Water conservation is a critical issue for multifamily properties, as they often have a large number of residents who use a significant amount of water on a daily basis. Reducing water usage can not only help to preserve natural resources, but it can also lead to cost savings for both the building owner and residents. Here are some ways that multifamily property owners can reduce their water usage:
1. Install low-flow plumbing fixtures.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce water usage in a multifamily property is to install low-flow plumbing fixtures, such as toilets, showerheads, and faucets. These fixtures use significantly less water than traditional fixtures without sacrificing performance.
2. Implement a water conservation program.
A water conservation program can help educate residents and provide them with the tools and resources they need to reduce their water usage. This could include information on how to fix leaks, the benefits of using drought-resistant plants, and turning off the tap when brushing teeth or washing dishes.
3. Repair leaks.
Leaks can be a major source of water waste in multifamily properties. Regularly inspecting and repairing pipes and fixtures can help to reduce the amount of water lost.
4. Install a rainwater harvesting system.
Harvesting rainwater reduces water used for irrigation, landscaping, and other non-potable purposes. By installing a rainwater harvesting system, you can collect and store rainwater for later use, reducing the amount of water drawn from municipal sources.
5. Use greywater systems.
Greywater systems recycle used water from sinks, showers, and other sources for non-potable purposes, such as irrigation and toilet flushing. By using greywater systems, you can significantly reduce your multifamily property’s water usage while lowering its water bills.
6. Use artificial turf instead of grass.
While this may be expensive initially, it will significantly reduce your property’s water usage. Artificial turf is also very low maintenance and doesn’t require weekly mowing, so you’ll accrue significant savings.
7. Encourage water-efficient behaviors.
Encouraging residents to adopt water-efficient behaviors can also make a significant impact on water usage.
Multifamily property owners often mention their water use mitigation efforts in their marketing materials in order to attract new tenants. Millennials are, as a group, very conscious of their environmental footprint, and many of them support water conservation efforts. Residents in regions like California, which has been reeling from a very persistent drought, are especially sensitive to this message as well.
Several cities offer a variety of incentives to multifamily properties that participate in water conservation. For example, Austin, TX, and Denver, CO, both employ conservation rebate programs. Seattle, WA also offers conservation rebates through its Saving Water Partnership.
There are many ways that multifamily properties can reduce their water usage and promote water conservation. By implementing strategies such as installing low-flow plumbing fixtures, implementing a water conservation program, repairing leaks, and using greywater systems, multifamily property owners can make a significant impact on water conservation while also reducing costs. The multifamily property can also reap significant city incentives depending on its location.
About the Author:
Veena Jetti is the founding partner of Vive Funds, a unique commercial real estate firm that specializes in curating conservative opportunities for investors.