Art & Design 22·03·2019
ECO designs for saving water lifestyle
The latest report by the United Nations estimates that water shortages will have affected 5.700 million people by 2050. The Drops Roof system plates, the SmartWater device and the ECO technology applied to bathroom equipment all promote the conscious and responsible use of energy.
World population growth, economic development and the changes in consumer models have had an influence on natural assets, water supplies and the global ecosystem capacity. International bodies, governments, official entities and institutions have developed an action programme in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, set up by the United Nations Organisation (UNO) in 2015.
This 17-objective programme has five key principles or “P”: Planet, People, Prosperity, Peace and Alliances; and it deals with some subjects such as wiping out poverty and famine in the world, preserving food safety, the promotion of sustainable economic growth and water accessibility. “Today more than ever, we must work with nature instead of working against it. Water demands will increase in all sectors. The challenge we must all face is that of having the demand met in a way which does not exacerbate the negative impact on ecosystems. There is far too much at stake”, remarked Audrey Azoulay in a statement, Director-General of the UNESCO.
In view of this situation, from architecture and interior design, several eco-sustainable initiatives that reduce water consumption and promote responsible energy use have been put forward:
1. Drops Roof: Make the most of the water through dew and rain for household use
Created by the architect, Elisabeth González, Drops Roof is a plate system which is installed in the roof of a building to collect water through dew and rain. Its own mechanism allows water to be filtered for 24 hours, therefore supplying the house with the general water demand which it requires. According to the research that González herself carried out in 2015, each plate could both filter and collect more than 2.236 litres of water a year.
2. SmartWater or how to reduce water consumption by half
Rafael Rodrigo and Francisco Pelegero wondered how they could avoid water waste at home during the temperature control. The solution was achieved with their very own hands, namely: SmartWater. This device reduces water consumption by half, 20% of energy and 30% of CO2 emissions.
In this way, from the moment you open the tap until the water is regulated, SmartWater diverts cold water to a tank where it is stored until it is needed. Through the push button which is installed next to the tap, hot water runs without the need to waste not even a single drop. A solution linked to the growth of Smart Cities.
3. Banking on sustainable agriculture
UNESCO estimates that agricultural activities use up between 60% and 70% of the world’s fresh water, and it is not only putting the general use of
water at risk, but also the crops which are planted in the fields. Tools like Hydroball by the FSINGENIUM Team optimise the use of water, measuring the available water and the water resources which are used on the crops with precision.
4. Bioclimatic architecture for self-sufficient houses
Bioclimatic architecture takes advantage of weather conditions in order to reduce the impact on the environment, and furthermore, it distributes energy resources in the home equally. Among its characteristics, we highlight the proper ventilation, the overall wall insulation, waste recycling and the use of renewable energy.
5. WaterForest: homes in which every last drop counts
According to the National Institute of Statistics, in Spain an average of 136 litres is used by each person. From this total usage, some 73% is from the bathroom.
Given this situation, Noken’s WaterForest program reduces water consumption by up to 83% with ECO technology. Its ECO aerators limit the flow of the taps by up to 2 litres per minute compared to the 12 litres per minute of a conventional one, and furthermore, its ECO double flushing systems allow the consumption to be adapted to each particular need (a 56% saving).
Water as a human right
Guaranteeing water quality and protecting the natural environment with sustainable policies is key for facing water extinction and social inequalities. Water sanitation and the allocation of resources are some of the guidelines to be followed in order to guarantee equal opportunities. This is reflected in objective 6 from the United Nations Development Program, which states that about 1.000 children die each day due to preventable diseases related to water and its sanitation.
Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s General Manager: “Water pollution has been getting worse since the 1990s in most of the rivers in Africa, Asia and Latin America“
Another remarkable feature of this text is that 80% of the wastewater that comes from human activities is dumped into waterways without eliminating the contamination. “Modern day trends indicate that two thirds of forests and wetlands have been lost or impoverished since the beginning of the 20th century. Soil is being eroded and its quality is deteriorating. Water contamination has got worse since the 1990s in most of the rivers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Thoughts that are picked up in the UN World Report on the Development of Water resources 2018: Solutions based on nature for water management.
After analysing the shortfalls and the necessities of the citizens and their habits regarding the use of water, the study points out that by 2050, the lack of drinking water will have affected a third of the world’s population which, could even rise to 5.700 million people.
By 2050, calculations say that the number of people at risk from floods could be 1.600 million, 20% of the world’s population.
An estimation based on the global use of water, whose increase has been multiplied by six in the last 100 years at a rate of approximately 1% a year. Following on from these figures, the number of people at risk from floods today could reach 1.200 million, reaching 1.600 million by 2050. (20% of the world’s population).
As well as that, the population affected by the deterioration of the soil, desertification and drought will rise up to an average of 1.800 people. ”More than 2.000 million people do not have access to drinking water, and more than the double cannot bank on having access to safe sanitation. Due to the rapid increase of the world’s population, an increase in the demand for water is expected to increase by nearly a third by 2050. In light of the accelerated use pattern, the growing decline of the environment and the multifaceted impact of climate change; it is clear that we must specify new management methods for our valuable water resources”, Gilbert F. Houngbo states, president of the UN-Water and director of IFAD.
- 0.1 1. Drops Roof: Make the most of the water through dew and rain for household use
- 0.2 2. SmartWater or how to reduce water consumption by half
- 0.3 3. Banking on sustainable agriculture
- 0.4 4. Bioclimatic architecture for self-sufficient houses
- 0.5 5. WaterForest: homes in which every last drop counts
- 1 Water as a human right