Tools and Training
WaterSense and its stakeholders have developed several resources, tools, and trainings to help commercial and institutional (CI) facility managers, building owners, water and energy managers, and other CI stakeholders understand facility water use and identify best management practices (BMPs) to use it most efficiently.
If you own or manage a CI facility and need help reducing facility water use, please take advantage of the following free resources:
Assess and Save. To calculate how your facility uses water and identify ways to reduce it, use one of these publicly available CI water assessment tools.
Track and Manage. Track and manage your water use using ENERGY STAR®’s Portfolio Manager® before, during, and after you assess your facility and begin implementing water efficiency BMPs.
Learn More. Want to dive deeper into your water efficiency training and learn more about specific water end-use areas? View our recorded training webinars that each feature a case study speaker.
Learn From Others. Review our case studies to learn how other CI facilities have implemented water efficiency BMPs to save water, energy, and operating costs.
Identify and Implement BMPs. For more details about any of the water efficiency BMPs identified during your water assessment or discussed in the videos, webinars, or case studies, review WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities.
CI Water Assessment Tools
Conducting a water assessment (e.g., tour or walk-through) of your commercial and institutional (CI) facility is an important first step to understanding how water is used and to identifying opportunities for savings. Check out these water assessment tools that are intended to help facility managers, building owners, utility managers, water conservation specialists, sustainability managers, and other CI facility personnel get a handle on facility water use.
Simple Water Assessment Checklist for All CI Facility Types
- WaterSense Simple Water Assessment Checklist for Commercial and Institutional Facilities (PDF, 1.3MB): This simple checklist can help you quickly identify and target potential projects and best management practices (BMPs) that can save water, energy, and utility costs at your facility.
Water Assessment Worksheets for All CI Facility Types
- WaterSense Sample Worksheets for Water Management Planning: Target and gather important information throughout your facility using sample worksheets including:
- Building Water Survey Worksheet
- List of Water Meters Worksheet
- Water Consumption History Worksheet
- Existing Plumbing Equipment Worksheet
- Water Use Inventory Worksheet
- Sample Worksheets for Water Management Planning (XLS, 90KB)
- Sample Worksheets for Water Management Planning (DOC, 94KB)
- From Appendix B in WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities; adapted from stakeholder resources.
- EDF-GEMI Sample Water Audit Forms:These sample water audit template forms created by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Global Environmental Management Institute (GEMI) can help you conduct a water assessment and define the unique water profile of your facility.
Water Assessment Tools for All CI Facility Types
- City of Boulder Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) Water Assessment Tool and User’s Guide:The City of Boulder, Colorado’s Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) Water Assessment Tool is a resource for conducting a basic water conservation assessment for a CII facility. It is an Excel-based tool intended for use by various groups, including municipality/utility staff, technicians, and/or end users without a technical background in water efficiency. While it is not intended to recommend specific projects, the tool can be used to find potential water conservation opportunities.
- Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Water Screening Tool:This Excel-based tool enables federal agencies to quickly screen sites for water-efficiency opportunities. General information related to a site’s water use is entered into the file, and the tool provides qualitative recommendations on potential water efficiency projects. The tool generates outputs about water-savings potential for specific water end uses and cost-effective potential.
- EDF-GEMI Water Management Application (WaterMAPP) Tool:The EDF-GEMI Water Management Application (WaterMAPP) is an Excel-based multi-tabbed spreadsheet with three primary components: the Water Scorecard, Water Efficiency Calculator, and Cycles of Concentration Estimator. The Scorecard helps facilities or companies assess water efficiency and can be used to create visibility for water performance at facilities. The Calculator estimates water and financial savings from cooling tower or free-air cooling improvements. The Cycles of Concentration Estimator takes information about your water quality and estimates the recommended maximum cycles of concentration from your cooling tower.
Water Assessment Tools for Hotels
- WaterSense’s Water Use and Savings Evaluation (WaterUSE) Tool and Water Assessment Worksheets: Hotel operators and facility managers can use WaterSense's Water Use and Savings Evaluation (WaterUSE) Tool and associated Water Assessment Worksheets to identify and prioritize cost-effective water efficiency projects and best management practices to reduce water and energy use and save on operating costs. Based on facility-specific inputs entered by the user, the WaterUSE Tool provides recommended best management practices and calculates potential water and cost savings for water-saving projects.
Water Use Tracking Tools
WaterSense subscribes to the old adage “you can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Before you undertake any major water efficiency program at your facility, you might want to start by gathering and tracking your water use data. Tracking your water use over time and plotting and analyzing it monthly can help you identify seasonal water use patterns, leaks, high-water-using or malfunctioning equipment, or other issues at your facility.
ENERGY STAR®’s Portfolio Manager® is a free online tool for tracking utility data over time. You can use the tool to track both water and energy use, as well as download more than 150 metrics in template or custom reports for managing your water and energy consumption.
Users have entered water data into Portfolio Manager for more than 50,000 buildings. In 2012, ENERGY STAR reviewed the data to see how water use varied between and among different types of buildings.
