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Eateries in Bengaluru use various ways to conserve water

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Bengaluru: As Bengaluru gets ready for a scorching summer, water scarcity is rearing its head again. While several residents’ associations are making efforts like rationing water and, more recently, promoting the half-a-bucket-bath challenge, to deal with the crisis, restaurants, too, are pulling up their socks to help save water.

The next time you head to Koshy’s for a cuppa or a hearty prawn biriyani, expect your glass of water to be half-filled — an effort that owner Prem Koshy says has helped reduce water wastage.

“Often, customers have a few sips of water and the rest is left to be thrown away. By filling only half the glass, we are reducing wastage. By all means, our patrons can ask for a second helping,” Koshy said. “We also request customers to not ask for multiple plates, which also cuts down on the water needed for washing them.” The restaurant recently started reusing the water used to wash rice as the first rinse to clean utensils, too.

The iconic Mavalli Tiffin Rooms (MTR) is conserving water in the kitchen. Managing partner Vikram Maiya said almost all of MTR’s restaurants use RO (reverse osmosis) water system, which tends to waste a lot of water because of its filtration process. An average RO purifier wastes approximately three litres of water for every litre of purified water. To help curb wastage, the chain has started using the waste water from the machines for cleaning utensils and the floor.

Other labours haven’t been too successful. “Using less water means compromising on hygiene, which is a no-no. We also tried using industrial dishwashers to help save water, but the economics didn’t work out. Moreover, the quality of locally made dish washers is a problem,” Maiya pointed out.

Sarjapur Social is also making good use of its waste RO water by using it to water plants and clean washrooms. Said Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality, which owns the Social chain: “We make sure all our employees are trained in conserving water. Additionally, we have introduced a sustainability competition with awards and recognition for meeting targets. This has gone a long way in raising employee awareness.”

Others like Coconut Grove on Church Street believe bringing in these changes is difficult, a sentiment echoed by Maiya. “We can’t tell customers to not drink water or ask them to reuse plates. It’s not nice. We are trying to reduce free-flowing water in the kitchen as much as possible,” Arvind, the restaurant’s manager, said.

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