The first step to good water management is to reduce consumption. In places where the rainfall and weather conditions are very similar can consume very different amounts of water only as a matter of awareness and customs.
Water Management in the Cortijo La Tenada
The house did not have its own well and was decided not to do one because it is located in an area of overexploited aquifers. On the other hand there is very little rainfall in Almeria, about 180 mm/year and usually happens in torrents. The key design of water management have been reuse, collection and saving.
A network was designed to capture water from the roof that is collected in a cistern of 20,000 l. It has also been made another tank with a capacity of 25,000 l which is filled with water tanker from the Sierra Alhamilla. They are located on the terrace of the current tenada. They have been placed in that area because there was a gap that allowed us to half-bury them.
We found that the water collected from the roof in one of the wells, after a small chlorination process serves to meet the demand for housing for low occupancy months (November to June).
It has been restored the ancient cistern dome which has a capacity of about 45,000 l and collects water from the basin of the valley in which the building is located. This water will be chlorinated and re-enter the house or can be derived directly from the irrigation network.
It has been taken a lot of care to get save water, or what is the same, minimize consumption. Was instrumental in the design phase of distribution to concentrate wet areas on line and as close together as possible to avoid complicated and long runs, which ultimately produce heat losses.
The whole installation is made with copper pipes. All taps have flow restrictors through small vents and plumbing fixtures consist of dual flush discharge.
There has been created a network that separates gray water coming from showers, sinks, bidet and washing machine and sewage coming from the tanks and kitchen sinks. Gray water is stored in a tank divided internally decanting floating solids and fat that leads to a water irrigation system that reaches different terraces terrain. The black water is treated through a septic tank biological filter to discharge to ground in uncontaminated conditions. None of these reservoirs requires chemical or electrical power supply for operation.