What’s the problem?
NYC is fortunate (so far) to receive more than an adequate supply of good fresh water from the Catskill/Delaware and Croton watersheds. However, increasing consumption and aging infrastructure are putting pressure on the system.
Water Use Reduction: City water reduction measures have reduced consumption by 25% since 1991 including a very successful toilet rebate program, which switched out 1.3 million 3.5 gal toilets for 1.6 gal toilets, reducing water and wastewater demands by 7% alone.
The amount of raw sewage required to be treated/processed is steadily increasing.
What can I do ?
- Install rain collection devices. Note that if you have a green roof, there will be less water to harvest!
- Plant drought resistant, regionally appropriate plants.
- Use the water produced from the de-humidifier in summer to water the plants.
- Install a greywater system (very intensive with respect to plumbing) and expensive. It uses the wastewater from sinks and showers to use in toilets and air conditioning sytems. Requires huge storage tanks.
- Low flow showerheads: Standard showerheads operate at typically 2.5g/min. The low-flow type hasn’t worked so well but there are several new ones on the market that are pressure assisted rather than just low-flow restricted and use about 2.0 g/min.
- Sinks (Lavatories): Foot controls are recommended, which are more sanitary also, plus a low-flow aerator which is less noticeable in a sink than a shower. Combined, you can reduce water usage by 66% from your sinks.
- Toilets: All toilets in NYC must be low-flow @ max. 1.6 gal/minute. Dual flush toilets have 2 buttons, one for liquids at 0.8 gal/min and one for solids at 1.6 gal/minute. Combined, you can reduce water usage by 1/3. Or…use composting toilets, no plumbing at all!
How this helps the environment:
Using alternative methods of watering plants will save
3 gallons/SF planted area/month of watering season
(eg. 1000 SF planted area saves 18,000 gallons)
How this helps you:
[this one relies on the global moral imperative to conserve water and provide clean water for all people on earth.]