Federal Water Efficiency Requirements
In This Section
The following federal requirements drive EPA and other federal agencies to conserve water:
- Executive Order (EO) 13514
- Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007)
- EO 13423
- Federal Leadership in High Performance and sustainable Buildings Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
EO 13514, "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance," requires agencies to reduce their potable water intensity 2 percent per year, through fiscal year (FY) 2020, based on an FY 2007 baseline. EO 13514 does not supersede EO 13423, but it extends the potable water intensity reduction requirement of EO 13423 by five years.
In addition, EO 13514 requires agencies to reduce industrial, landscaping, and agricultural (nonpotable) water consumption 2 percent per year, through FY 2020, based on an FY 2010 baseline.
The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) includes Section 432—Management of Energy and Water Efficiency in Federal Buildings—which establishes a framework for facility project management and benchmarking. Under this requirement, agencies must identify all “covered facilities” that constitute at least 75 percent of the agency’s facility energy use, and an energy manager must be designated for each of these covered facilities.
Each facility energy manager is responsible for completing comprehensive energy and water evaluations of 25 percent of covered facilities each year; implementing identified energy and water efficiency measures, and following up on these measures.
Read the full text of the legislation. [PDF]
EO 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management", established a water intensity reduction requirement of 2 percent per year, through FY 2015, based on an FY 2007 baseline. This Executive Order is the first federal directive to require an annual reduction in water usage at federal agencies.
For more information, read the Instructions for Implementing EO 13423 (PDF) (51 pp, 416K, About PDF) which were issued on March 29, 2007. The guidance “Establishing Baseline and Meeting Water Conservation Goals of EO 13423” was issued in January 2008, to assist in the interpretation of and compliance with EO 13423.
This MOU, signed by EPA and 16 other federal agencies in January 2006, includes a set of Guiding Principles for integrated design, energy performance, water conservation, indoor environmental quality, and materials use and disposal.
Specifically, with regard to protecting and conserving water, agencies should employ strategies that use at least 20 percent less indoor water compared to the building’s baseline, and agencies should use water-efficient landscape and irrigation strategies to reduce outdoor water consumption by at least 50 percent over conventional strategies.
Read the complete Federal Leadership in High Performance and Sustainable Buildings MOU (PDF) (10 pp, 154K).
Learn about the previous federal requirements for water conservation, which EPA far exceeded by setting more aggressive internal goals to reduce its laboratories' water use.