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Solutions for sustainability in the 21st Century

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rachaelmurphey

There are numerous renewable solutions for water conservation that are easily implemented by businesses and in residential areas. Five renewable solutions for water conservation include:

·         Rainwater Harvesting

·         Dedicated residential water containers

·         Energy efficient water-saving sprinkler systems

·         Water conservation monitoring systems

·         Green landscaping initiatives
 

Rainwater Harvesting

Harvesting rainwater is not a new idea. It has been around for centuries in rural and urban areas where water supplies tended to be less abundant. The Mayans built their entire agricultural economy on this concept. Rainwater harvesting, as the name implies, is simply rain water collected and reused for farm crops and landscape purposes. Today's rainwater harvesting systems are adapted for commercial, industrial and residential use. 

Many new structures include a rainwater harvesting system to reduce the cost of municipal water supplied to homes and buildings. Water is collected into rainwater harvesting systems from moisture in humid indoor air and roof and gutters. This water is transferred through a filtration system to an underground storage tank equipped with a pump and an outlet for reuse of collected water. New York City has over 140 of these rainwater harvesting systems.

 

Dedicated Residential Water Containers
In many residential areas, homeowners purchase water containers to collect rainwater. This is similar to large municipal water tanks seen in most every town. The difference is the size. Dedicated residential water containers are generally conical or horizontal tank shapes. They hold from 500 to 2400 gallons of collected water and are made from polypropylene or plastic. Some are attached to exterior residential structures or are built indoors in a basement, depending on the sources from which water is collected.
 

Energy Efficient Water-saving Sprinkler Systems

An energy efficient sprinkler system is cost-effective and the biggest benefit is a renewable solution to conserve water. Recent developments in technology have improved the efficiency of sprinkler systems in both energy consumption and water usage.  For example, Smart Rain’s Smart Controller can detect weather patterns and turn off sprinklers when precipitation makes watering redundant. The Smart Controller also detects broken sprinkler heads or irrigation lines. This prevents unnecessary waste of water, and can result in 15%-30% savings and possibly tax benefits. For larger water sprinkler needs in farming and large landscaping, drip systems can save 30,000 gallons of water per year or more.
 

Water Conservation Monitoring Systems
In many municipalities, water conservation monitoring systems are used to gauge overall water volume conserved through local water saving initiatives. Some of these are "remote" monitoring systems for greater vigilance. 
 

Green Landscaping Initiatives
With the growth of the professional landscaping industry, green landscaping initiatives include training in water conservation from one landscaping project to the next to ensure cost-effective, timely residential and commercial landscaping.

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