Water conservation for businesses

"In this resource constrained world, successful businesses will find ways to achieve growth while using fewer resources." Carter Roberts, President and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund

Protecting fresh water supplies is critical to our long-term sustainability. Each business owner must look at the use of water in their operations. Metering water use in the areas you use it will provide a roadmap to where savings can be achieved. Each business uses water a little differently; below is a list of water-saving ideas most businesses can benefit from.

General

  • Designate a water efficiency coordinator
  • Develop a mission statement and plan
  • Educate and involve employees in water efficiency efforts

Restroom fixtures

  • Install high efficiency toilets using 1.3 gallons per flush (gpf) or less
  • Install high efficiency urinals using 0.5 gpf or less
  • Install faucet aerators and high efficiency shower heads (1.5 gpm)
  • Look for WaterSense labeled fixtures to ensure water savings

Equipment

  • Use water-conserving ice makers
  • As appliances and equipment wear out, replace them with water-saving models (look for the EPA WaterSense® label)
  • Eliminate "once-through" cooling of equipment with municipal water by recycling water flow to cooling tower or replacing with air-cooled equipment

Practices

  • Detect and repair all leaks
  • Minimize the water used in cooling equipment in accordance with manufacturers' recommendations. Shut off cooling units when not needed

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Kitchens and laundries

  • Turn off dishwashers when not in use
  • Wash full loads only
  • Scrape rather than rinse dishes before washing
  • Install high efficiency pre-rinse spray valves (using 1.2 gpm or less) in kitchen sinks when necessary
  • Re-use water from steam tables to wash down cooking areas
  • Do not use running water to melt ice or frozen foods
  • Handle waste materials in a dry state whenever possible
  • Wash only full loads of laundry. Use a rinse water recycling system

Outside

  • Consider desert landscaping with desert-adapted plants that require less water
  • Install a "smart" irrigation controller to more efficiently water your landscape
  • Water before sunrise to reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation
  • Use rain gutters to channel rainwater toward your landscaped area
  • Install rain sensors to prohibit watering in the rain

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