Water Conservation Central: How to Save Water
Without Wasting Other Resources
Integrated, optimized design for the conservation of water, energy and other resources.
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Reduce, reuse, recycle...in that order. Reducing water use, by conservation, is generally more beneficial than reusing it, and is thus the first priority.
This page serves as an index to the large amount of water conservation and water conservation related resources on oasisdesign.net.
A common mistake is to take a narrow view to water conservation, and end up wasting energy to save water, or wasting materials to save water and energy.
As always, the best results are obtained with an integrated, context-specific design; one that takes every consideration into account, and is custom-tailored to the circumstance.
Ecological Systems Design—General information on Integrated Design
Principles of Ecological Design (article)—General information on Integrated Design
Ecological design examples—Examples, many featuring integrated water, wastewater, energy, and food solutions.
Eco Home Checklist (pdf)—a menu of many water conservation and integrated design features
Always consider efficient fixtures before looking to reuse water from them.
Eco-luxury bathing chamber—a super water and energy efficient, high comfort shower design
Water efficiency in LEED standards—the mainstream green take on efficient fixtures
Stealth brand UHE toilet—a 0.8 gpf Ultra High Efficiency toilet that we're testing at our house since early 2010 (see photo). Half the water of a regular low flow toilet, half the noise, and it works fine so far (though a bit cramped on the seat). 7-6-2010 update: just had a two day party with 70 people and this one toilet...it worked flawlessly with zero intervention!
Composting toilets conserve water by not using water.
Greywater systems conserve water, energy, and chemicals, as well as reducing nutrient pollution and extending septic system life, by reusing washwater for irrigation.
Laundry to Landscape —The simplest, most economical DIY greywater system
Edible landscaping conserves water by using greywater or other irrigation to grow healthy food right outside the home. Growing vegetables and fruit with greywater avoids the use of water in agricultural areas, like California's Central Valley or the overdrawn Delta, and prevents ecological costs associated with transporting that produce to the home.
Harvesting rooftop rainwater helps conserve water by substituting rainwater for other sources. Infiltrating all runoff saves some irrigation water, banks water in aquifers for a sunny day, and reduces flooding.
Water Storage (book)—includes information on storing rooftop rainwater in tanks, and runoff in soil, infiltration ponds, or aquifers
Storage relieves pressure on water supplies by covering peaks in demand and smoothing out variations in supply.
Storage can also be used to:
- provide water security in case of supply interruptions or disaster
- save your home from fire
- improve water quality
The most ecological water supply relies:
- Primarily on rainwater
- Secondarily on reused water
- Lastly on surface or groundwater
Oasis Design is a widely recognized provider of useful water conservation information. As a water conservation district or other government agency, linking to our information saves the considerable cost of developing, and the even larger cost of maintaining separate pamphlets or PDFs on the topics above (Our greywater book, for example, is in its 17th revision). We try to maintain our links stable over time. If you link your organization to our information resources, please E mail us so we know you are relying on those pages.
If you are part of a government agency and you want to share our information with visitors to your web site, you are not alone. A few of the examples of government agencies who have linked to our information:
- City of Huntington Beach, CA "Art Ludwig, the graywater guru, maintains an excellent and objective website detailing graywater systems and their use from a practical and common sense approach. The website will hopefully answer any questions on graywater systems..."
- Butte County Environmental Health Department
- Santa Barbara City Water Conservation resources
- Santa Barbara City Greywater resources
- San Francisco Water p. 81, 82
- Santa Cruz County
- Santa Monica City Office of Sustainability and the Environment
- Santa Rosa City Utilities Department
- Cochise County Cooperative Extesion
- Washington State Department of Health
- Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality
California Urban Water Conservation Council award
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