rain water harvestingThere are increasing signs that more and more industries will have to adopt more sustainable solutions to their business problems. Intelligent usage of finite resources, especially water, should be a pressing issue for all of us. Water is undoubtedly the most precious resource on the planet, and its scarcity means its management should be treated with utmost importance. Desalination of water on a large scale is expensive, but rainwater harvesting and the use of grey water are innovative ways to start making a small difference now. So, what is grey water and why are more progressive property managers seeing the benefits of rainwater harvesting? Grey water policies allows for “recycling” of water Grey water is any water that’s already been used – in either baths, showers, basins, sinks or gutters. Recycling grey water is a sustainable way to reuse it – for example, it can be used to irrigate plants without further wasting this precious resource. The positive spinoffs are numerous: recycling water is beneficial for everyone, and it also means that you save money on your municipal water bill and rates. Grey water is also a lot easier to recycle than blackwater (water from toilets) because it contains less contaminants. Rain water harvesting cuts costs and attracts higher paying customers There are cases when it doesn’t pay to be the innovator of a particular trend or movement. This is owing to the fact that it is initially quite an expensive process and the returns might not be that great. However, when it comes to rain water harvesting – or any other green building trend adopted by property managers – the opposite is true.
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The most progressive property managers are adopting rainwater harvesting and other green building trends because:
  • Cost savings – In a resource-scarce era, there is always a need to reduce consumption. By adopting rainwater harvesting as a natural source of water at practically no cost, the incentive to go this route is self-explanatory.
Rainwater that is stored is essentially free fresh water that can be used in place of tap water, and its usage cuts down on municipal rates which can only be a good thing.
  •  Reduce carbon footprint – many businesses are trying to reduce their carbon footprint so that they can differentiate themselves in the market and have a positive impact on the community they serve.
Although a more costly expense, we fortunately do find many companies who are committed to environmentally-friendly practices so that future generations might enjoy our planet. Recycled water cleans windows the “Green Way” Rainwater harvesting not only assists with the watering of plants, but also the cleaning of windows for tall buildings.  Eco-friendly buildings have a large number of windows that let in natural light for large portions of the day. If you strive to make your building more environmentally friendly, the water-fed pole system utilized by The Specialists to clean windows is a viable solution, as well as a practical application of rainwater harvesting. This process uses regular water (from a rainwater tank or tap) and puts it through a de-ionisingtank. De-ionised water breaks the surface tension on glass and releases the dirt – eliminating the need for chemicals. It is clear that innovative, eco-conscious people are the early adopters of new technologies and methods that aid in water conservation - they see past the short-term difficulties or obstacles, and focus on the long-term gains.
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Rainwater harvesting is an efficient and inexpensive concept and widespread usage of it will go a long way to start solving our water scarcity problems. Property managers have a great opportunity to become environmental trendsetters.   Image Credit: Pamba Boma
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