Water Management Planning
Step 3. Setting and Communicating Goals
Once the water management team understands how the facility is currently using
water, the next step in the water management planning process is to gather building
owners, facility management staff, senior management, and any other key decision
makers to develop a list of water management goals and policy initiatives. Employ-
ees from all different parts of the organization should be included in the goal-setting
process to obtain a range of perspectives and promote a sense of ownership. The
goals will drive the water management program and help fuel continuous improve-
Once water management goals and policies have been developed, they must be
communicated to the entire organization with the support of senior management or
the building owners. Top-level support gives legitimacy to the initiative and informs
employees that water and energy reductions are a priority. A feedback mechanism
should be created to encourage input, suggestions, and reporting of problems.
Examples of water management goals might include:
Reduce water use by a certain percentage per year for a period of years for a total
target percent reduction, based upon the facility’s established water use baseline.
Complete projects identified through the water management planning process
within a set timeframe.
Upgrade and focus on making whole areas water-efficient, such as mechanical
systems, restrooms, or commercial kitchens.
Establish a leak detection program to identify and correct any water use that is
unaccounted for and could be attributed to leaks.
Use onsite alternative water sources to replace a certain percentage of potable
Participate in a program to incentivize water use reductions (e.g., ENERGY STAR
National Building Competition).
Obtain recognition for water reduction efforts from a federal, state, or local
program (e.g., California Green Business Program, Wisconsin Green Tier Program,
New Mexico Green Zia Leadership Program).
11, 12, 13
Achieve facility-level certification, such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED®
rating system or ENERGY STAR. State and local level certification programs can
also provide benefits to commercial and institutional buildings. Sector-specific
programs, such as the Michigan Green Lodging Program or the Green Restaurant
Association program, are often tailored to promote significant reductions in envi-
EPA and DOE’s ENERGY STAR. The ENERGY STAR Challenge.
California Green Business Program.
Wisconsin Green Tier Program.
New Mexico Green Zia Leadership Program.
Green Lodging Michigan.
Green Restaurant Association.