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METHODS OF WATER CONSERVATION

Water conservation should not be considered an option any longer. Current circumstances require our full attention if we hope to thrive as a civilization. If these statements sound dramatic, it is because much of the world is currently suffering due to a lack of clean water. As the population of the world grows exponentially, our drinkable water supply remains at about 1 percent of the total water present on Earth.

Water users can be divided into two basic groups: system users (such as residential users, industries, and farmers) and system operators (such as municipalities, state and local governments, and privately owned suppliers). These users can choose from among many different water conservation practices, which fall into two categories:

Engineering practices: practices based on modifications in plumbing, fixtures, or water supply operating procedures. Behavioral practices: practices based on changing water use habits.

1. Rain Water Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation and deposition of rainwater for reuse on- site, rather than allowing it to run off.

Its uses include water for garden, water for livestock, water for irrigation, water for domestic use with proper treatment, and indoor heating for houses etc.

In many places the water collected is just redirected to a deep pit with percolation.

The harvested water can be used as drinking water as well as for storage and other purpose like irrigation.

The Rain Water Harvesting system should be sized to meet the water demand throughout the dry season since it must be big enough to support daily water consumption.

Specifically, the rainfall capturing area such as a building roof must be large enough to maintain adequate flow.

The water storage tank size should be large enough to contain the captured water

2.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation, also known as trickle irrigation or micro irrigation or localized irrigation, is an irrigation method that saves water and fertilizer by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of plants, either onto the soil surface or directly onto the root zone, through a network of valves, pipes, tubing, and emitters.

It is done through narrow tubes that deliver water directly to the base of the plant.

In this process a continuous supply of water to plant roots is obtained with minimal use of water.

Drip irrigation also prevents evaporation of water during hot weather conditions.

Drip irrigation is adopted extensively in areas of acute water scarcity and especially for crops and trees such as coconuts, containerized landscape trees, grapes, bananas, citrus, strawberries, sugarcane, cotton, maize, and tomatoes.

3. Pressure Reduction

Because flow rate is related to pressure, the maximum water flow from a fixture operating on a fixed setting can be reduced if the water pressure is reduced.

Homeowners can reduce the water pressure in a home by installing pressure-reducing valves. The use of such valves might be one way to decrease water consumption in homes that are served by municipal water systems.

For homes served by wells, reducing the system pressure can save both water and energy.

A reduction in water pressure can save water in as it can reduce the likelihood of leaking water pipes, leaking water heaters, and dripping faucets.

An annual water savings of about 6 percent was shown for homes that received water service at lower pressures when compared to homes that received water services at higher pressures.

4. Landscape Irrigation.

Another method of water conservation in landscaping uses plants that need little water, thereby saving not only water but labor and fertilizer as well.

A similar method is grouping plants with similar water needs.

Scheduling lawn irrigation for specific early morning or evening hours can reduce water wasted due to evaporation during daylight hours.

Another water use efficiency practice that can be applied to residential landscape irrigation is the use of cycle irrigation methods to improve penetration and reduce runoff.

Cycle irrigation provides the right amount of water at the right time and place, for optimal growth.

Other practices include the use of low-precipitation-rate sprinklers that have better distribution uniformity, bubbler/soaker systems, or drip irrigation systems.

5. Water Reuse

Water reuse is the use of wastewater or reclaimed water from one application such as municipal wastewater treatment for another application such as landscape watering.

The reused water must be used for a beneficial purpose and in accordance with applicable rules in our law.

Some potential applications for the reuse of wastewater or reclaimed water include other industrial uses, landscape irrigation, agricultural irrigation, aesthetic uses such as fountains, and fire protection.

Factors that should be considered in an industrial water reuse program include:

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Identification of water re-use opportunities.

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Determination of the minimum water quality needed for the given use.

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Identification of wastewater sources that satisfy the water quality requirements.

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Determination of how the water can be transported to the new use.

The reuse of wastewater or reclaimed water is beneficial because it reduces the demands on available surface and ground waters.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of establishing water reuse programs is their contribution in delaying or eliminating the need to expand potable water supply and treatment facilities.

6. Water Recycling

Water recycling is the reuse of water for the same application for which it was originally used. Recycled water might require treatment before it can be used again.

Factors that should be considered in a water recycling program include:

1. Identification of water re-use opportunities.

2. Evaluation of the minimum water quality needed for a particular use.

3. Evaluation of water quality degradation resulting from the use.

4. Determination of the treatment steps, if any, that might be required to prepare the water for recycling.

7. Leakage Detection

One way to detect leaks is to use listening equipment to survey the distribution system, identify leak sounds, and pinpoint the exact locations of hidden underground leaks.

An effective way to conserve water is to detect and repair leaks in municipal water systems.

The early detection of leaks also reduces the chances that leaks will cause major property damage.

The municipal authorities also must perform a periodic inspection of the water supply pipes buried underground for leakage.

Homeowners also must perform a visual inspection of residential pipes visually to check water leakage.

8. Behavioral Practices

One of the most important methods of conserving water is by changing our behaviors. Some of the changes that we must adopt are

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Making sure that we close the tap completely after using.

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Closing the tap while brushing our teeth.

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Reducing the use of automatic toilet flush systems.

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Avoiding overflow of the rooftop water tanks by switching of the pumps correctly.

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Reducing the water usage consciously.