Healthcare Water Efficiency and Program Management Toolkit

Water used in hospitals and other health care facilities comprises 7% of the total water use in commercial and institutional facilities in the United States.[i] The largest uses of water in hospitals are cooling equipment, plumbing fixtures, landscaping, and medical process rinses.[ii] Established water management practices and regulations typically relate to water treatment, while implementing water saving measures can be perceived at odds with maintaining the quality of water. Better Buildings partners are proving that healthcare facilities can achieve significant operating cost and energy savings without jeopardizing water quality.

This toolkit aggregates resources to provide guidance tailored to the Healthcare sector for efficient water management while maintaining control of infection. A variety of assessment and resources are available in this toolkit for those interested in developing strategies around water management that are separate from energy management.


[i] Dziegielewski, et al. 2000. Commercial and Institutional End Uses of Water American Water Works Association Research Foundation.

    Tower has taken its water management program to the next level with daily reporting, 15-minute interval data, real-time alerts, advanced data analytics, setpoint modifications, and internal water audits that have resulted in signifigant water consumption savings.
    United Technologies, the City of Atlanta, and InterContinental Hotels share innovative measures they have taken to improve water efficiency while reducing energy use.
    Welltower, Inc developed a proprietary internal Green Arrow Building Certification (GABC) program that measures energy, water, waste, indoor air quality, and innovation. Most properties have seen a 1-12% energy use reduction. In 2016, GABC scores improved 22.5% and 29 additional buildings were certified.
    The Tower Companies updated its standard lease agreements to include a green appendix that 100% of new and renewed tenants accepted, supporting efforts to reduce energy and water use across its commercial portfolio.
    The Federal Energy Management Prorgam (FEMP) has provided a variety of resources addressing best management practices, water-efficienct technology opportunities, building meter prioritization, and alternative water sourcing to help you and your organization integrate water efficiency and establish water management programs.
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed a variety of resources through their WaterSense program, that addresses topics from water efficiency best practices by facility type, water sense specific products, water-saving rebate programs, case studies from successful water management programs, and much more! 
    Learn about tools and resources from the Energy Department and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that can help you meter and track water consumption, identify savings opportunities, and implement best practices to accelerate your water saving...
    Is it possible to make reductions and maintain infection control? Absolutely! The following document from Boulder Associates provides some food for thought with respect to saving water and money in your healthcare facility
    CDC encourages healthcare facilities to develop and implement comprehensive water management programs to reduce the risk for Legionella growth and transmission.
    The American Water Works Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a handbook on Emergency Water Supply Plan (EWSP) to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a total or partial interruption of the facilities' normal water supply. 
    Accurate and consistent data is a key ingredient in an effective water management strategy, but many organizations struggle with water data collection and analysis. In this webinar, hear from partners that have enacted innovative water metering...
    This GSA infographic summarizes the results of NREL's research on an alternative electrochemical water treatment technology in cooling towers.
    HVAC Resource Map Technical Assistance
    The HVAC Resource Map is an intuitive graphical interface that provides quick access to a broad array of quality information on operations and maintenance best practices and energy and water efficiency measures.



Tool type:


Building Type:

Healthcare, Clinic or other outpatient health care, Hospital, Medical office, Outpatient rehabilitation


Water Heating and Water Efficiency, Water Efficient Equipment