Climate change, water, and condos

C.O. writes:

Dear Paul: Given all the hype over climate change, what might be an impact on condos?

Paul replies:

Dear C.O.: While there can or will be many changes that we will have to contend with unless we reduce the carbon released into the atmosphere, I see that the need for water conservation may have a major impact on condos. We are already seeing less precipitation in many parts of the country. Water levels in lakes and streams are lower which will result in rationing if we do not pay attention to it now.

For those corporations where units are metered separately, owners already know their consumption and can act on their own. However, water used to service the common elements may be a Board concern. If your building has a pool, if you overwater lawns, or allow unit owners to wash their vehicles on the property, your water consumption and costs may already be affected. The same will happen, but to a much larger degree, to developments that have only one meter and the costs are shared among all unit owners through their condo fees. In the latter case, individual unit usage will affect everyone. Boards should be monitoring overall usage, promote water conservation and inform owners regularly on the results of the measures taken. Your local government and environmental protection groups can provide helpful tips. Thanks for the question.

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