, destroys the entire marine ecosystem.

So the best we can do is switch to 100% chemical free organics. To solve the problem, we at BubbleNutWash, have developed products made of  Soapnuts which is also popularly known as Reetha. A lot of people might have heard the name of it as it was used extensively by the grandparents and generations prior to them. These Soap Nuts or “bubble nuts” as we like to call them are fruits that grow wild in Indian forests and were earlier wasted due to inaccessibility.

• That a fruit could be used to wash seems too good to be true, yet, soap nuts have been used for centuries in rural parts of India as a natural soap. The soap properties in soap nuts make them the perfect natural detergent because it cleans without having the artificial chemicals that conventional detergents have.

• Soap Nut is so versatile that even after the used water gets drained, it can be used for plantation purposes. Moreover, it generates less amount of foam and requires almost 50% less water as compared to chemical detergents available in the market.

With this, we wish to move aside all those products used for cleaning and washing which contains a large amount of synthetic surfactants and replace it with something that is given by mother nature herself. This we believe will help achieve a greener society, healthier life and most importantly will allow us to combat the water scarcity problem.


Manas started his career working as an analyst for five years in the financial services industry. After a change of heart, Manas decided to use his business skill for public good and thus joined an NGO where he managed rural development projects in India. He has a bachelors degree in engineering from Indian Institute of Technology, BHU and is a CFA charter-holder. He graduated from the University of Oxford with an MBA as a Weidenfeld scholar. The blueprint of Bubble Nut Wash was conceived when Manas along with his batch-mates presented the idea as the MBA Entrepreneurship Project at Oxford.

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