Role of water-saving devices in reducing urban water consumption in the mega-city of Tehran, case study: a residential complex

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Iran is one of 27 countries that are likely to face increasing water shortage crises between now and 2025 unless action is taken to reduce currently high-per-capita urban water consumption. Accordingly, consumption control in the mega-city of Tehran will be an invaluable achievement. A study of Tehran water consumers has determined that household consumers are responsible for 70 percent of the total consumption. Keeping that figure in mind, the authors set out to assess rates of consumption by water fixtures, with an emphasis on household users, and to examine the effects of installing subcounters and reducers.

They selected an apartment complex in which it was possible to install water subcounters for each unit. The first step was to evaluate resident attitudes. Block 3, which had 10 units, was selected to cooperate with the project.

The second step was to install counters for all 10 units to determine consumption by different fixtures. (The counters were installed in kitchens, in bathrooms, on toilets, on washing machines, and on flash tanks). In the next step, data entry forms for fixture consumption were completed for a period of 10 days. Then single-handle faucets and reducers were installed, and the outcomes were logged for a period of 10 days. Counter readings were performed by the volunteer residents or by educated personnel every 24 hours, and the total volume of inside consumption was compared with the consumption registered by a base counter placed outside each unit. In the course of the project, the consumption per capita was calculated every 24 hours to yield a real and unbiased model that is applicable to city of Tehran.

The results showed a total reduction in water consumption of about 20 percent. Thus, with suitable planning and application of cultural and technical methods, it is possible to optimize consumption in Tehran in the near future.

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