Water is one of Earth’s most precious and basic of all resources; utterly essential for life. As the population increases so does our use of water, and natural freshwater sources such as lakes, rivers, and aquifers, are increasingly being depleted faster than nature can refill them. According to the UN, inefficient use of water is one four factors contributing to current and projected water stresses throughout the world.
Thankfully, it is also the most fixable. When building a sustainable home with Deltec, it is easy, and yet essential, to keep good water-saving practices in mind.
The colors on the map above indicate daily domestic water use per person, while the numbers in each state represent projected population change. A finite water supply combined with a growing population and with high domestic water use means water conservation will become more and more essential in assuring sustainable water resources and equitable access to water. Source: US EPA, WaterSense
When outfitting your new Deltec with faucets, toilets, and showerheads, the Environmental Protection Agency has made it easier than ever to make water-efficient choices with its new WaterSense program. Similar to the Energy Star label on energy-efficient appliances, products earning the WaterSense label use significantly less water than average fixtures of the same year and type, and compared to water fixtures of old, can save each person thousands of gallons a year.
Selecting appliances can also be done with water-use in mind, as many are not aware that the Energy Star label for dishwashers and clothes washers also takes into account the water use of the appliance. Frontloading washers are a popular and especially sustainable idea, using much less water and wringing more water out during the washing process–making the energy-hogging dryer’s work that much less.
Powerful water saving strategies can be incorporated into the design of your Deltec as well. Locating your hot water storage tank on the same side of your house as common locations of hot water use, such as kitchen sinks and showers, reduces the distance that hot water must travel and thus the amount of time one must wait, after turning on a faucet, until hot water arrives.
Clustering bathrooms near each other helps makes proximity to your hot water source easier. Since even extremely efficient fixtures can waste as many as 7 gallons while waiting for hot water, thinking ahead about your home design can equate to considerable yearly water savings.
Water down the drain also equals energy down the drain, as long pipe distances allow hot water to cool off before it reaches you. Of course, if you really want to save the on energy costs of heating water, you could install a solar hot water heater from Deltec, and provide most of your hot water needs with free energy from the sun.
Many Deltec owners find additional opportunities to incorporate water efficiency into their daily lives with systems like rain barrels or even “gray water” recycling. Rain barrels allow you to store the rainwater coming from your gutters, and gray water systems collect the drain water from kitchen and bathroom sinks, all saved for applications where water need not come from our precious drinkable supply.
Up to 56% of summertime residential water use in the United States goes to lawn and landscaping irrigation, so using saved water for this purpose is a winning idea. Doubly sustainable is landscaping with native plant species, already adapted to the rain conditions in your area. Reducing your need for irrigation plus honoring and enjoying the plants which already thrive around you helps to you tread especially lightly on the earth.
Want to know more? Here’s some helpful links: Water Sense, UN Water Facts