The El Nino is characterized by abnormal warming of the waters around the month of January. We see images of dried-up wells, cracked form grounds, as well as results of a long drought. There is a rise in temperature, which in turn creates a change in weather conditions with sometimes serious environmental, as well as economic impacts.
Among the climactic effects are shifts in the standard paths of typhoons, the curtailment of shortening of the regular monsoon season, causing draughts in some regions, flooding at others. In fact, El Nino had partly been blamed for the forest and brush fires in some countries. Even temperate regions are not exempt from this change of weather patterns. In countries like US, Canada, Japan and Korea's winter months have been generally reported to be colder than usual and with higher-than-normal snowfall.
In the Philippines, the effects of El Nino is being felt when there is less than the usual number of typhoons entering our area of responsibility which leads to less-than-average rainfall, and consequently diminishing replenishment our watersheds. We feel the effects in terms of water shortage, not only for household use, but also for agricultural irrigation and power generation.
AT HOME, WE HAVE SOME TRICKS TO COPE UP WITH EL NINO, BY SAVING WATER:
DISHWASHING TRICK: To clean dishes and other cooking utensils used, first wipe off the surfaces with paper towel or dampened foam before soaping them and washing them well to rinse in only one basin of clean water. Avoid using the faucet's running water as much as possible.
TOOTHBRUSHING HABIT: Have a glass of water when you brush your teeth, instead of the old custom of opening the faucet though you are not yet using the water while you brush.
GET JUST ENOUGH TO DRINK: Stop the habit of filling up your drinking glass with water even if you are not going to consume it all. Get just enough water that you want to drink.
BATHING IN A TUB: You don't have to fill with water so you can take a dip while bathing. You may bathe in the tub using the shower and bathe yourself while standing. Afterwards you can use the water that settled in the tub in cleaning the tiles of the bathroom.
WATERING THE PLANTS: Use rice or fish wash to water them; it is more nutritious than plain or chlorinated water.
ABSTAIN FROM CARPETS AND HEAVY DRAPES: During this El Nino times, simply keep them up to avoid using too much water in cleaning them.
WEAR LIGHT CLOTHES: Be choosy in wearing the easy-to-wash clothes. Keep the thick, woolen ones in the closet in the meantime. Consider this too, in using bed sheets.