WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Facilities
A.2 Federal Agency Implements
Water Management Strategy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) owns or operates
research laboratories across the country. These laboratories
encompass more than 3.8 million square feet of conditioned
space and are occupied by approximately 5,800 employees. For
more than a decade, water conservation has been a top priority
for EPA and the managers of these laboratories.
In 2002, EPA began conducting facility water assessments at 29 of its
major laboratories. Consistent with
Section 1.2Water Management
EPA’s goal during every water assessment is to fully
understand where all water entering the facility is used and to
identify ways to reduce that water use. Specifically, the assessments
Reviewing historical water use.
Identifying utility cost information.
Touring the facility to inventory all water-using equipment
Identifying and fixing apparent leaks.
Case Study Highlights
Number of occupants:
million gross square feet
EPA began implementing a comprehensive water
management planning strategy for 29 of its laboratory spaces nationwide in the
early 2000s and began tracking and reporting water use in 2007. The strategy
includes: conducting water use and conservation assessments every four years;
setting facility-specific, annual water reduction goals; and identifying and
implementing water-efficiency projects.
Among all 29 laboratories, reduced water use intensity (in
gallons per gross square foot) by 18.7 percent between 2007 and 2010, which is
equal to 23.4 million gallons of total water saved
Approximately $200,000 in water and sewer costs over the three-
EPA’s Main Laboratory Complex in Research
Triangle Park, North Carolina