The vast majority of water used in an apartment complex is used inside the apartments. While it is often assumed that pools, spas and retail tenants are to blame for large water bills, studies using sub-metering show this is rarely the case. It is common for 90% or more of water use in an apartment building to be used inside the apartments – in showers, toilets, taps, leaks, washing machines and dishwashers.
In most complexes individual apartments are not separately metered, so there’s a single bill for all water used and owners pay for every drop of water based on their unit entitlement - irrespective of the conservation efforts of themselves or their tenants. So owners corporations need to proactively approach water consumption on a building-wide basis rather than merely looking at water use on common property.
The amount of water consumed can also impact your energy consumption. The greater the water demand, the greater the amount of energy that may be needed to pump it to where it is required.
With water and energy costs set to rise continuously, the financial benefits of smart usage and reduction will make owners’ agreement to sustainable changes easier to obtain. Some projects can be shown 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 be able to allocate more of your levies to your sinking fund to help pay for more expensive sustainability initiatives.
The basic steps in reducing your building’s water consumption are:
- Know where your water is used
- Know what your water costs
- Reduce your water demand
- Capture and/or re-use water