Muslim Students Cut Down Water Consumption for Better Future

SASKATOON – A group of Muslim students in Saskatoon, central Canada, have come up with a plan that could save their school thousands of liters of water-use every year, as part of a city-wide program seeking better future.

“We chose this topic — water conservation — because water is really sacred in our religion,” Nada Emara, a grade 8 student at the Saskatoon Misbah School, told CBC Radio’s Saskatoon Morning.

“We see that our school really wastes a lot of water because we make wudu — which is this spiritual cleansing before prayer,” she added.

The plan came as a part of a city-wide program called Student Action for a Sustainable Future, where hundreds of students were tasked to create projects looking at waste, water, food, transportation, biodiversity, and energy.

Muslims perform wudu’ (ablution) before prayer as a type of ritual purification. The procedure includes hands, mouth, nostrils, arms, head, and feet to be washed in water.

The idea started by making audits to calculate the amount of water students take to make wudu’. They found that each student took about one liter of water.

“We do this five times a day for all the five prayers,” said group member, Hafsa Asim.

“[The prayer] just takes five minutes and one liter is too much for that.”

By making announcements every day before prayer encouraging their classmates to minimize their water usage, they were able to reduce their water consumption by about 530 liters of water per day.

When the project was completed, the group wrote a letter to the public school board urging them to invest in low-flow water taps and automatic water taps.

“We’re like, ‘Guys, we’re wasting so much water. Let’s do a better job. Let’s save the environment,” said Emara.