Water Management Planning
When an organization chooses to make a commitment to water efficiency, it should
consider the following:
Form a dedicated water management team of staff and other professionals,
including a team leader (i.e., champion) that is responsible for overseeing and
implementing the water management program. Team members should include
people from all parts of the organization, including someone familiar with
regulatory compliance and a facility or building manager with knowledge of the
building’s infrastructure and major mechanical systems.
Develop a water management policy that provides the structure for establishing
and achieving water management goals.
Incorporate water efficiency into long-term facility operation objectives and
allocate the resources necessary to achieve goals.
Integrate water management planning and goal tracking into company perfor-
mance and sustainability reporting to elevate the importance of water efficiency
and maintain accountability.
Consider incorporating water-efficiency policies and goals into the facility’s
environmental management system (EMS),
if one has been developed, and track
progress on the goals through the EMS process.
Step 2. Assessing FacilityWater Use
Understanding how water is used within a facility is critical for the water management
planning process. A water assessment provides a comprehensive account of all known
water uses at the facility. It allows the water management team to establish a baseline
from which progress and program success can be measured. It also enables the water
management team to set achievable goals and identify and prioritize specific projects
based on the relative savings opportunities and project cost-effectiveness. Assessing
facility water use incorporates the following steps:
Gathering readily available information
Establishing a water use baseline
Inventorying major water-using fixtures, equipment, systems, and processes
Creating a facility water balance
Gathering Readily Available Information
The first steps in conducting an in-depth water assessment include: collecting any
readily available information that can provide a basic understanding of building
operational characteristics and general water use patterns; determining major uses
of water within the facility; and estimating the costs of water use and sewer discharg-
es. This information can be used to facilitate a more detailed investigation of facility
water use and return on investment for any water-efficiency related projects.
EPA. Environmental Management Systems (EMS).