Sustainability Planning and Water Management

May 16, 2011 10:15 AM ET

Green Business Views

It is an old saying, “You never miss the water until the well goes dry“. In many parts of the world, water is plentiful and safe. However, there are many places where water is scarce and not safe. 97.5% is salt water, and the rest of the water isn’t always accessible or drinkable.

Scientists tell us that less than 1% of the world’s water supply is drinkable or potable. A good portion of that water is underground, in snow and ice, or in lakes.

Any pollution of the water supply only aggravates a very serious world issue. This belies that fact of an exploding world population. Suffice it to say that we all know countless areas of the world where water is as scarce as gold, and nearly as precious. This gives rise to the need for water management for families and companies regardless of available supply in the community.

The good news is that water is being replenished day after day, but it is under more and more stress. As communities develop, populations increase, and manufacturing grow; the demand for water will be potentially be the next environmental crisis. Like so many resources, there is a need to treat water as a precious commodity.

Without beating this subject to death, we have all see countless examples of wasteful water use. There are sprinkler systems running in a rainstorm, or a broken sprinkler shooting a 20 foot arc of water into the street.

Hotels and other businesses with large grassy areas often have hidden leaks that can pour hundreds of gallons of water into the soil. The loss of water from the water source to the end user is less than 30% of what enters the system. The older the system, the worse the water loss will be.

Replacing municipal water systems will be very expensive and a major intrusion. There are many things that nearly any home or facility could do to improve the waste of yet another commodity.


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