The solution to water scarcity is to preserve drinking water supplies. This can be done by looking at drinking water delivery from more angles. 3VAND represents utilities in the 3 largest cities in Denmark and we share our experiences with these issues internally. We also work as consultants and facilitators in projects abroad dealing with drinking water management.
1/ Could groundwater be an alternative source in your country?
Groundwater is a reliable and sustainable source of high-quality drinking water. In combination with a well-maintained and tight distribution system, it gives us the option to not use chlorine in Danish drinking water.
In general groundwater can be used with only simple water treatment – and also in other parts of the world it is a resource that has the potential to constitute a larger part of the supply.
2/ Protecting the source
Regardless of your source of drinking water, you need to deal with potential threats to this source. Denmark has a lot of agricultural land and to protect the catchment areas, methods such as afforestation are used to avoid the use of pesticides in these areas.
In 3VAND we also work with catchment-strategies – amongst other reasons to avoid overexploitation of individual wells and catchment areas. Calculations determines how much groundwater should be abstracted from each well, depending on the real-time demand.
3/ Don’t lose water on the way
Another way to preserve drinking water supplies is to reduce non-revenue water (NRW); water being lost to its way to the consumer. The 3VAND utilities obtain low NRW by e.g., pressure management – using a minimum pressure in general and enhancers to boost pressure in remote parts of the distribution system. Our distribution network is divided into districts (separately metered zones) that we monitor and operate digitally – making it easier to detect the location of leaks and bursts and act swiftly. Furthermore, we have long-term renovation strategies for our networks and use high-quality materials.
4/ Does your community really need that much water?
Water scarcity may be a challenge for you already – or it might be so in the future. In both cases, looking at the demand can make sense. As a water utility you can engage in influencing your consumers to use water in a sustainable way. Individual metering and payment are also a tool. Online remote metering has been introduced in Denmark – giving the consumer easier access to consumption data, and there by motivation to reduce their use of water.