Prioritizing water efficiency is a necessary response to the risks of climate change, particularly in water-stressed regions. The efficient use of water saves both money and energy while improving resilience. Through the Better Buildings Water Savings Network, DOE brings organizations together to discuss and demonstrate successful approaches to conserving water in buildings, plants, and multifamily housing. All facility owners and managers are invited to build on the progress already made by Better Buildings Challenge partners who have set water intensity goals and reduced their water use by more than 10 billion gallons since 2015.
Starting in 2007, Region 6 of the General Services Administration (GSA) undertook a series of minor remodels designed to improve the water efficiency and overall sustainability of one of their largest Midwest campuses
Erie VA Medical Center (VAMC) replaced water-cooled condensing units with air-cooled units, achieving monthly water savings of more than 55% and over 8,000,000 gallons over the first year of operation.
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.
Atlanta's Emory University created WaterHub, an innovative on-campus solution designed to treat and reuse up to 400,000 gallons of water per day, decreasing potable water demand by over one-third. In addition to saving money, the WaterHub is creating scientific and educational opportunities on campus.
Anthem implemented a landscaping redesign plan to reduce water demand and create a more resilient environment at the 21555 Oxnard Street campus in Woodland Hills, CA, which reduced its water demand by 46% annually.
The HARBEC water retention pond project supported the company's goal to be "water neutral," or eliminating the need to use municipally supplied water except for drinking and hand-washing. The retention pond enabled HARBEC to conserve over 830,000 gallons of water, without increasing energy consumption.
Nissan installed an automated filtration system at its Smyrna, Tennessee, paint shop, which helped the plant cut water costs by about two-thirds.
DaVita created the Top 150 Water Users program to identify and optimize high water users in an effort to reduce portfolio-wide dialysis center water consumption.
Results from two validation studies of new water treatment technologies for cooling towers show 20–50% water savings, improved energy performance, and reduced or eliminated hazardous chemicals.
The Green Ideas Challenge at The Venetian, The Palazzo, and Sands Expo allowed resort staff to help identify opportunities for energy or water savings, helping staff get more involved in Las Vegas Sands's corporate sustainability efforts.
For more information on water-saving practices and equipment, please visit the WaterSense program offered by the Environmental Protection Agency. See below for a few essential tools to help you get started in the process.
- WaterSense Simple Water Assessment Checklist: Writable PDF to help quickly identify and target potential projects and best management practices
- WaterSense Operations and Maintenance Checklist: Checklist of low- or no-cost changes to operation and maintenance procedures can start saving water, energy, and costs quickly
- Sample Worksheets in Appendix B of WaterSense at Work: Building Water Survey, List of Water Meters, Water Consumption History; Equipment and Water Use Inventory
To learn more about opportunities to get involved with Better Buildings water efficiency efforts, contact us.