Water Resources Best Management Practices
Water and Energy Projects are catalysts in generating new employment opportunities and entrepreneurial efforts in communities that are in the forefront of managing watershed and water resources issues in urban and rural settings.
Resources Management and the Environment visit and study the efforts of communities that are in the forefront of water resources management and other environmentally sustainable practices in coastal and river waterfront development in small towns and large cities as well as agricultural communities. Local officials and nonprofit stewards of the environment, among others, will explain their policies, programs and best management practices in wastewater and watershed management, land conservancy issues, LEED certifications, recycling, rainwater collection and energy efficient systems.
Managing Water Resources
Communities are confronting new and complex challenges to achieve safe and affordable water supplies, collect and treat waste water and storm water, flood protection, rivers and streams for fishing and swimming. There are also challenges with aging infrastructure and the impact of climate change on human health and ecosystems.
Storm Water if rain is not properly managed and flows over impervious surfaces into the nearest storm drain, it can have a detrimental effect on rivers and streams. In an urban environment, storm water is also closely related to safety, flooding, waterway health and drinking water.
Challenges that Require New Infrastructure Investments and Approaches to Urban Water Resources
Waterways urbanization is responsible for many of the sources that contribute to waterway degradation. Increases in impervious surface area and runoff have negative effects on stream flow. Once the natural physical condition of a waterway is compromised by pollution or excessive runoff, it sets off a chain of degradation: erosion, water temperature changes and habitat loss.
Watershed groups, municipalities, agencies, and conservation groups working together to develop watershed and restoration plans, implement projects and return streams to healthy thriving systems by implementing watershed assessments and planning programs, quality control plans, floodplain protection, land use management and storm water best management practices and more.
Infrastructure Requires Continuous Inspection and Maintenance
Water Conservation the true cost of water in a property should be measured as the water rate + the sewer rate multiplied by the water consumption volume + plus fees and other associated costs. In addition, while the water usage profile varies by building type and use, mechanical systems account for 30 percent of water use in a typical building, with cooling towers nearly 50 percent and outdoor usage another 20-30 percent.
Water Heating Accounts for 8% of Energy Consumption in Commercial Buildings
Submeters help identify inefficiencies and malfunctions as leaks account for six percent of water usage and older fixtures consume up to five times more water prompting installation of leak detection systems.
Billing Meters Sub Meters Metrics Outdoors Landscaping O&M Irrigation
The Cost of Water is deceptively low as building owners and tenants pay for water twice – water supplied + water discharged to the sewer. Additional considerations include the cost of energy required to pump and heat water and rate increases over time from energy and water utilities. Cost control solutions and incentives range from fulfilling water requirements for building certifications, conducting water audits, inclusive of leak detection, to incorporating water efficiency into standard operating procedures and procurement policies.
Billing Issues verify your property’s rate class and meter size, read water meters regularly to verify usage – units and scale of readings should match bills and internal log books.
Bills can cover multiple meters with specific water usage for each; match all meters listed with their location and equipment covered. Record usage individually and ask utilities for credit on sewer charges for water lost to evaporation instead of being discharged to sewer, irrigation and cooling towers.
Meter and Sub-meter all sources of water to help identify areas for targeted reductions: city potable, reclaimed water and well water. Most facilities have one or two master meters supplying the whole building; others have one meter for an entire campus with multiple buildings. Subme-ters do not have to be on separate utility accounts and can help identify leaks and equipment inefficiencies or malfunctions.
Water Metrics the sum of all sources: Potable Water from public water systems and classified for human consumption. Reclaimed Water wastewater treatment plant effluent purchased from a public water system. Well Water obtained from wells, bore wells, and other groundwater sources. Natural Freshwater sources that are not municipally supplied, including surface water sources such as lakes or streams. Other Sources rainwater or storm water harvested onsite, sump pump water harvesting, gray water, air-cooling condensate, reject water from water purification systems, water reclaimed onsite, or water from other reuse strategies.
Outdoor Water Usage the amount of water used outdoors is dictated by landscape size and design, the need for supplemental irrigation, management of pools and other facilities. Outdoor water use is a primary driver of peak use.
Landscaping a well-designed, healthy, water-efficient landscape includes healthy soils to promote water infiltration and root growth, appropriate grading with gentle slopes, mulching of landscaped beds to keep soils cool and moist, drought-tolerant, native, or climate/regionally appropriate plant species, minimal turf area.
O&M maintain existing plantings and protect your investment in plants, remove weeds so water is available for desired plants, allow turf grass to grow longer to achieve deeper root growth, make shade and apply less water to shaded areas, minimize water used for other purposes, shut off water features whenever possible, recirculate in water features, sweep, don’t water hard surfaces.
Irrigation install rain shutoff devices or sensors, soil moisture-based control technologies and sprinklers. Maintenance check the system for broken or clogged sprinkler heads, move or adjust sprinkler components to avoid watering pavement, install and monitor water sub-meters for irrigation systems, monitor monthly use trends, audit irrigation system every three years.
Innovative Solutions for Your Home Neighborhood and Business
Urban Flooding many small towns across the country lose drinking water because of aging pipes, in addition, asphalt and concrete prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground. The solution to inadequate storm water and drinking water management: green infrastructure like rain gardens and bios wales.
Aging Pipes and Outdated Systems Waste 14 % of Daily Water Consumption
Water Losses from aging infrastructure and faulty metering lead to lost revenue for utilities and higher rates for water users. Also, increasing demand, maintenance and energy costs are responsible for a 90% increase in utility rates. This trend can be countered by best management practices BMP that include state-of-the-art audits, leak detection monitoring, targeted repairs and upgrades, pressure management, and better metering technologies.
Cost-effective Solutions for Homes Neighborhoods and Business
Your Home may be affected by water or sewage backup, basement seepage and flooding in your yard. A Full-Service Strategy comprises yard landscaping to manage storm water and increase property values. Coordinated Improvements are carried out by experts in landscaping, paving, plumbing, sewer and foundation repairs, waterproofing, gutters and downspouts.
Your Neighborhood flooding often affects multiple properties in a community, necessitating the participation of neighboring properties to improve local water management via risk mapping and low-cost flood reduction and mitigation. Solutions include: downspout disconnection and drywells, rain gardens and tree planting on parkways. Affordable improvements also address cracked or blocked sewer pipes and flooding from nearby creeks and ditches.
Benefits often include inclusion of storm water management into downtown improvement plans that lead to transportation amenities and economic revitalization, creation of pocket parks and wetlands to store and infiltrate storm water, restoration of tree canopies and river corridors, emergency planning and flood warning systems.
Outdoor Water Efficiency on average, single-family homes in the United States use 30 percent of their water outdoors; however, in some drier areas of the country, that number is as high as 70 percent. Experts estimate that up to half of the water applied to a landscape is wasted by evaporation, wind, or runoff due to improper irrigation system design, installation, and maintenance.
Watershed programs help to reduce storm water runoff that harms the waterways by installing green infrastructure such as rain barrels, green roofs, rain gardens, permeable pavers and shade trees; these practices allow rainwater to stay on site and soak into the ground.
A Storm Water Management concept is a statement or drawing describing how storm water runoff from a proposed development will be controlled to minimize damage to neighboring properties and receiving streams and to also prevent the discharge of pollutants into surface waters. The goal is to mitigate the effects of development on the receiving stream system.