Water management is the crucial step that helps save water and the environment and money by reducing water bills. Intense water usage by the agricultural, domestic, and industrial sectors has resulted in lower groundwater levels. However, despite of severe water crisis, there is still wastage of a good amount of water each day.
Water management is a big problem in many flats, specifically in metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and more. Proper water management practices in the flats can help in the sustainable consumption of water. Here is the water management system that flats can incorporate in different cities.
To incorporate a sustainable water management system, the flat associations must take the initiative and formulate a plan. The water management system plan can only be implemented successfully with the support of residents. So, flat associations should try to make people aware of the importance of water conservation. About the same can be discussed during monthly meetings, or notices mentioning the need for an environment-friendly lifestyle can be issued.
Now that water levels are decreasing with the growing water demand, it is the need for the hour to conserve water by incorporating water management practices. An appropriate water management system includes different methods: conservation, allocation, retrofit program, and behavioral practices.
Conservation is one of the water management methods which involves recharging groundwater levels by reducing groundwater consumption and using an alternate water source. Rainwater harvesting, reusing greywater, groundwater recharge, and recycling wastewater are some water conservation techniques.
Rainwater harvesting involves collecting water from the surface that receives rainfall. For instance, a flat association can opt for rooftop rainwater harvesting or artificial groundwater recharging to store rainwater in a tank, which can be used for daily needs except for drinking.
Greywater is wastewater that is received from non-toilet plumbing systems. Now that greywater has a lower level of contaminants, it can be treated easily and, thus, reused. For example, if your flat has a dual piping system, recycled greywater can be used for cleaning, laundry, or gardening.
Groundwater recharge is a hydrologic process in which water from the surface moves downward to groundwater. It can be recharged either naturally in the form of rain or artificially by infiltration of surface water into shallow aquifers. Therefore, apartment associations must look for ways to increase groundwater levels by implementing artificial groundwater recharge techniques.
An efficient water management system considers methods to conserve water and reduces water energy bills. Usually, two types of water charge allocation practices are used in several flats: RUBS and Sub-Metering.
This method of allocating water charges is not considered appropriate as it does not provide the true cost or unit of water consumed by each family or flat. Under this system, water cost in flats is allocated to each resident depending on the number of bathrooms in each flat, the size of the flats, or the number of occupants in each flat.
Sub-metering is the efficient water charges allocating system used in the flats. This particular metering system consists of a meter measuring each flat’s water usage. With the sub-metering system, flat owners or residents are enabled to pay for the amount of water used by them instead of paying a fixed amount.
Retrofitting is a water conservation method that involves replacing the existing plumbing equipment with equipment that uses comparatively less water. The retrofit programs are permanent, one-time, and less expensive conservation measures that flats associations must consider implementing in their society.
In addition, one should consider installing water-saving fixtures that can operate similarly to those being replaced. Not only does the retrofit program involve replacing water-system fixtures, but apartment associations can also be educated about the best fixtures, their usage, where to get them, and how to install them under such programs.
Individual behavioral practices involve modifying the water usage habits of flat owners or residents so they can use water sustainably. Here mentioned are some practices that can be followed by flats owners or residents and contribute to water conservation:
The fixtures and fittings used in the bathrooms, kitchens, or laundry areas should be more water-friendly, ensuring less water usage. For instance, a flat owner can opt for fittings like low heigh showers and taps, dual flush buttons, or other eco-friendly fixtures that help avoid water usage greatly.
With little care, one can save a considerable amount of water. First, see if there is any leaking pipe in your flat and get it repaired as soon as possible. Next, ensure that your kids turn off the taps and control excess water flowing out in the dishwasher, sink, or washing machine. Small practices such as turning off the tap while brushing, not filling the bathtub unnecessarily, using a bucket instead of a pipe to wash the vehicle, etc., can help overall water management in the particular flat.
Apart from your family members, there will also be other people who might be using water in your flat, like a gardener, maid, driver, or cook. Educate them about the importance of water conservation and ensure they are not wasting water.
With reducing water levels and increasing demand for water, it is high time everyone should make efforts to conserve water. One of the best ways to conserve water is by implementing an efficient water management system in the flats.
It is the responsibility of the flat owners’ association to implement water conservation methods like rainwater harvesting or reusing greywater. Also, as an individual flat owner or resident, one should look for innovative ways to conserve water.
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