Residential Estate Industry Journal 3 - Page 57

INDUSTRY FOCUS PAGE 55 sustainability Water and Real Estate – Making the Connection For decades residential real estate developers and managers have worked within a given set of relationships between themselves, the municipality as service provider, the state as regulator and the investors whose primary interests they serve. For example, the homeowners’ association (HOA) of an estate located in Madibeng, a municipality known to be dysfunctional, pays the monthly water bill, but this does not get passed onto Rand Water, so the water pressure gets cut. Nothing the HOA can do will change this, because the bottleneck is the dysfunctional municipality. That set of relationships has been based on a robust set of assumptions, so the decision-making Another example is the excessive chlorination process has become routine and institutionalised. levels in water from a municipality. The reason for this is the overloading of a bulk water plant that But what happens if the core assumptions change? was never designed to convert sewage effluent into Let us examine some of those core assumptions the legal specification for biological parameters, so that we understand the implications of any so those running the plant compensate by change that might happen. Arguably the absolute overchlorinating. While this kills the bacteria, it foundation of any real estate development is also creates a new health risk in the form of the assumption that the municipality will provide elevated levels of trihalomethane, a carcinogenic five basic services – roads, electricity, water, by-product of the decay of chlorine. In short, the sanitation and refuse removal. This means a attempt to manage one risk creates a new set routine decision-making process each time a new of risks in an increasingly complex domino effect. potable water. This bulk water plant cannot meet development is launched, much like a checklist. Yet another example is the management of This changed when Eskom crashed and suddenly sewage. A residential golf estate processes the assumption of assurance of supply (AoS) – its own sewage, but is also under pressure the guarantee of a given quantum of energy to source alternative water for irrigating its delivered to a given entity at a given time and fairways and greens. Next-generation technology at a given price – was found to be flawed. After now enables a very sophisticated plant to be initial anger and then turmoil, adaptive responses installed that recovers all of the water from the came in the form of standby generator sets. So sewage stream to be used safely as irrigation it is the AoS assumption that is critical to the water. Advancements in disruptive technology raft of municipally delivered services that enable include financing, so that this solution can be development to occur in the first place. financed as operational expen ɔɅѡȁѡ)хɔQ́́ȁ́()9܁Ё́ѡLյѥѼ݅ѕȸ()ɕͥѥхєݡɔѡݽɑ̃q()!ɔѡɔɔݼȁ́Ѽ()tɥȁȁѕɹѥ()ͅɕѕLх݅ѕȁ݅є݅ѕȸ()%͡аѡĹѡЁ͕Ѽչ()Lȁх݅ѕȁ́ѡՅɅѕٕ()ѡѥɔɕѥ͡ݕѡٕȰ()ٽյЁٕɕɔٕՅ()ѡչ䁅ѡٕѽȁٔ()ЁݸɥЁѥ)]܁ѡЁх́ѡ́ɔ()Q́́Ёمմݡ!=́ɔ()ȁ()ɕͥ䁕ѕѼɕєѡɔ((0