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Brief Introduction

Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally way to reduce our demand for water. Water conservation is a key link between balancing current and future water needs. The available water conservation technology focuses on resources for local businesses, industries, communities and individuals. The roles of government and especially the private sector in water management are being radically reappraised. The EU Water Framework Directive requires EU Member States to ensure, by 2010, that water-pricing policies provide adequate incentives to use water resources efficiently and to recover the true costs of water services in an equitable manner. Most countries are progressing towards water pricing systems. Investing in water supply and sanitation has produced benefits far greater than those directly related to the cost of treating water-related diseases. However the main water loss of a water supply system is caused primarily by leakages in the pipe system. Other influences such as loose fittings and joints and water meters can cause permanent loss. Approximately 60% of the non-domestic water supplied by Sligo County Council is used by the Commercial Sector. This category includes all users other except the farming sector. All of these customers currently are already paying for water on a meter basis. The amount of water used by the larger users within this sector is usually very well controlled as failure to do can result in substantial increased costs. The majority of the leakage was found since the introduction of meters. In the rural areas in Ireland most of the water consumption is for farming. Some farmers have large numbers of animals and use treated water for their stock and for all farming purposes.

It can be very difficult to detect and fix leaks in the pipe line, replace old faulty pipes which continue to cause problems. Water troughs and other watering systems are sometimes not turned off during the winter months. In County Sligo approximately 40% of the non-domestic water usage is used in the agricultural sector. A number of farmers have more than one connection and some have up to 8 connections. Population distribution and density are key factors influencing the availability of water resources. Increased urbanisation concentrates water demand and can lead to the over exploitation of local water resources. The water required for drinking and other domestic purposes is a significant proportion of the total water demand. Higher standards of living are changing water demand patterns. This is reflected mainly in increased domestic water use, especially for personal hygiene. The result is that most of urban water consumption in Ireland is for domestic use. Most of the water use in households is for toilet flushing (33%), bathing and showering (20-32%), and for washing machines and dishwashers (15%). The proportion of water used for cooking and drinking (3%) is minimal compared to the other uses. Tourist water use is generally higher than water use by residents. A tourist in Ireland consumes around 400 litres per day; European household consumption is around 150-200 litres and the Irish consumption in urban areas is over 250 litres. In addition, recreational activities such as swimming pools, golf, and other sports contribute to put pressure on water resources. All of these customers currently are not paying for the water they use. One of the biggest problems is that there is not an incentive to control and save water for any of the categories users.

Case studies in County Sligo

We have selected water users and divided in three basic categories for our study: houses (domestic); commercials (non-domestic); and farmers (part-domestic). We will set up loggers in their main connection and study their consumption for about 6 months. Through that period of time we will install in those users water green technology available on the market. ory, there will be two controls without no technology implementation. We will analyse the collected data and evaluate which type of green technology will save money and water for each category.
The implemented technology will be installed at three different stages:

STAGE 1 -Aerators (tap flow reducers).
-Shower head flow reducers.
-Double Toilets Flush Systems.
-Aerators (tap flow reducers).
-Shower head flow reducers.
-Double Toilets Flush Systems.
-Flow reducers.
-Daily Flow Controllers.
-Leak detectors.
STAGE 2 -Leak detectors or leak alarms.
-Water saving education lessons.
-Leak detectors or leak alarms. -Real time Flow Controller.
-Rain Water System for animal drinking purposes.
STAGE 3 -Rain Water System for non potable purposes (flushing toilets, washing car, cleaning the house…).
-Real time Flow Controller.
-Rain Water System for non-potable purposes (flushing toilets).
-Real time Flow Controller.
-Rain Water System for non potable purposes with filters and diverters.