Workplace water-saving

Saving water deserves more attention as a sustainability initiative. In regions where shortages seem unlikely, the actual water’s actual value is likely to be far higher than its cost.

One cubic meter of water may cost as little as $0.10 where it is plentiful and $15 in arid zones. Supply already exceeds demand. By 2030 water supply may lag by as much as 40 percent. Businesses should evaluate new infrastructure investments with future costs in mind. That will avert a likely budget issue in years ahead.

Not all water savings belong in the future. These suggestions will bring cost savings to current budgets:

Install water-saving aerators on all faucets

Faucet aerators are inexpensive and simple to install, and will substantially reduce water consumption. The energy cost of heating wasted water is saved as well.

Breakroom kitchen faucets should use no more than 2.5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM). In restroom sinks, the flow should be no greater than 2.2 GPM. Many available products are rated as even more efficient. Faucet aerators will help conserve up to 40% of the water use.

Open the communications spigot

It’s easy to slowly waste water, but the droplets from a leaky faucet or worn valve add up. One faucet dripping every 20 seconds wastes 104 gallons per year. If your business has a substantial number of break room and lavatory faucets, you may wish to claim those savings.

No one likes to waste water, but if employees don’t know where to report a leaky faucet, that waste will happen. A simple solution is to post the contact information near where the problem will be observed.

Shop strategically

Looking for water savings? With the EPA’s online search tool, you select from drop-down lists of product categories, brand names, model names, and maximum Gallons Per Minute (GMP) flow rates. Results are retrieved from a database of tens of thousands of options.

If you prefer to scroll through long lists, you can download the spreadsheet of WaterSense labeled product models. Product types are listed on separate tabs along with GPM and other relevant details.

Low-flow faucets and fixtures are just the beginning of potential water conservation. The Arizona Department of Water Resources website, Water – Use It Wisely, offers more than 100 water saving tips. More than half of the recommendations focus on the workplace.

Alexa Stone
LEED AP, Sustainable Facility Professional, Envision Sustainability Professional - - Alexa has more than 25 years of experience in sustainable and Smart Cities development. Her strategic planning work has served local, state, and federal government, higher education, and private industry. Alexa founded ecoPreserve in 2009 as a team of 3 and has grown the company to over a dozen of the brightest sustainability and project management professionals in the industry.
Alexa Stone


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