Water Consumption Practices in Schools of Nablus Directorate of Education

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Anan Jayyousi / Supervisor
Dr. Abdel Fattah Hasan / Co-Supervisor
Dr. Omar Zammo / External Examiner
Dr. Hafez Shaheen / Internal Examiner
Dr. Anan Jayyousi / Supervisor
Dr. Abdel Fattah Hasan / Co-Supervisor
Abdulbaset Mohammed Hameed Shuraideh
Water is an essential, precious and limited resource. While the world's population increases, water cost is rising rapidly; therefore it should be conserved and not wasted. Schools are considered strategic locations for promoting water saving initiatives and developing water analysis because of the high number of students. These schools must try to improve their water systems to conserve water and look for ways to improve water quality. This thesis aims at finding indicators of water consumption in eight types of schools through water metering and historical data about users in these schools and to compare them with international standards. It also aims at linking water consumption with other related factors inside school grounds. In addition, the researcher aims to study the potential of water conservation opportunities and savings at schools (if all schools water fixtures is to be replaced with low flow ones),the study also discusses drinking water quality in public schools and presents information about the sources of contaminants (Total and Fecal coliforms). Lastly it aims at evaluating schools under study as a green buildings with respect to the Palestinian 2013 Green Buildings Guidelines. Relevant data are collected from the Directorate of Education of Nablus, Ministry of Health and Nablus Municipality and organized into categories by type of case study first, then by type of school. Testing for total and fecal coliforms is performed by collecting water samples from two types of schools depending on water sources. Based on the analysis of collected data, a set of proposed actions and recommendations is developed and concluded. Results showed that water consumption indicators range from 3.38 to 4.67 liters/student/day in primary school ,while it is 4.86 liters/student/day in secondary female’s schools and 6.3 liters/student/day in secondary male’s schools. The study also shows that secondary male students consume more water daily than primary school students (males and females) and more than secondary female’s students despite the fact that they use similar facilities at schools. The researcher finds that schools in Palestine consume less than half the quantity for schools in Europe and America, and less than the best practice consumption in the UK schools. Results of water quality show that drinking water at schools across the Governorate is contaminated by total and fecal coliforms especially at schools with cisterns. Contamination is found in 42% of the governorate schools that uses cisterns only or any other water resource. On the other hand contamination is about 20% of schools that uses public water network. The researcher also finds that low water consumption at schools is contributed to the type of installed water fixture devices which are low-flow types, and low water uses in kitchens , canteens, miscellaneous faucets and toilets. The research showed that it is not cost-effective to carry out retrofit projects in public schools in this situation though there would be no savings achieved. Water consumption in public schools is less than the best practice when schools are fully retrofitted with low flow fixtures. Low water usage at schools might also not be consistent with principles of health and sanitation, so such concerns should be addressed and resolved by authorities. Finally, this study reveals that most schools under study satisfies just 22% green buildings guidelines requirements with respect to water efficiency item, while the newest schools satisfies about 48 % of these requirements. The researcher recommends that schools that uses cisterns are required to test their water and report any problems to the authorities and to achieve the requirements and conditions of the Green Buildings Guidelines for all new schools.
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