Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Water Conservation

Slideshow of Mono Basin images:

Water Conservation
Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way to reduce our demand for water. This stretches our supplies farther, and protects places like Mono Lake. For example, the city of Los Angeles has grown by one million people since the 1970s, but still uses the same amount of water. Using less water also puts less pressure on our sewage treatment facilities, and uses less energy for water heating.
Saving water also saves energy. 6.5% of the energy used in the state of California is for pumping and treating water—in fact, pumping water south (and uphill) in the State Water Project accounts for 2–3% of all the electricity used in the state. And for your personal energy bill, using less hot water saves on water heating. On the flip side, saving energy and using alternative energy saves water—electricity production from fossil fuels and nuclear energy is responsible for 39% of all freshwater withdrawals in the nation.
There are many effective ways to conserve water in and around your home. Look through this list for ways that will work for you. Many of these tips were gleaned from materials published by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Indoor savings are based on a family of two adults and one child.
In the Bathroom
1. Make sure your toilet is an ultra-low flush model, which uses only one and a half gallons per flush.
2. If you're taking a shower, don't waste cold water while waiting for hot water to reach the shower head. Catch that water in a container to use on your outside plants or to flush your toilet. Saves 200 to 300 gallons a month.
3. Check toilet for leaks. Put dye tablets or food coloring into the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there's a leak that should be repaired. Saves 400 gallons a month.
4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth. Saves three gallons each day.
5. Turn off the water while shaving. Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of water to rinse your razor.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

14 ways to save water

14 water smart actions at home

Cross section of house and garden, highlights how you can save water in the bathroom, laundry, shower, kitchen and garden
View enlarged image Open this link in new window
There are lots of ways you can save water at home. Here are some ideas:
Have 4 minute showers, use a timer

Install a rainwater tank

Use water efficient dishwashers and washing machines

Use a plug in sinks

Install a dual flush toilet

Choose drought tolerant plants for your garden
1. Take shorter showers
Shorter showers will not only save water but also reduce your hot water costs.
2. Install a water efficient showerhead 
You can save up to 13,500 litres of water per person each year by installing a water efficient showerhead (based on a seven minute shower average).
3. Don't leave the tap running
Make sure you don't leave the tap running when you brush your teeth. Simply fill a glass of water to use for rinsing.
4. Install a rainwater tank 
Install a tank and connect it to your toilet, laundry and garden hose. Tanks are available in a various sizes and styles - and you may qualify for a Water Smart Gardens and Homes Rebate Open this link in new window on the purchase cost.
5. Buy a water efficient washing machine
If you're buying a new washing machine, make sure it has at least a four-star water efficiency rating. Front-loading washing machines are usually the most water efficient, using up to 50% less water.
6. Look to the stars!
When buying new appliances, remember the more stars, the more water efficient the appliance.
7. Wash with a full load
Make sure you use your washing machine correctly and that you adjust the water level to suit the size of your load, or better still wait until you have a full load.
8. Use a plug
Use a plug in the sink when preparing vegetables, cleaning fruit or washing dishes by hand.
9. Install a dual flush toilet 
For a family of 4, installing a dual flush toilet can save more than 35,000 litres of water a year.
10. Water your garden in the coolest part of the day
It is water wise to only water your garden during the coolest times of the day - early in the morning. Up to 40% of water will evaporate if you water your garden during the day. There are restrictions around the times you can water your garden. Check our water restrictions page Open this link in new window for details.
11. Check the four-day forecast
Visit the Bureau of Meteorology Open this link in new window website. If there's rain ahead, let the rain do the watering for you.
12. Target the roots 
If you water the root zone around the base of the plant, instead of the leaves, you can use less water.
13. Use mulch
Using mulch or compost will increase the water absorption and the moisture content of the soil.
14. Choose the right plants 
Drought tolerant plants are a water wise choice as they need less water and are much better suited to our dry climate.

What are your water smart actions at home?

