Water cost contributes largely to maintenance cost of apartment. When we use less water; we recycle it less and reduce pumping cost as well. Thus we save money. Below are the listed ways to save water in apartments.
- Fix the leaks: Fixing leaky faucets can mean big water savings for buildings. Do you know water leak of one drop per second wastes more than 10,000 liters of water a year? Residents of apartment should be rewarded for reporting leak. Regular checks in flat need to be made to ensure all leaky faucets are repaired.
- Understand your water usage: Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can’t measure something, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it.” Install water meter to know who is using how much water.Many apartments do not have individual water meters, but with advancement in technology now retrofitting existing apartments with advance water meter is also possible.
- Retrofit existing taps of washbasin & sinks into water efficient taps by using water saving devices like Aerators & flow restrictors. These aerators are easy to install and gives very quick payback. We can achieve up to 80% reduction in water wastage with the help of these devices. Water Efficient taps is a proven concept used in green buildings from long. Many countries gives rebate when you install water saving device at home. They devices pay for themselves why saving water, which has a cost.
- Install water efficient/saving showers to conserve water on bathing. A regular shower dispenses 15 to 20 litres water per minute. Eco365days shower uses up to 60% less water, but gives same efficiency. You waste less water; you recycle less water and save money. Existing showers can also be converted in to water efficient showers by installing restrictors.
- Use low flow flushing or water efficient flushing system: around 27% of water in building is used to flush toilets. A old flushing system uses more than 12 litters water in each flush, whereas Water Efficient flushing system uses 4-6 liters water in full flush. Few flushing systems can also be retrofitted to reduce water flushing. Installing tank bank inside flush tank results in water saving. Make an attempt to use recycled water from STP for toilet flushing, many new apartments already practice this.
- Adopt rainwater harvesting: Do not let water run to city drain lines. Let the soil absorb water. Bore well recharge are must for large facility. It is now mandate to do rain water harvesting in apartments in many states of India. An efficient RWH system reduces total water cost by up to 30% annually. Many apartment saves even more than this by storing & using rainwater. Practice to store rainwater in sump or tank. Remember Rainwater is Free and is better in quality when compared to corporation water.
- Share water statistics & make collective Efforts: On a periodic basis share total water usage statistics with residents and set collective targets to reduce the same. It cannot be individual goal; only teamwork could help achieve the targets. These statistics can be shared on apartment notice board and by emails and during association meetings.
- Installing Individual Water Meters: Most apartments either charges a flat fee or a fee based upon apartment area. This means that some residents pay for others’ usage as well. Conflict amongst residents over water usage/bill is very common were water meters are not installed. Residents also make conscious effort to reduce water usage when they know their monthly water usage. With new technologies real time monitoring of water usage is also possible.
- Recycle Wastewater: With advancement in technology now many cost effective solutions are available to recycle wastewater. Grey water recycling is one good option to adopt. STP in large apartments is now mandating. Recycled water can be used for toilet flushing, gardening and driveways & sidewalks washing.
- Appeal Residents to Minimize water usage: One way to cut down on water use is to turn off the shower after soaping up, then turn it back on to rinse. Do you know a ten-minute shower uses approximately 150 to 200 Liters of water? Take shorter shower or use bucket. Bucket bath needs 20 liters water only. You can also have an option of buying low flow showers. Such kind of request can be made periodically by management to residents to reduce water wastage. Content related to ‘Ways to save water at kitchen, laundry and bathroom needs to be shared regularly with residents; change in attitude towards water usage will result in long-term benefits for the apartment. It’s a ongoing process but cannot be ignored.
- Water during the early parts of the day; avoid watering when it’s windy: Early morning is generally better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Early watering, and late watering, also reduces water loss to evaporation. Watering early in the day is also the best defense against slugs and other garden pests. Try not to water when it’s windy – wind can blow sprinklers off target and speed evaporation. Use drip irrigation technology to reduce water wastage. Use recycled water for Gardening.
- Use brooms more, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks of apartment. Around 30% of fresh water in apartment is used to maintain lawns, driveways and sidewalks.
- Reduce evaporation of water from Swimming pool: If your apartment has outdoors swimming pool than evaporation rate will be very high. Make an attempt to cover the swimming pool when not in use, say afternoon, when evaporation is high.
- Don’t run the hose while washing your car: Clean the car using a pail of soapy water. Use the hose only for rinsing. You will consume 80% less water. Request resident to practice water efficient ways to wash car.
- Plant drought-resistant shrubs and plants or native plants: Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. Replace herbaceous perennial borders with native plants. Around 30% of fresh water in apartment is used to maintain gardens. Adopt self watering pots at residence.
- Conduct periodic knowledge sessions on Water facts, scarcity and conservation. Continuous learning is required to bring awareness on water conservation. Make children the messengers of water saving initiatives taken, identify green hero’s and reward them. Go green events can be organized regularly.
Attempt to conserve water has to be continuous effort, all suggested methods needs to be practised regularly and process needs to be set to measure the savings on regular basis. It’s not a one-time initiative. If you have more ideas to save water do share it, by commenting.