As an alternative, anyone can track water use information in an Excel workbook or with a program designed to manage utility data and billing information.
For commercial and institutional (CI) stakeholders that would like more extensive, in-depth training, WaterSense offers free one- to two-hour training webinars on a variety of water efficiency topics, from water management planning to best management practices (BMPs) for specific water end uses. We invite you to register for our upcoming live trainings or view our library of past recorded trainings below:
WaterSense and ENERGY STAR are teaming up to host a series of webinars in 2016 to help CI facilities start tackling their water use. Each webinar will cover ways to save water, energy, and money by making changes within different areas of a facility.
- Tackling WaterSense – Sanitary Fixtures and Equipment
January 28, 2016
Final Slides (44 pg, 1.57MB, About PDF)
Sanitary fixtures and equipment use in restrooms and laundries can account for nearly 50 percent of water use within a facility. During this session, attendees will learn about operations and maintenance tips, retrofit options, and replacements that can help reduce water and energy use in public and private bathrooms and commercial laundries. EPA’s WaterSense program will discuss what it means to look for the WaterSense® and ENERGY STAR® labels, and how using labeled products can significantly reduce your facility operating costs.
- Tackling WaterSense – Outdoor Water Use
March 30, 2016
Final Slides (45 pg, 2.7MB, About PDF)
Outdoor water use peaks during the summer, raising water bills and straining water supplies. During this session, EPA’s WaterSense program will teach you how to design and maintain landscapes and irrigation systems to reduce outdoor water use. EPA will also discuss how to manage pools to reduce water loss from evaporation, filter cleaning, mineral buildup, leaks, and splashing.
- Tackling WaterSense – Mechanical Systems
May 10, 2016
Final Slides (54 pg, 2MB, About PDF)
Facilities with extensive heating and cooling requirements can still be water-efficient. Optimizing your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system efficiency will help save your facility water, energy, and money. EPA’s WaterSense program will teach you how to reduce water waste in cooling towers and steam boilers, optimize chilled water systems, and address equipment that uses single-pass cooling water.
- Just Add Water: Incorporating Water Efficiency to Take Your Energy Savings to the Next Level
July 12, 2016
Final Slides (43 pg, 1.6MB, About PDF)
Learn how to integrate water into your energy management planning by assessing your facility’s water use and calculating a water balance. Find ways to investigate and detect leaks throughout your facility for significant savings. Hear about the tools and resources developed by the EPA’s WaterSense program and its partners to help tackle your water use. Come away with tips and project ideas you can start using today to maximize your water, energy, and cost savings.
- Tackling WaterSense – Commercial Kitchens
September 20, 2016, 1:00 p.m. Eastern
Final Slides (49 pg, 1.7MB, About PDF)
There are many opportunities for water-savings in commercial kitchens and restaurants. EPA’s WaterSense program will discuss commercial kitchen equipment, including equipment that is ENERGY STAR® or WaterSense labeled, such as dishwashers, ice machines, pre-rinse spray valves, and steam cooking equipment. Attendees will hear about best practices related to operations and maintenance techniques, retrofit options, and replacement options for each equipment type.
- WaterSense-HUD Water Wednesday Webinar Series
In 2015, WaterSense hosted a series of seven webinars to help U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) project officers and HUD grantees incorporate water efficiency into their multifamily and affordable housing programs and projects. Webinars featured guest speakers and case studies.
- WaterSense’s H2Otel Challenge Webinar Series
In 2014 and 2015, WaterSense held a series of webinars for H2Otel Challenge participants to help them learn how to assess, change, and track (ACT) to save water. Additional webinars provided guidance on implementing water efficient operating procedures, retrofits, and replacements in all water end use areas of their hotel. Each webinar features a guest speaker highlighting how implementing BMPs saved their hotel water, energy, and money. Although these webinars were geared towards hotels, the information covered during these BMP-specific presentations may be of interest to all CI stakeholders. The recorded webinar series includes the following topics:
- Take the Plunge! Introducing the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge
- A for Assess: Conducting a Water Assessment and Using WaterSense’s WaterUSE Tool
- A for Assess: Setting Goals and Developing a Water Management Plan
- C for Change: Implementing Your Water Management Plan and Other Best Management Practices
- T for Track: Tracking Water Savings and Recognizing Success
- WaterSense H2Otel Challenge 2014 Highlights and 2015 Preview
- Assess, Track, and Realize Payback
- Demonstrating WaterSense's WaterUSE Tool
- Washing 101: A Plumbing and Laundry Efficiency Primer
- Make a Splash With Outdoor Water Savings
- Minimize Water Use in Mechanical/HVAC Systems
- What's Cooking: Commercial Kitchen Savings
- Let's Talk About Education and Outreach
- WaterSense has also presented on a number of other webinars for commercial and institutional audiences:
- The Energy-Water Nexus: Using ENERGY STAR and WaterSense to Maximize Results
- Water-Saving Strategies for Commercial Buildings
- Water: Benchmarking and Best Practices from WaterSense
- Water–Saving Strategies for Commercial Buildings
- Overflowing Value: Best Practices to Save Water and Money
- Reducing Your Water Footprint
Throughout the country, commercial and institutional (CI) building owners and facility managers are taking actions to reduce their water use, implementing many of the operations and maintenance, retrofit, and replacement projects described in WaterSense's CI best management practices guide, WaterSense at Work (308 pg, 5.3MB, About PDF).
