EPA's Strategies to Meet Its Federal Requirements
In This Section
To meet its federal water conservation requirements, EPA has developed a Water Conservation Strategy. This Agencywide Water Conservation Strategy identifies Agencywide water conservation efforts and best management practices (BMPs) and calls for identifying facility-specific water-efficiency projects and annual water reduction targets and goals. To accomplish this, EPA conducts water assessments and continues to update existing water management plans at each reporting facility. EPA’s Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan reinforces this Strategy as the tool the Agency is using to reduce water use at its facilities.
Because EPA had already reduced its water use significantly by fiscal year (FY) 2007 (the federally mandated baseline for water reduction requirements), the Water Conservation Strategy calls for the Agency to identify new opportunities to further reduce water use in its laboratories, provide water efficiency training to facility managers, and educate all EPA employees on water conservation. Learn more about the strategies EPA has developed to meet its federal water conservation requirements:
In FY 2008, EPA developed a Water Conservation Strategy, which formalizes many of EPA’s water conservation efforts and best water management practices, identifies facility-specific projects or practices that will reduce water consumption across a variety of facilities, and presents a rough timeline for implementation. The strategy includes estimated water savings per project or program at each laboratory, and it provides a framework for EPA to:
- Identify priority projects or approaches.
- Plan which particular projects or approaches must be implemented to meet short-term annual water use reduction goals.
- Plan which particular projects or approaches must be implemented to meet the long-term water use reduction goals.
To implement the Water Conservation Strategy, EPA sets annual, facility-specific water reduction targets; implements BMPs; completes water conservation projects such as Agencywide efforts to retrofit faucets with high-efficiency models and to eliminate single-pass cooling; assesses water use in facilities and identifies new projects; and develops and updates facility-specific water management plans.
The strategy is designed to ensure that EPA meets or exceeds the 2-percent per year Agencywide potable water intensity reduction target required under Executive Order (EO) 13423 and extended under EO 13514. To meet their facility-specific water reduction targets, facilities are encouraged to complete water efficiency projects identified during facility water assessments and described in water management plans. In these water management plans, EPA identifies water reduction opportunities in several main project areas:
- Landscaping and Irrigation
- Sanitary Fixtures
- Boiler and Hot Water Systems
- Single-Pass Equipment Cooling
- Cooling Tower Management
- Commercial Kitchen Equipment
- Steam Sterilizers, Reverse Osmosis, Vacuum Systems, and Other Laboratory Equipment
- Alternative Water Sources
To identify new opportunities to further reduce water use in each of EPA’s facilities, EPA has created a water management plan for each of its facilities. Water management plans identify key areas in which specific facilities can reduce their water use. Learn how EPA develops its water management plans or view EPA’s water management plans.
EPA facilities draw on best practices to design, implement, and evaluate their water conservation efforts.
A number of previous goals also helped EPA reduce water use in the past. EPA had an internal goal of 15 percent reduction of water use by 2010 from 2000 consumption levels. This goal was superseded by EO 13423 and EO 13514. The Agency reduced its water use by 11 percent between FY 2000 and FY 2007; therefore, for EO 13423 and EO 13514 reporting purposes, EPA’s FY 2007 baseline is a low 35.0 gallons per square foot.