Summer has just kicked in. One of the key challenges during summers in Apartment Complexes, packed with modern amenities, is to meet the water demands for keeping all the amenities working and avoid water scarcity.
Typically, it’s seen that Apartment Residents consume anything between 140 to 250 litres of water per day! During rest of the year, most apartment complexes can meet their water requirements through municipality water supply or bore well water. In summer, dependency on external sources like water tankers goes up, which puts a lot of financial strain on apartment residents and management committee members.
During peak summer a water tanker cost may vary from 500 Rs. to 1,500 Rs, amounting to a monthly expenditure of a few lakhs depending on the size of the apartment complex. Also, quality of water provided through tankers are not good.
Apartment Communities are like mini cities which face same problems which are faced by cities in a larger scale, water, security, power, waste management. Many an innovative solution has come from Apartment Communities where natural leaders come up trying to solve issues like water scarcity for their home.
This summer, here are a few things as Apartment Residents, you can do differently to avoid water scarcity, to reduce your expenditure and also lessen the strain put on our natural resources. We have seen these solutions work and reap benefits to avoid water scarcity in apartment complexes across India.
Form a dedicated subcommittee that will get all the below done in a focused manner, and you should be having a more manageable water supply this summer!
1. Fix the Leaks!
In any Apartment Complex, 30-70% of the flats will have some leakage or the other, depending on the age of the fittings.
Even a minor leak, like 20 drops per minute adds up to waste around 180 litres of water per month! So a 200 Unit apartment complex is losing 36,000 litres of water per month.
There can be leakages in pumps, bore wells, tanks, which should be checked once before the summer sets in. Make sure the borewells are metered and monitored regularly. In case there are serious leaks or seepages in the tanks/sumps then do take immediate steps to repair or waterproof them.
2. Install Water Spray or Water Flow Reducers
A water spray is no sophisticated appliance! It is simply that kitchen tap showerhead that gives a wider flow of water making washing of dishes possible with much less water!
Have the Plumber install this mandatorily in all the Kitchen Taps. He can do it while he visits to check for leaky taps!
Water flow reducers also help a lot. Sigma One Hsg. Society, Pune who installed water flow reducers reduced overall water consumption by around 40%.
3. Watch the Water Tanker Entries!
During Summer almost every Apartment Complex ends up ordering Private Tankers when the city water supply plus the borewells are not sufficient.
This is one of the biggest variable Expenses for Apartment Complexes. Often there is pilferage with respect to Water Tankers. In a day when you order 7 Water Tankers, there may be an Entry in the Register of 7 Water Tankers, whereas actually, 4 have come.
A security gate management software like ADDA GateKeeper that records the entry, exit details of the water tanker also makes the information instantly visible to the apartment residents. Such SaaS based solutions can bring in a lot of transparency and save a lot of money for apartment complexes.
4. Involve Everyone!
The Domestic Staff are great ambassadors for awareness. If they show responsibility with Water usage in each home they work in, Residents feel embarrassed if they are not responsible too!
Hold sessions for the Maids, Car Cleaners to understand the need to save water. Show them impactful videos followed by what they can do to use minimal water.
Make sure that the facility manager is aware of the various practices to follow water conservation while maintaining your facilities like swimming pool, fire-fighting systems, etc.
And above all, let the actual numbers speak! Every month publish the Water Expense report from your Expense Tracker to all Residents! Let them be conscious if the bills are rising and rejoice if the bills are coming down!
5. Get started on initiatives which can fetch returns to complexes for many summers to come
Rain Water Harvesting
Rainwater collected from the roofs of houses or from specially prepared areas of ground, can make an important contribution to drinking water.
Apartment complexes who has implemented RWH have reported that from ½ hour to 45 mins rain, water worth 3-4 tankers of water can be saved. In around 3 years apartment complexes typically break even after doing such RWH installations.
Setting water meters for Individual Homes is the most important Tool to tell people this is a scarce resource. These meters provide metrics to monitor water usage of each apartment and accordingly they are charged. Apartment Complexes report around 20% reduction in water consumption after implementing water metering.
Many Apartment Complexes today uses recycled water for landscaping, toilet flush tanks, etc. These initiatives help bring down water-related costs radically. There are also few extremely forward thinking apartment complexes like TZED Homes, Bangalore, who uses recycled sewage water for all their water requirements, even for drinking. They have become independent with their water requirements, using special treatment plants which produce water which purer than what’s provided by water tankers and municipality.
We have seen that without the use of a SaaS-based apartment complex communication & management tool like ADDA, initiating and driving such initiatives are very difficult. With tools like these, the management committee members can easily communicate the need for such initiatives, gather the opinion of residents, send notices, updates during the implementation. Also as expenses, vendor payments, tracking of issues and projects can be easily done through these tools, overall management becomes much easier.