Conservation Tips For Multifamily Properties To Thrive During a Drought

Summer water restrictions remain in effect despite recent rainfall

As of this week, almost 40% of the country is in a drought, with many states under water restrictions. Customers are also paying more for water — one recent report saw water rates increase faster than any other household utility, at an average of 4.2% per year.

Experts anticipate water scarcity and high prices will worsen as climate change and record-breaking temperatures impact the availability of potable water. Aging water and sewer lines exacerbate the issue, leading municipalities to look for additional sources of income to finance updates to the infrastructure, which ultimately result in rate increases for customers.

But it’s not all bad news. There are low-stakes solutions for consumers to reduce their water expenses. And the savings compound for multifamily households, which use 30% less water per person than their single-family counterparts. By making a few simple tweaks to help residents conserve even more water, property owners can save on utility costs while also being good stewards of the environment.

7 tips for conserving water in multifamily properties

  1. Landscape with a conservationist’s mindset. Half of residential water use takes place outdoors, particularly on lawns. Select xeric and low-water plants and steer clear of turf which is not drought-resistant. 
  2. Get smart about irrigation. Replace sprinklers, which can be disturbed by lawn mowers, with drip irrigation systems. Lawns and landscapes are overwatered by 30 to 300 percent—upgrade to smart irrigation controls that can sense evaporation and precipitation and automatically make changes to the amount of water used. You’ll save money and precious water while keeping plants at their optimal moisture level. 
  3. Partner with environmentally friendly businesses. Contract with landscaping companies that monitor irrigation water meters weekly and react quickly to leaks.
  4. Install water submeters. According to the Alliance for Water Efficiency, billing residents based on their water usage rather than a flat rate is the single most effective water conservation measure.
  5. Check for leaks. Minor water leaks from toilets, sinks and shower heads account for nearly one trillion gallons of wasted water each year, according to the EPA
  6. Make in-unit upgrades, including high-efficiency toilets and faucet aerators. Upgrading to a WaterSense faucet would save the average family 700 gallons of water per year. Multiplied by every unit in your portfolio, and the savings quickly add up.
  7. Spread the word. Involve your residents in your conservation efforts and incentivize water saving. Reward residents who use the least amount of water or report leaks. Simply sharing your plan to lower your property’s environmental impact is a great way to empower residents to support the effort. 

Multifamily property owners can be leaders when it comes to creating environmentally conscious communities that are drought tolerant, thoughtfully designed, and beautiful places to live.

“In 2022, residents, especially younger ones, want to live in environmentally friendly communities,” said Richard Lamondin, EcoSystems co-founder and CEO. “Property owners who prioritize conservation efforts, deliver on eco-friendly promises and tell that story with conviction will reduce their water expenses while increasing resident retention rates and NOI.”

By implementing environmental property updates that are easy to scale and produce a quick return on investment, EcoSystems has saved customers 6.2B gallons of water and $56 million in utility costs.

If you’re looking to outsource your water conservation efforts, EcoSystems offers a complete portfolio of multifamily property services, including nationwide capabilities and in-house teams. 
Contact us today to learn how we can save you money and time.