It is no secret that water is one of the most sought-after resources on the planet. In fact, in 2017 the CDC reported that more than 785 million people did not have access to at least basic water services, and more than 884 million people did not have safe water to drink. At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the UN General Assembly declared March 22nd World Day for Water. The intentions of the day are to celebrate this important resource and raise awareness of the abundance of people living without access to safe water. In the world of architecture, 2022 has been heavily focused on the idea of sustainability. Because so much of our water usage happens in our homes, architects may be the first line of defense against overuse. Here are some of the ways that architects can incorporate water preservation into their designs.
The U.S. EPA says that residential irrigation systems are responsible for 8 billion gallons of water per day. To be more sustainable, architects can plant drought-resistant grass instead of an irrigation system.
Low-flow bathroom fixtures
Installing low flow taps, toilets and showerheads will significantly reduce your daily water usage. The EPA states that to qualify as low-flow: your toilet’s flush should not exceed more than 1.6 gallons of water per flush, and your showerhead should use less than 2.5 gallons per minute.
The U.S. Geological Survey says that the average American citizen uses between 80 to 100 gallons of water each day, a lot of which is a result of lengthy showers. Enter the shower timer, a device created to track water and power usage while reducing waste. As with any technological device, shower timers are offered in a variety of models. At different price points you will find that many of these devices have the same overall goal, but may vary in features.
Collecting and reusing rainwater is an effective method of reducing your water waste. There are a few different systems that can be used for this, including rain barrels, “dry” systems, and “wet” systems. Although each system is effective in water conservation, people may prefer one to the other depending on their lifestyle. For instance, a “wet” system is the only option that can be located away from your house but it is also the most expensive.
Instant hot water systems
I’m sure most of us are guilty of letting the shower run and not getting in until the water is sufficiently hot. This method will eliminate that waiting time by using tankless on-demand systems that are electric or gas to heat the water immediately. Not only will this reduce water waste, but it will also contribute to long-term savings on water bills.
Aside from the simple fact that they are far more convenient, installing dishwashers in a home can also contribute to significant water conservation. Modern dishwashers are designed with water preservation in mind, and cleaning all of the dishes at once leads to tremendously less water waste than cleaning each one by hand.
If you would like to learn more about World Water Day, be sure to visit worldwaterday.org. And if you would like to contribute to spreading awareness, we encourage you to participate in their one minute challenge for social media. They are calling on people to record a one-minute video discussing how groundwater affects your life, if there is enough, if it is safe, and what you think needs to be done to protect it. If you take part in the challenge, tag Designblendz and we will repost it on our page!