14-16 May 2019

Sustainable Water Storage: Preparing for an Australian Water Crisis

Sustainable water storage and usage is a growing necessity for the Australian building and construction industry in the face of a looming national water crisis.

In 2015, the City of Perth came worryingly close to critically low levels of river inflows with 11.4 GigaLitres for the year. Meanwhile, the rapid population growth in other major Australian cities such as Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne contribute to lower water storage levels. A recent report from the United Nations mentioned the decline in water levels in Australia’s Murray-Darling basin as an indicator of an imminent Global water crisis.

Combined with the decline in rainfall and the effects of climate change, the demand for sustainable water supply solutions in the built environment and construction sites is higher than ever.

Roads, buildings and essentially anything made in cement needs water. Water is essential for drilling operations, soakaway testing, hydro-demolition, vehicle cleaning and maintenance, grouting, wet trades, waste management, and more. People need water for drinking, sanitary and washing purposes, temporary accommodations, bathrooms, and pantries. Water is vital, and it’s the industry’s responsibility to store and consume water in smarter and more effective ways.

Smart Water Consumption

In 2018, Australian communications and tech giant Telstra announced the upgrade of water reading meters across major cities. Their smart water meters run using Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) which provides real-time data on consumption, water supply tracking and loss measurement. The collection and analysis of data is a push in the right direction although there are still sceptics and opposers who wish to see more research and tests done before rolling out the technology. The technology is something that the building and construction industry can adopt on a micro level.

Water Leak Sensors

Leaks are a wasteful use of water, and when water is scarce, it comes with a price. Building pools, fountains, and water features require water for testing and operation. To mitigate the risk of leakage, use smart leak sensors to detect moisture or water content within slabs located under pools. The sensors can provide notifications and alerts across devices in real time.

Sustainable Water Storage

On-site Smart Water Tanks are another way to control water usage during the day. New wireless powered water storage products out in the market can manage water usage, monitor tank levels or control pumps using a wireless keypad from as far as 2-4 kilometres or more depending on the product.

Innovation is born out of necessity. Finding sustainable water storage and management solutions is only one of the many issues facing the Australian Building and Design community in response to the Australian Water Crisis.

About the Author: Spec-Net

This article was first published by DesignBUILD Media Partner, Spec-Net. The Spec-Net Building Directory commenced in 1994 and since then their news portal has grown to attract over 10 million visitors per annum. Their audience demographics are architects, designers, engineers, contractors, building companies, building manufacturers both commercial and domestic.

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