2012 EPA Research Progress Report
Partnering to Achieve "Net Zero"
EPA supports a United States Army sustainability initiative—called Net Zero —to reduce energy, water and waste from Army facilities. This cross-agency collaboration is a test case for new technologies to improve efficiency and minimize waste of resources. Technologies that prove successful through this partnership will serve as examples that can benefit other communities across the United States and worldwide.
The Net Zero, EPA collaboration began with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between EPA and the Army. Two Army bases chosen to pilot this research collaboration are Fort Riley, Kansas and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. The initial focus is on water issues such as stormwater management, water reuse, monitoring aging water infrastructure for leaks, and ways to improve efficiency.
In July 2012, EPA scientists met with Army staff at Fort Riley to discuss water infrastructure challenges and specific technology needs of the base. Projects that were drafted include the following.
- Perform assessment and introduce rehabilitation technologies that address the maintenance and upgrading of aging water infrastructure in a cost-effective manner.
- Implement small-scale water reuse systems to significantly reduce the need for potable water use.
- Facilitate a study to investigate education/outreach approaches focused on behavior and culture changes needed to reduce water consumption.
Similar project planning is underway for Joint Base Lewis-McChord; the work involves exploring stormwater management that incorporates green infrastructure approaches into current stormwater systems and decontamination techniques to improve understanding of handling and treatment of wastewater.
An additional MOU, signed with the U.S. Department of Defense in February 2012, complements the Army MOU, and expands EPA’s opportunities to promote and transfer technology successes broadly to other communities and additional military installations.