It is often assumed that pools, spas, irrigation and retail tenants are to blame for large water bills; however studies show that this is rarely the case. It is common for 90% or more of water used in an apartment building to be used inside the apartments – in showers, toilets, taps, leaks, washing machines and dishwashers.
For tips on what you can do inside your apartment, check out Managing Water in Your Apartment
Research reveals that water use in strata can be cost effectively reduced by 10-40%. It is simply a matter of understanding where the opportunities lie.
In many complexes, individual apartments don’t have their own water meter - there is a single water meter for the entire building. In this case, owners corporations should proactively approach water consumption on a building-wide basis, rather than merely looking at water use on common property.
Water consumption can also affect your energy consumption if water needs to be pumped to where it’s needed - the greater the water demand, the greater the amount of energy required to pump it. In larger buildings over 10% of common property electricity can be used just to pump water around.
The financial benefits of smart usage and reduction will make owners’ agreement to sustainable changes easier to obtain. Some projects can pay back initial costs within 6 months, giving long-term savings beyond.
You’ll be able to reduce annual recurring expenses in your administrative fund, protect yourself against rising costs, and allocate more of your levies to your capital works fund to pay for more expensive sustainability initiatives.
This simple framework can help you take control of your water consumption and costs:
Pay less – understand what you’re paying for and make sure your bills are accurate
Use less – reduce water consumption in your building or on common property
Monitor & manage – keep an eye on your bills and water consumption, and jump on any problems when they occur