WaterSense is gathering and documenting case studies to describe successful water efficiency efforts and help share information within and across CI sectors. Each case study below provides a detailed description of the project the facility implemented and how much water, energy, and utility costs they were able to save.
Additional water efficiency case studies can be found by visiting the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) webpage.
Education and Outreach
- Olympic National Park Hotel Reaches Out and Saves (2 pg, 798K, About PDF): Kalaloch Lodge in Forks, Washington, reduced water use by 40 percent between 2011 and 2014, saving 1.4 million gallons of water annually.
- Georgia Hotel Saves $1M Annually by Maximizing Mechanical System (3 pg, 1.15MB, About PDF): The Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, reduced water use by 35 percent over three years.
Outdoor Water Use
- California Golf Resort Hits Hole in One With Outdoor Water Efficiency Efforts (2 pg, 843.4K, About PDF): The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California, saved more than 48 million gallons of water in one year.
Sanitary Fixtures and Equipment
- Hotel Installs Water-Efficient Sanitary Fixtures (2 pg, 758K, About PDF): The Holiday Inn San Antonio International Airport in San Antonio, Texas, saved 7 million gallons of water per year.
- Laundry Day Means Big Savings for San Antonio, Texas, Hotel (2 pg, 121K, About PDF): The Westin Riverwalk Hotel saved more than 2.2 million gallons of water per year.
- Texas Hotel Upgrades to Four-Star Water Efficiency (2 pg, 861K, About PDF): The Hilton Palacio del Rio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, reduced its water use by 49 percent between 2004 and 2011.
Water Monitoring and Management
- Global Entertainment Company Gets Wise About Water (3 pg, 696K, About PDF): Caesars Entertainment reduced water use intensity in properties nationwide by 17.8 percent between 2008 and 2012, saving 399 million gallons of water.
- Metering and Monitoring for Water Savings at Seattle Sheraton Hotel (2 pg, 643K, About PDF): Seattle Sheraton Hotel saved more than 25 million gallons of water over 6 years.
Hospitals and Medical Facilities
Laboratory and Medical Equipment
- Hospital Installs Water-Efficient Laboratory and Medical Equipment (3 pg, 868.5K, About PDF): The Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington, saved 31 million gallons of water over 10 years.
Outdoor Water Use
- Office Complex Reduces Outdoor Water Use (2 pg, 773.6K, About PDF): The Granite Park office complex in Plano, Texas, saved 12.5 million gallons in one year.
- Laboratory Eliminates Single-Pass Cooling (2 pg, 865.3K, About PDF): The EPA Mid-Continent Ecology Division Laboratory in Duluth, Minnesota, reduced potable water use by 90 percent.
Water Use Monitoring and Education
- Federal Agency Implements Water Management Strategy (3 pg, 1.10MB, About PDF): EPA laboratories nationwide reduced water use intensity by 18.7 percent over three years.
Restaurants and Commercial Kitchens
Commercial Kitchen Equipment
- Restaurants Install Water-Efficient Commercial Kitchen Equipment (3 pg, 843K, About PDF): Uncommon Ground in Chicago, Illinois; The Grey Plume in Omaha, Nebraska; and Founding Farmers in Washington, D.C., saved water, energy, and more.
Commercial Kitchen Equipment
- California Campus Cooks Up Kitchen Water Savings (2 pg, 623K, About PDF): Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, reduced its water use by more than 4.7 million gallons per year.
Onsite Alternative Water Sources
- University Makes the Most of Onsite Alternative Water Sources (3 pg, 1.51MB, About PDF): The University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas, reduced potable water use by 33 percent over approximately 30 years.
Sanitary Fixtures and Equipment
WaterSense at Work Best Management Practices
WaterSense developed WaterSense at Work, a compilation of water efficiency best management practices (BMPs), to help commercial and institutional facilities understand and better manage their water use, establish an effective water management program, and identify projects and practices that can reduce facility water use.
Each of the 36 BMPs provides an overview of the technology, tips for operation, maintenance, and user education, options for retrofits and replacements, and calculations for potential water, energy, and dollar savings and payback periods.
For more details about water efficiency BMPs, including those that are discussed in WaterSense’s video, webinar, or case study resources, or that you may have identified during a water assessment, review:
- WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities (PDF version) (308 pg, 5.38MB, About PDF)
- WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices Commercial and Institutional Facilities (interactive flipbook version)
- Our Best Management Practices page, which provides a short summary of all of the topic areas covered in WaterSense at Work.
- Two-page Summary Fact Sheet on Best Management Practices (2 pg, 500K, About PDF)