Give me two


Down the drain

Clean ground


Traditionally, many Uzbeks start their day by watering the backyard ground, which demonstrates their love for cleanness and hygiene. For this purpose, pure tap water is used in big cities for this purpose — unlike in the countryside, there are neither ponds not irrigation canals there. Although in some cases such practice may seem extravagant, watering streets in Uzbekistan is mostly perceived as reality. Due to climatic conditions, the streets and backyards get quickly covered by a layer of dust and sand; water resolves this problem and brings coolness.

Water for the future

© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov Cooking, cleaning, laundry or washing the dishes — a lot of water is spent on these daily needs. Much of the water is wasted, although water belongs not only to us but also to future generations. For this reason, the Uzbek experts suggest determining the amounts of water allowed to be used by households, so that families learnt to use water rationally and save it. Mandatory installation of water counters could be a good method: then people would be charged for the actual use of water, not a fixed amount of money, as it is done now.

A dripping tap

© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov Who of us has not been unnerved by the sound of water dripping from the tab? This is a well-known detail of our everyday life. Meanwhile, each drop is a part of the main element of life on this planet. In Uzbekistan, outdated, sometimes even Soviet, infrastructure of water supply is often the cause of this dripping, although the careless attitude to water is rather common in the life of the local people and also makes a contribution to this waste. It is a common thing to open a tap and let the water flow. Each of us should feel responsible for the valuable resource. Here the miraculous water counters could come to our help.

A luxury street shower

© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov The so-called microclimate system is a new phenomenon for the country. These systems automatically pulverize water in air on hot Uzbek days. Following the owners of restaurants and cafes, many people have started to install such equipment at home. Such coolness is really enjoyable. What emerged as a luxury product had its reasons for that. Many people die every year because of heat. Our spontaneous survey has shown that many people cannot imagine their life now without microclimatic equipment. The question remains: how did we live without these systems for millennia?

Fountains for each

© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov For the people of Uzbekistan, a fountain is a symbol of peace and prosperity. Now you can find them everywhere in the capital of the country — they attain a special flavor to Tashkent. However, when the temperature is around 40 degrees Centigrade all day, much of the fountain water gets quickly evaporated and strong gushes of wind blow away part of this water to the pavement. Besides, this water gets dirty fast, and it has to be often changed. Is such luxurious city decoration worth thousands of precious liters?

The price we pay for an oasis

© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov Our greenery would be jeopardized without automated water sprinkling equipment because of our relative proximity to the equator. Devices for drip irrigation of lawns consume about one liter of water per minute: we multiply this figure by sixty and obtain sixty liters per hour. On the other hand, under conditions of the Uzbek heat, there would have been much less plants and thus much less shade and clean air without them. If we have to choose, we feel scared about the future of water in Uzbekistan.

Spick and span

© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov As the number of cars in Uzbekistan is growing, high-pressure car washes are becoming more and more popular. A car should be impeccably clean, just like home. Few people, though, think how many liters of water they spend on it: water is supplied under very high pressure, effectively removing dirt from the car. Unfortunately, rainwater cannot be used in this. The installations for collecting rainwater are not really common, although they could help us to save the supplies of groundwater, and not only for washing cars.

Getting cooled

© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov We often read and hear in mass media and at the university classes about the limited water resources and are called upon to the rational and sensible water consumption. Yet, students rarely listen to this advice. After successful passing of exams or when classes are cancelled because of a heatwave, boys and girls run around with bottles of water, pouring water onto each other. Considering the situation in the country, such games with water seem especially cynical and clearly demonstrate the careless attitude to the valuable natural resource. It is time to save the global reserve of drinking water.

Bobomurod Mukhiddinov and Faridjon Usmonov
© Faridjon Usmonov
© Bobomurod Mukhiddinov
This material came into being resulting from a young authors’ workshop organized by the Goethe-Institute in Tashkent on May 25-27, 2017. At the workshop, professional editors from Berlin Julia Bockler (ifa) and Leon Krenz (ze.tt) taught the young authors to write. At our request, they edited the texts and photo reports prepared by the authors ‘on a turn-key basis’ and describing different aspects of the consumption society of Uzbekistan.

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