9 water smart actions at school

Put a bucket under your drinking fountain taps at school.  Use the excess water on your school's garden
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1. Collect excess water and use it wisely
Place ice cream containers under school water fountains and pour excess water on the garden.
2. If not using the tap, turn it off
As soon as you finish washing your hands, make sure you turn the tap off.
3. Report leaks
Get someone to fix any leaking taps, water fountains or toilets as soon as possible. Make it a classroom activity to check for leaks regularly.
4. Use a container to wash your brushes
Wash your paint brushes in a bucket or ice cream container, rather than under a running tap.
5. Use a refillable water bottle
Bring a water bottle to school. At the end of the day, any left-over water can be poured onto the garden.
6. Talk to others about water
Raise awareness of the importance of saving water by creating colourful posters on water.
7. Start a Water Saving team
Members of the team can have important roles such as monitoring leaking taps, designing posters on water saving tips, and telling friends about their achievements.
8. Install aerators on taps
Talk to your maintenance coordinator about installing or fitting the taps in your school with aerators. Aertaors reduce the amount of water flowing from the tap (up to 50%), while still maintaining the pressure.
9. Install rainwater tanks
Talk to your principal, maintenance coordinator and school council about installing rainwater tnaks. Once installed, you can connect the tanks to your toilets or use the water for your school gardens or vegie patch.

What are your water smart actions at school?

Why save water?

In Melbourne we are very lucky to have high quality drinking water. But it is important to remember that water, wherever it comes from, is taken away from the environment. That's why water conservation is so vital. It's important we don't take more than we need and to do more with less.
Households use the majority of water that is supplied to Melbourne
Residential homes use 60% of Melbourne's water
Source: Our Water our Future - The next Stage of the Government's Water Plan (Victorian Government 2007)
When we look at who uses water in Melbourne, there are two distinct types of people - people in houses (residential) and people in businesses (non-residential).
About 60% of the water from our reservoirs is used by us, in our homes. About 30% are used in factories, schools, councils and businesses.
About 10% of the water in Melbourne is lost through leaks, used by firefighters, stolen or is unaccounted for as a result of inaccurate meters. We call this ‘non-revenue’ water.
Pie chart showing percentage of water used in homes
Source: Our Water our Future - The next Stage of the Government's Water Plan (Victorian Government 2007)
At home, about 80% of water is used inside in showers (30%), bathrooms and general tap use (19%), toilets (14%), washing machines (16%) and dishwashers (1%). The remainder 20% is used outside.
20% of water used at home is in the garden. 30% is used in the shower. The remaining 50% is used for washing clothes, flushing the toilet, using the dishwasher, having baths and other general tap use.

More information

Saturday, 10 September 2011



Seven schools plan to save 3.5 million litres of water
Call it saving something for a rainy day. If, that is, you could call 3.5 million litres of water “something”.
That is the amount of water a pilot conservation project at St Theresa College’s seven schools is projected to save over the next scholastic year. The project, launched at the Sta Venera primary school yesterday, involves the installation of a catchment system through which rainwater is trapped, filtered and drained into the water table through a borehole.
The system was designed by hydrologist Marco Cremona and is a first for Malta. Dr Cremona estimates that the system will add 50,000 litres of water to the water table over the next 12 months. The project, college principal Frank Fabri explained, also featured the installation of regulated push taps and the addition of hippo bags – rectangular containers placed inside a toilet cistern to limit the amount of water flushed – to each of the 255 cisterns in the college.
During a visit to the college, Education Minister Dolores Cristina said the initiative was in line with the country’s National Environmental Policy, announced by the Prime Minister only days ago.
Mrs Cristina welcomed the initiative, saying it was a further step towards transforming schools into educators of their communities and making them more autonomous in the use of resources such as water and electricity.
Dr Fabri spoke of the college’s inclusive approach towards environmental conservation. All members of the college, from teaching staff to administrators, cleaners and students, were involved in every stage of the conservation process.
The college is a member of the EkoSkola programme, which encompasses about 100 schools.
As part of the programme, students at the school produced a DVD containing tips on how to conserve water, energy and waste. The DVD was given to all students of the school.

Toilets account for almost 30% of residential indoor water use in the United States.

