Have you ever wondered how much water you consume when you take a shower or wash the dishes? Well, your best guess is as good as ours because quite frankly, most of us only learn our total water con- sumption every few months. Water passes through your water meter, your total consumption is measured and then you just receive a bill.
We only learn how much water we consume every few months
But wait a minute! You can buy a simple energy meter from a hard- ware store, plug it in your TV and monitor its energy usage every sec- ond of the time, all the time. Why can’t we do the same for the water we consume? Well it’s simple. Water and electric- ity don’t mix! Please don’t try it, but trust us. It is a challenge to devise miniaturized low cost devices to accurately monitor water consump- tion. So we are left only with the tried water meter, the same device used for over a century now.
Plenty of modern meters for electricity, none for water.
As a result, when water utilities, engineers and researchers try to understand and analyze our water consumption, they work with information of low granularity. Is this a problem for you as well? Well, yes! The way we price water, manage the water delivery net- work and invest to improve it, but most crucially, the way we forecast whether we have enough water in the future, is simply not as good as it could be!
Water demand management is lacking detailed consumption data
And you! With so limited informa- tion on how/when/why you con- sume water, how can you improve its use? How can you help preserve drinking water and reduce your con- sumption?
This would not only safeguard our wa- ter resources, but also lead to reduc- tion in energy use and CO2 emissions.
Energy use for hot water is com- parable to what your domestic ap- pliances consume (16% vs. 21%). Also, 5.7% of total CO2 emis- sions result from our water use.
Energy consumption at home and CO2 emissions highly depend on hot water usage
Then why don’t we do something about it? We are.