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How Can High Rise Buildings Conserve Water?

In our last blog post, we looked at ways that landlords can reduce water expenses; but how can high rise buildings conserve water overall?

Let’s look at a few methods of water management that high-rise buildings can use as part of their water conservation strategy in conjunction with investing in more water efficient infrastructure. 

Reduce Leaks

On average, leaks account for approximately 13% of all water usage, and 1 in 5 toilets leak. Locating and repairing these leaks plays an important role in water conservation.

Once the initial leaks have been addressed, it’s important to continue to monitor your building for leaks. Tenants do not tend to report these leaks and can’t be held accountable. The cost of repairing these leaks & losing water due to unaddressed leaks has a huge impact on a multi-unit residential building’s bottom line.

Invest in Greywater or Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting utilizes water that’s naturally provided to us for certain building applications, such as irrigation, toilet flushing, storm water control, and more, depending on how advanced the system is. 

In a study performed in Toronto, in a ‘normal’ year of precipitation, rainwater harvesting systems supplied 59%-79% of non-potable water.

Greywater harvesting systems are less glamorous – they capture, filter, and store the water tenants use from systems such as showers and sinks. It is estimated that the usable domestic greywater resource can account for 35-39% of non-potable water demand, such as garden irrigation. However, the complexity of the system must be considered as part of implementation, since the water will require treatment if contact with a human is possible.

Encourage Tenants to Conserve Water

In multi-unit residential buildings, tenant accountability is a major issue when it comes to conserving water. Simply put, if they are not charged for their water, tenants are less likely to monitor and conserve their water usage.

There are a few ways that you can encourage tenants to become more involved with monitoring their water usage.

-Involve tenants in the discussion of the impact of water conservation on the planet through video chats, meetings, flyers, etc.

-Implement submetering so tenants become responsible for their own water bills. By transferring costs directly to the tenant, they become more aware of their individual water usage and are more likely to work towards conserving water. Furthermore, they become more likely to report leaks.

-Use gamification to encourage tenants to more actively participate in water conservation. 

Water conservation is vital for the planet and we all need to work together to preserve our freshwater resources. By working together with tenants and using the resources that are currently available, multi-unit residential building managers can help conserve water and reduce their water bills.
The Connected Sensors Team.