Toilets account for almost 30% of residential indoor water use in the United States.
Toilets are also a major source of wasted water due to leaks and inefficiency. In a home that was built prior to 1993 it is most likely that the toilet uses 3.5 gallons or more for every single flush (in Dekalb County alone, approx. 165,000 homes were built prior to 1993 – there are approx. 1 Mio. Homes in the Greater Atlanta area that still have old, inefficient toilets in use). Experts say that the minimum needed to meet the basic human needs of drinking, cooking and hygiene is five gallons of clean water per person per day. It’s far from enough to ensure health and well-being-just enough to get by. Do we really need to flush down that much each time we go “Number One”?
In the beginning of modern toilets there was the seven-gallon flushing porcelain lavatory. Then there was the low-flush toilet. And by the time you’d flushed several times the bowl was “clear” and you had flushed more water than you did with the faithful lavatory.
Then there was the new and improved low-flush toilet, which was better but still not what always got the job done. And finally, the High-Efficiency toilet arrived; you now have your choice of flushing as little as .8 gallons with dual flush toilets. The best part is that they really work!
What Are High-Efficiency Toilets?
Under federal law, toilets must not exceed 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf). High-efficiency toilets (HETs) go beyond the standard and use less than 1.3 gpf. The WaterSense label will be used on HETs that are certified by independent laboratory testing to meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency. Only HETs that complete the third-party certification process can earn the WaterSense label.
 Do High Efficiency Toilets Work?
Everyone is concerned about the performance of low-flow toilets. Do they clear the bowl and leave it clean? Do they stop up frequently? Unlike the first 1.6 gallon / flush toilets, WaterSense HETs combine high efficiency with high performance. Advances in toilet design permit WaterSense HETs to save water without loss of flushing power. In fact, many perform better than standard toilets in consumer testing. Want proof? Watch this amazing video of Eddie Wilcut, the Water Conservation Manager for the City of San Antonio, flushing a Russet potato down a Caroma toilet with the full flush (1.6 gallon) AND half flush (0.8 gallon), which is meant for liquid waste.
What are Dual Flush toilets?

Dual flush toilets offer a patented dual flush technology consisting of a 0.8 Gal flush for liquid waste and a 1.6 Gal flush for solids. They can save up to 40% (approx. 4600 gallons) compared to today’s standard 1.6-gallon single flush toilets. On an average of 4/1 uses a day,  Dual Flush toilets have the lowest water consumption of all – 0.96 Gallons per flush. Caroma, an Australian manufacturer that invented the Dual Flush technology manufactures award winning toilets that are both user friendly and, with a full 3.5″ trap way, virtually blockage-free!  Wouldn’t that be nice to be able to finally kiss the plunger good bye? Beware of some products reducing the amount of water flushed to use with your existing toilet. Existing bowls are not designed to perform with reduced amounts of water, so the likelihood of clogging your toilet while you are trying to flush paper and solid waste increases drastically.

10 ways to save water

                                               10 ways to save water

This is my fourth post in the '10 Ways To...' series. This time I shall take the opportunity to encourage all my fellow Indians as well as my foreign friends to save as much water as possible.
As the title suggests, here is my list of the 10 ways to save water:

  1. Use your washing machine only when it is filled to its total capacity. You can save about 4500 litres per month in this process. Besides saving water, this method is also helpful to save electricity.
  2. Avoid using a shower for bathing. Try using a bucket instead. This will help you save about 150-200 litres everyday.
  3. Turn off the tap while brushing and save more than 200 litres of water every month.
  4. Stop participating in Holi. As we all know, a massive quantity of water is wasted during this festival.
  5. Don't drink water if you are not thirsty.
  6. Use sprinklers to water the plants provided you have a large garden.
  7. Ensure that your home has no leakages. Also check whether all water bottles are closed properly.
  8. Use small glasses for drinking water. The smaller the container, the less consumption of water.
  9. Whenever you waste water, just think about those millions of people who still struggle to save every drop of water for their survival.
  10. Lastly, spread awareness regarding water conservation.
Well, do you have any more ways to save water?