Tips to Cut Office Water Waste

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According to the EPA, water-efficient appliances would help the country save more than three trillion gallons of water and more than $18 billion per year, not to mention the energy savings. Increasing your workplace’s water efficiency is one of the best long-term strategies for cutting costs and giving back to the environment. Here are some tips to get you started.


Conduct a Water Audit. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a water audit of your office building includes a review of domestic, sanitary and landscaping processes and can sometimes be performed for free by your utility company. Water audits can also be performed by a hired contractor (NRDC recommends consulting the American Water Works Association’s Guide to Suppliers before hiring a contractor), or done by your office manager using free water audit software from the AWWA.

Upgrade to Water-Saving Appliances and Fixtures. Water-efficient appliances, often referred to as low-flow fixtures, include faucets, showers and toilets, and can save water while adding to your bottom line. When the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Portland, Oregon implemented water-saving measures, they saved more than $50,000 per year.

If your business is struggling to come up with the initial capital to make the green investment, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable division should be your next stop—in 2007 alone, the EERE awarded $574 million in financial assistance to help businesses, universities and industry upgrade to renewable and energy efficient technologies. And don’t forget to contact your utilities company to learn about available incentives and tax credits for increasing your building’s efficiency.

Consider Native Plants and Advanced Irrigation Systems. Planting native and drought-tolerant plants can help reduce water use as they are “well-adapted to regional climates, soils and pests,” and thus require less watering and fewer pesticide treatments, says NRDC. Check out the Plant Conservation Alliance to learn what plants are native to your region, and make sure your preferences are made clear to your property landscaper.

Of course, vegetation needs water to survive. Upgrading to a more advanced irrigation system, such as one that senses the soil’s watering needs and is equipped with rain sensors can save millions of gallons of water and drastically cut utility bills. Just look at Harvard Business School — an initial investment of $250,000 now brings the school a $50,000 annual water savings and conserves about five million gallons of water every year.


Is your office interested in doing more for the environment? EarthShare’s workplace giving program might be right for you. Learn more.


Water Conservation Resources

WaterSense, U.S. EPA

Green Business Advisor, National Resources Defense Council

A Water Conservation Guide for Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Users, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer

Green Building Resources, United States Green Building Council

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Division, U.S. Department of Energy




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The above mentioned information is very educational and should be practiced everyday, especially the daily leakage of after faucet usage. i liked the water audit concept, cause it is something that a lot of us never think of doing but it could be one of the green technique that can save this precious resource.


It’s a useful post which I think lots of office owners will be able to learn a useful lesson. I’m so glad that I’ve stumbled upon this post really helped me a lot.

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