Water Conservation has a few goals to ensure the resource for future generations.
· Preservation - The amount of water used should not exceed what water supply and natural resources are available in that ecosystem.
· Energy Conservation - The movement of water, e.g. water pumping, waste and treatment uses vast amounts of energy. In some areas of the world over 15% of the total electricity used is all geared to water management.
· Habitat Conservation - Limiting and reducing human water use can preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating wildfowl, as well as reducing the need to build water diversion structures like dams.
Water Conservation like all sustainability programs start from the local level, by either governments or water authorities with a goal to reduce water usage and help tackle climate change through improved energy savings.Popular strategies include
· Increasing public profile on the stresses on water levels
· Higher charges using different water rates.
· Restrictions on outdoor use like hose pipe bans.
· In very arid countries natural landscaping can be used to limit outdoor usage.
One very important conservation tool is universal metering.
The actual implementation of metering across the world differs enormously.
· In the UK only 30% of homes are metered.
· In Canadian urban areas as much as 61% of homes have a meter.
· Homes in rural areas of the US and Europe although may not benefit by having a meter as they are often off the network, it is estimated that metering alone could save 20-40%.
Water metering raises awareness of usage and it also identifies leaks in local areas.
Metering will benefit all societies in the future as it is proven to reduce usage and efficiency and will eventually reduce costs for individuals.
This would imply that one would not be able to waste water unless they are willing to pay the charges and water departments would be able to monitor usage and predict shortages and become water smart.
Agriculture is a massive user of water and it crop irrigation accounts for 70% of the worlds freshwater usage. Obviously the agricultural sector in most countries is both politically and economically important and this leads to large subsides in this sector.
Conservation advocates have suggested that these be removed in order to force farmers to become water smart and grow more water e crops and adopt less wasteful irrigation techniques. At a commercial level drip-irrigation systems are a type of water system that is designed to significantly reduce water usage.
New technology is creating great new opportunities for consumers and features such as full flush and low-flow half flush toilets. When using a toilet this tech makes an important difference to water consumption and waste. These low flush toilets can save a lot of water in the long run. As a water saving tip installing this type of toilet is an effective way to reduce the use of water.
Waste water is an important factor in water management as if we use less water we create less waste. This type of water waste, if not treated correctly, is also a source of water pollution in the environment.
Drinking water is treated and therefore has a high energy cost, so any technology that helps reduce the water footprint here is valuable. For example recycling rain water for use in the garden is one efficient way to reduce the use of drinking water for non essential uses. although not idea for human use, rain water is perfect to water plants. Gallons of water can be saved here when an individuals moves away from hose use, to a watering can. Water companies often impose a hose-pipe ban in the summer due to the reduction of water resources and water shortages so this is a good habit to get into anyway.
Efficient shower heads that help reduce waste water when replacing an old head which may exceed 20 litres per minute to new 10 litre per minute one can save considerable volumes of the freshwater supply. Even though these shower heads offer great water savings, those that are really serious about saving water and want to get involved completely in environmental conservation should also consider taking shorter showers.
Other ways how to conserve water? Ensure that there are no leaks in your system. Even a leaky faucet can waste a lot of water over time. You may not think that this will use much water, but over time it builds up. Ensuring your own plumbing is in good condition is important for your bills and the wider environment. In the home the washing machine is also a source of high water usage. When buying a new washing machine it is a good idea to explore how efficient it is.
The average person flushes the toilet five times a day, toilets make up around 31% of a households water consumption. this can be dramatically reduced by fitting modern water saving Flush & Fill Valves to your toilet cistern.
Did you know?
The Environment Agency has developed a methodology for identifying and classifying relative levels of water stress in water company areas in England. The Government has used this map to designate areas of serious water stress for the purpose of accelerating water metering.