31 January 2011
It Pays To Be “Water Aware” With Lower Utility Expenses!
by North American Precis Syndicate (NAPS)
Water Awareness is nothing new to most community managers. When you see irrigation water flowing down the gutter, you are aware that the sprinklers may need adjusting.
When your make-ready team finds leaking faucets and toilets, you are aware that your former tenant did not tell anyone about the leaks.
Just being aware is not enough. How you react when you become aware of water issues is the key to long term solutions.
Most of the water needed for the near future will not come from desalinization, new dams, new wells or new aqueducts.
California will need to rely on water conservation to supply water for its growing needs in the near future.
What can a Community Manager do conserve this resource?
- Adjust your irrigation system
- Plan new landscape with native, drought resistant plants
- Install low-flush toilet and water-saving showerheads
- Do not hose down sidewalks and driveways – use a broom.
- Encourage residents to report leaks and repair them promptly (a recent study estimates that 12 percent of indoor water use can be attributed to leaks)
What can you do to encourage your residents to conserve?
Many communities have found that billing residents for their water use leads to dramatic decreases in overall water use and has increased the reporting of leaks.
A study sponsored jointly by the National Apartment Association and the National Multi-Housing Council has shown that implementing a utility billing program can reduce a property's water consumption by up to 20 percent.
Where can I get more information?
Your water supplier - a water agency, city, or private water service company - is one of the first places to look for information.
Many suppliers provide water conservation tips and offer special programs, such as rebates for high-efficiency appliances or plumbing fixtures.
If your community uses a utility billing service, ask them for resident conservation brochures and assistance with a conservation program.