WATER SMART HOMES: THE NEED OF THE HOUR
Leonardo Da Vinci has said that “Water is the driving force of all Nature” and we all know the significance of water in our lives. Despite knowing the importance and the significance of water, our abuse of this natural resource has got us into serious water problems. World over we are facing severe water crisis and as we all know is an effect of shrinking reservoirs could lead to the taps running completely dry and people will be struggling to have access to water for their most basic needs.
In the Indian context, when we think of water crisis, the first city that comes to mind is perhaps Bangalore followed by Pune. These cities are facing an acute water crisis as their groundwater tables have dropped significantly.
According to the Down To Earth report, recharge of groundwater is minimal due to unplanned urbanisation in Bangalore. To add to this, the city only uses half of its treatment capacity to treat the waste and as a result a substantial amount of waste is dumped into the water bodies, making it redundant for domestic use.
The gravity of the situation leaves us mortals with very few options, the most practical one being reducing or minimising the use of water in our daily chores which could help us save water and look for possible alternative sources of water in the interim. Water Smart Homes, thus become the need of the hour and one of the things that we could do is create water positive homes.
What it really means is that we create more water than we consume and the three ways in which we could do so is:
REDUCE, RECYCLE & RECHARGE
Reduce water usage and optimise consumption of water across our various needs. Optimising water use means reducing the amount you consume by implementing water saving measures through the use of water efficient appliances or actively monitoring and limiting your usage.
Recycle and re-use the water. The second step towards being water positive is recycling some or all of the water that is used by us. Recycling water is an essential building block and a range of water management facilities are available to optimise their water usage and reduce wastage of water like rainwater harvesting, grey and black water recycling.
Recharging would imply capturing water into your usage cycle with the help of techniques like rain water harvesting, creating open wells and other techniques which aid in improving the water table.
Currently, there is a dire need towards becoming water positive and it is therefore a potentially demanding concept for both residential and commercial developers in contrast to the energy saving, where a lot is already being done by Developers. If we look at some of the statistics, an average household of two needs about 270 litres of water per day and the current supply is barely 130 litres per day.
What however demands urgent attention is the awareness and education around the importance and value of water usage and the concept of water positive homes and a lot of developers down south have taken cognizance of the current situation at hand and are working towards creating projects which are water efficient and ensuring minimal wastage of water. Through effective project planning, some of the developers in Bangalore today are aiming to reduce their dependency on external water requirements by about 66%. This will reduce dependency on external sources like tankers. Through product enhancements, some of them are able to reduce the projected water demand by 60 % through recycling 70% of the water supply. Recharging / conserving 100 % of the rainwater on site is another way of putting an end to drinking water scarcity woes.