Wa­ter ways

Element - - Enterprise -

HOW WE CAN BEST PRO­TECT OUR FRESH WA­TER

WET­LANDS GREEN ROOFS RAIN WA­TER TANKS WA­TER­WAY PLANT­ING FARM­ING WASTE­WATER TOI­LETS STORMWATERTER RAIN GAR­DEN PLANT­ING SHOWER POL­LU­TION WA­TER SOURCES

Less than 10% of orig­i­nal wet­lands re­main. Wet­lands are the ‘kid­neys’ of the land, fil­ter­ing and slow­ing the flow of wa­ter, con­trol­ling flood­ing and re­duc­ing pol­lu­tants. In Auck­land a green roof of 60mm depth will re­tain 72% of an­nual rain­fall. They help re­duce peak flows dur­ing rain­fall by a huge 93%. At least 10m of ri­par­ian plant­ing around all wa­ter­ways These can be hooked up to your laun­dry or bath­room to pro­vide ‘grey wa­ter’ sys­tems – wash­ing ma­chines, toi­lets etc. Or sim­ply re­use the wa­ter in your gar­den.

Low in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion farm­ing

OUT­SIDE THE HOME Around 70% of wa­ter that falls onto the city ends up in our piped stormwa­ter sys­tem. Waste­water merges valu­able sewage with pol­lu­tants and chem­i­cals from things like sham­poos, wash­ing pow­ders and chem­i­cals we put down our sinks. It goes to the treat­ment plant.

! Com­post­ing, urine sep­a­rat­ing (pic­tured) or dual flush. Sep­a­rat­ing toi­lets, which only need to be flushed for ‘num­ber 2s’, re­duced wa­ter use­age by 80%. Ev­ery time you flush your num­ber ones you use be­tween 3 and 6 litres.

IN THE HOME Ac­cord­ing to the Jour­nal of En­vi­ron­men­tal Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, rain gar­dens can re­move up to 99% of tox­ins whilst recharg­ing ground­wa­ter and re­duc­ing runoff. Per­me­able paving and drain fil­ters can also re­duce this. Small pieces of plas­tic in your clean­ers and mois­turis­ers, known as ‘mois­ture’ or ‘cleans­ing beads’ or ‘ex­fo­li­at­ing pearls’ are too small to be cap­tured by most waste­water treat­ment plants. They en­ter the oceans, ab­sorb­ing tox­ins on the way, where they can do ma­jor dam­age. Check your in­gre­di­ents for poly­eth­yl­ene! 70% of stormwa­ter pol­lu­tants come from ve­hi­cles Change your show­er­head to one that is more ef­fi­cient – save thou­sands of litres of wa­ter each year and dol­lars on your power bill by us­ing less hot wa­ter. Ev­ery Auck­lan­der uses on av­er­age 275 litres per day. Auck­land’s wa­ter source is com­prised of 60% from Hunua dams, 25% Waitakere dams, 10% from the Waikato River near Tuakau and 5% from bores and spring.

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