Freshwater is a precious resource and will only become more so in the near future as the growing population draws more heavily on the Earth’s reserves. Property developments designed to help with water conservation are great not only for the environment but also for reducing water bills in the long-term, which will give your rental property an edge in just about any housing market. Whether you’re looking to make your home a conservationist’s bliss, cut down on wastage in your workplace, or attract potential buyers and renters to your investment property, these updates could make all the difference.
Go for a low-maintenance lawn
Maintaining a lush, green garden can require plenty of work and liberal doses of water, depending on the plants you choose and the maintenance choices you make. Drought-tolerant plants are the best option if your rental property is located in a hot climate like that of the Arizona housing market, so be sure to do your research before picking out any leafy companions. Your lawn also needs a little extra love during the summer, particularly as weather and water restrictions pose the biggest threat to healthy grass, and you’ll be pleased to know there are ways to deliver just that without burning through your water budget. Keeping your grass about two inches long and weed-free will ensure the soil stays moist and nutrient-rich, and you can also add mulch during extra dry periods, but one of the most important things you can do is water deeply, especially during the early growth stages.
Install water-saving devices
The best ways to conserve water are those you don’t even need to think about, and water-saving devices can achieve just that. Even something as seemingly simple as making the switch to a low-flow showerhead can save more than 7,500 liters of water in a year, an amount significant enough to take the sting out of your water bills. The same goes for water-efficient washing machines and dishwashers. If you’re really committed to the cause, consider swapping out the faucets in every room for a water-saving alternative. This is the best way to minimize water wastage in your rental property.
Take advantage of automation
Left to their own devices, the average person is capable of needlessly wasting a whole lot of water and energy. Today, the property industry is embracing the latest real estate technology trends and there are many available water-saving devices, from smart taps and toilets to shower timers, all of which can help your tenants keep usage rates down. You’ve probably seen the automated taps installed in public bathrooms, and there’s no reason why a similar system wouldn’t work in your own investment rental property. Automating the shower is another great option, especially during the onset of water restrictions. Technology truly is king, and these modern updates are sure to increase the value of your rental property.
Make rainwater collection easy
Rain is a most precious resource, and during storm season, so much of it lands on and around your rental investment property that it would seem wasteful not to put it to use. Installing a water tank is a low-maintenance way to make the most of the run-off, and will allow anyone living in or working on your rental property to make use of nature’s most precious resource. Assuming the inside of your water tank is kept clean, the water it collects can be used for any of the same purposes you would usually use tap water for – gardening and cleaning. With proper maintenance, your tank may even be clean enough to drink out of, and that sure beats buying water in plastic bottles.
Install a greywater system
In case you’re unfamiliar, greywater is the term used for water wastage collected from sinks, showers, and laundry drains to be reused in other ways around the house. The cost of utilizing greywater where it’s needed most will depend on how you plan to use it; for example, if you’re planning on diverting the water around the rental property for different purposes, you’ll be up for the cost of a plumber, pumps, and water treatment systems as a starting point. As environmental factors affect daily life, water pollution becomes a more worrisome issue, and good filtration systems will be an increasingly important line of defense against potential illnesses for tenants.
Be on the lookout for leaks
A dripping tap might seem like a minor problem, but the wasted liters add up over time, and the same goes for any water source with a leak. Even if you aren’t living in your property, make sure to regularly check and service faucets to prevent water wastage. The kitchen, laundry, and bathroom are all key areas to watch, but you should also be wary of any external sources, like taps and garden hoses, in case they start to leak. In theory, all you need to turn a leak into a DIY fix is a spanner and a few washers, but if you’re not so confident with the tools, this may be a job for a professional.
Shelter the pool
A swimming pool can greatly increase the rental rate of return on your investment property, as long as you’re willing to spend time on water quality maintenance throughout the year, but it’s even more important to prevent water loss wherever possible. It wouldn’t be considered unusual for an uncovered swimming pool to lose around 5 millimeters of water to evaporation every day. This number may sound insignificant, but topping up the pool to counteract the decreasing water level leads to a great deal of wastage over the course of the year. By simply adding a shelter or a cover over your pool when it is not in use, you can save thousands of liters every year.
Turning your rental property into a water-saving haven doesn’t have to be overly difficult or expensive, but you can rest assured that even the small changes you make will pay dividends in the end. Whether you see the benefits in your water bill, your garden, or even the attitudes of prospective tenants, efforts to save water will always have a positive impact on you and the world.
This article has been contributed by Theodora Evans.