Ana Neves:"If I'm able to save water, I will also be saving energy"
This work was developed within the framework of the Geography course for the Clima@EduMedia project on the subject of climate change, focusing on water resources. Ana Neves clarified some of our questions regarding the use of rain water, the increase of water price, the main water saving and management measures and her current work.
Jornal Impressões (JI) – How can we take advantage of the rainwater and how can this advantage be used to mitigate the effects of climate change?
Ana Neves (AN) – The purpose of the use of rainwater is basically to make good use of this water when it rains. In other words, the consumption of rainwater, would be for non-potable purposes such as toilet discharges, irrigation, pavement washing, cleaning, and even hot water production, in which water this good and expensive is not really required. Grey water is basically a slightly cleaner sewage that results from the water used when we wash our hands. It is not a very dirty sewage and is relatively easy to treat, so that afterwards we are able to use it again for irrigation and always for non-potable purposes. This system is actually very simple, since it consists of the collection of rainwater in gutters, where the water is stored in a reservoir to be used later when needed.
JI – Is the water price increase related to the effects of climate change?
AN – The increase we have seen in the price of water is related to an attempt to rise prices in order to frame them with the real costs it represents. The water that comes to our homes is more expensive because it goes through various phases to become a beneficial resource for our consumption. The tariffs that were formerly charged did not correspond to those costs. By having to pay more for the water consumed, what is really intended is a change in people's behaviour. That is, instead of leaving a tap dripping or similar, a person should be more careful and prevent such things from happening. Dual flush toilets are nothing less than a cistern with two buttons, which basically allow for a bigger and a smaller discharge. If used instead of ordinary cisterns with only on handle or button, it ends up saving.
Decreased water availability is one of the major impacts regarding climate change. By using this system we are saving and only really using when necessary.
JI – What are the main water saving and management measures that can be used in our homes?
AN – In our homes, saving measures begin with ourselves and we should be really attentive to small losses of water because sometimes it only takes a simple dropping tap or even a cistern to see our monthly water bill increase. Often, if we do not take appropriate action, that is, if we do not call a plumber for example, the loss of 1 litre of water a day, becomes a 30 litres loss at the end of the month.
As for the equipment that we use is simple, because they are relatively cheap and have enough impact on reducing consumption. In addition, taps of showers and washbasins flow reducers can be applied.
JI – Are you presently developing a research related to water management and saving measures? Can you briefly tell us about your work?
AN – In recent years I have done research on the link between water and energy because both are completely joint and function as a whole. We need energy to have water, for pumping, treatment, and transport of water. And we also need water to produce energy in dams. They are the so-called electric exploitations.
Work: Catarina Santos, Cátia Guedes, Leonardo Nascimento, Rafael Alves e Raquel Morais
Escola Secundária Dr. Joaquim Gomes Ferreira Alves (High School)
This work was carried out under the Flash Seminar held on the 18th, 21st and the 25th of May 2015 at Escola Secundária Dr. Joaquim Gomes Ferreira Alves (High School), in Gaia. Students developed media content based on interviews with experts in various fields related to climate change and research on the subject.