Water conservation is an important factor in building design and construction. According to the United Nations Environmental Program, buildings consume 20 percent of the world’s available water. The challenges for water conservation are many, but eco-friendly buildings offer numerous water conservation techniques for your home.
Timed sprinkler systems offer the benefit of programmable controllers to create an automatic schedule for watering your lawn. All you need to do is set the automatic sprinklers correctly and adjust it as conditions change.
Adjust your sprinkler timer run time for seasonal changes in weather once a month. Simply making a change to your sprinkler times can save you more water and money. During the monsoon season, be sure to turn off your sprinkler system if you are getting enough water from rain showers.
Set your sprinklers to water the lawn early in the morning. This reduces the evaporation rate and thus uses less water. Less water is lost to evaporation when the temperature is cooler and in most areas, the wind does not blow as hard in the mornings. Watering in the evenings can lead to turf and plant disease problems because the water sits on the plants all night, especially in humid climates like India.
Using drought-resistant plants or plants indigenous to your area significantly reduces your water consumption. Since indigenous plants are already adapted to your climate, they require less water to grow and thrive. Using drought-resistant plants for your home and landscaping minimizes your overall irrigation costs. Indigenous plants also have lower maintenance costs; while a lawn must be mowed often, an indigenous plant garden is self-sufficient once fully established.
Taps & Low-Flow Fixtures
The primary way of reducing indoor water use heavily depends on the fixtures you choose. Buildings that focus on water conservation utilize low-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads and other water-conserving fixtures to minimize wastewater. Installing low-flow sink and bathtub faucets, showerheads and toilets can reduce indoor water use by up to 40%.
Faucet aerators are devices that spread a stream of water into small droplets, reducing splashing and thus saving water. Water flowing out of an aerator comes diffused instead of in a solid stream. The use of an aerator reduces the flow of water to about 5 liters a minute instead of 15 liters.
Sensor taps automatically dispense water when they sense your hand. The built-in sensors shut off the water flow as soon as your hands are removed from below the taps. On an average, sensor taps use 0.75-litre water per use, which is significantly less than the 2.4 liters that a manual tap uses.
A major step for maximizing water conservation is to reduce the use of drinkable water for non-consumption purposes. Rainwater harvesting is the installing of cisterns above or below ground that will collect and store run-off rainwater from rooftops and other impervious surfaces. The rainwater is captured in the numerous rainwater harvesting pits positioned strategically across the site, thereby continuously contributing to the local groundwater table. The rainwater collected is used for gardening, car cleaning and most purposes where drinking quality water is not needed; saving additional costs while also protecting natural resources. You can use up to 99% of the water collected by rainwater harvesting.