Sustainable Water Management Technique

Sustainable Water Management Technique

Christopher Smith

April 6, 2014

        The world has more water than land, but this does not mean there is enough drinking water to sustain the population. Green building design takes consideration of this fact. Creating a smaller carbon footprint is just a small portion of sustainable living. By using Waste management techniques, the water waste can be reduced and reused to meet other purposes. Other considerations within waste management are erosion. Green building design will also take account for the precipitation levels of the area to formulate a plan that will reduce erosion and make use of precipitation for sustainable water use.

Water usage and recycling

        Many individuals have gone through life taking advantage of water with little consideration for where it comes from or how much there is. Societies demand on water has brought light to the idea that water is now a commodity for profit. The recklessness of the way water is treated and consumed has some areas hunting for water. Many individuals still do not understand that even though the planet is covered in water, most of the water is not drinkable and thus unusable. The process needed to make drinking water from our oceans is costly, time consuming, robs even more resources for the earth, and contributes to greenhouse gasses for the amount of energy needed.

 

        Many companies and scientist have come together to find answers to the problem of water shortages. Desalination machines help to create more drinking water, but do little to help the cause of the problem. The problem is the earths human population is growing and the earth’s animal kingdom and plant life is suffering due to the lack of water and climate changes brought on by society. As many people have jumped on-board with the Green movement to lower their individual carbon footprint, it has become increasingly acknowledged that is not the full picture. Water management techniques are needed to bring a sustainable plan that works.

Water management techniques

        Water is used in many ways, from shower, toilets, lawn care, recreation, etc. Green building design has brought some unique ideas to the table to combat the water shortage problem of society. Many of these ideas come from erosion issues, grey-water waste, and natural precipitation. Some strategies to reducing the amount of water used are easily adopted and functional. Turf grasses for recreational areas can serve many purposes. Turf grass requires less maintenance and uses less water when installed properly. Another form of efficient use of water is through irrigation techniques. Low flow sprayers and a drip irrigation system, help to place the water where it is needed, which lessen the need of water for lawn care. Irrigation controllers allow adjustments for seasonal care to overcome the wasted water when watering during off seasons and rainy weather. Mulch and compost can be used to provide nutrients and to retain water in the soil for less water demand. Landscaping techniques can be used to control rain runoff by directing it to areas that need more water.

 

         Green building techniques goes deeper into the sustainable lifestyle by reusing water for many purposes. One method is no water urinals; they would eliminates the need for water altogether. Low flow plumbing fixtures also reduces the use of water used. Many of these fixtures are used for showers, sinks and toilets. Dual flush systems allow users to choose what is the appropriate amount to flush based on liquid or solid waste.

 

        Recycling water is another method used in green building design. Rain and snow will usually fall on the area and it is then diverted to storm drains and ends up in our waterways. Most storm drains also house many chemicals from road debris, cars, and illegal dumping. When the water travels through the drains it will carry the contaminates to marine life, thus killing off the biomass pyramid or making portions of the earths food source unusable for safe eating.

 

        “Water pollution affects drinking water supplies, food production through agricultural irrigation and watering of animal stock, and recreational opportunities such as swimming, fishing, and boating” (Montoya, M., 2011, p. 56).

Sanitation control

        Sanitation control is an area that is overlooked in society. Most individuals believe sanitation control is good hygiene like washing your hands, taking out the garbage, etc. Sanitation control is a plan to maintain community standards while limiting the use of water and minimizing contamination of the waterways. Some cities and counties use recycled wastewater for their sprinkler systems in parks and homes. To do this, many individuals use greywater systems.

        Grey-water systems use a separate drain system from the usually used drain system that could include nitrogen or human pathogens. The grey-water would be directed to a filter system and then used for watering plants on property. Another portion of the sanitation control system would include low water toilets and no water urinals to lower water cost and sewage charges while controlling the amount of water used. Rainwater collection system could also be linked into sanitation control systems, as well. The use of rainwater for irrigation system has been used for some time. Some companies are now using the collection system for toilet flushing. By diverting the rainwater and grey-water from showers and sinks to a filter system, the water would then be pumped to toilets for flushing. The excess grey-water can be pumped into the landscape sprinkler system for further use. The person was able to gain three uses out of the water. Making the usefulness of the system widespread.

Erosion and sediment

        Erosion and sediment have contributed to many of the waterways becoming contaminated. Contaminates come from the daily human life with automobiles, construction materials, and chemical use. Green building requires that an erosion sediment control plan be implemented to lesson the chance of contaminates from entering stream, lakes, and oceans. There are five main principles that should be maintained in the control plan. The first principle is to maintain the natural drainage system whenever possible to keep the area undisturbed and lesson the chance of erosion. Minimize the need to grade the site by also filling some of the slopes to maintain natural buffer zones. Build in a manner that uses the area more efficiently to develop more open spaces. Avoid building in areas that are susceptible to natural water run off. Finally, avoid disturbing unique land-form, such as trees and natural rock walls (North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2006). Retention drainage area is also used to divert an excess of rain runoff and sediment to a specific area to minimalism furthering any disturbance to the surrounding areas. Holding to these fundamentals would help in maintaining the security of the public and wildlife.

Conclusion

        Water is a renewable resource, but increasingly it is becoming harder to find clean, usable drinking water. Sustainable water use and best practices would promote a healthier environment, more usable clean water, and community safety. Using the water to serve many purposes at once would help to reduce an individual’s carbon footprint while lowering the amount of disruption to the area. These green building techniques reduce utility bills and use water more efficiently for clean water in the future.

Reference

Montoya, M.. (2011). Improving a project’s water use efficiency. Retrieved from Montoya, M., SUS350 website.
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. (2006). Preparing the erosion and sedimentation control plan. Retrieved from http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=c083d748-26fc-47e1-b700-7ec5dd56c9af&groupId=38334

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