Estimated from analyzing data in: Solley, Wayne B., et al. 1998.
Estimated Use of Water in the United States in 1995
U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1200.
Created from analyzing data in: Schultz Communications. July 1999.
A Water Conservation Guide for Commercial, Institutional and Industrial Water Users
for the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer.
Dziegielewski, Benedykt, et al. American Water Works Association (AWWA)
and AWWA Research Foundation. 2000.
Commercial and Institutional End Uses of Water
East Bay Municipal Utility District. 2008.
WaterSmart Guidebook: A Water-
Use Efficiency Plan Review Guide for New Businesses
Helping Businesses Manage Water Use—A Guide for Water Utilities
Practicing water efficiency not only enhances the public perception of the organ-
ization, but can also help differentiate the organization among its competitors.
Water-efficient facilities can be less vulnerable to fluctuations in
water supply and pricing by reducing their dependence on limited local water
resources. This not only reduces risk, but also the burden on associated water
and wastewater utility infrastructure, ensuring a more sustainable future water
supply for the community.
Water-efficient organizations can clearly demonstrate
their commitment to the community and environmental leadership. By imple-
menting projects that result in real water savings, an organization can share both
quantitative and qualitative results. Water efficiency also contributes to meeting
corporate sustainability goals and demonstrates an organization’s contribution
to reducing demand on natural resources.
Access opportunities in the green building marketplace.
The principles of
water efficiency are becoming ingrained in the commercial real estate market as
an integral part of green building and sustainable event planning. Implement-
ing specific measures that make a facility more water- and energy-efficient helps
an organization earn recognition from local green building programs, EPA and
the U.S. Energy Department’s (DOE’s) ENERGY STAR,® or the U.S. Green Building
Council’s LEED® rating system. At the same time, many national, state, and local
organizations have instituted environmental requirements for both their own
facilities and those where meetings and conferences are held. Hotels, restaurants,
and other facilities can strengthen their ability to compete in this growing mar-
ket niche by undertaking specific water- and energy-efficiency measures.
Reducing facility water use not only makes sense at the facility level, but it also helps
communities to delay costly infrastructure upgrades, while preserving our limited
water supplies for future generations.
WaterSense at Work
is designed to help facility
owners and managers do their part to reduce water demand and achieve organiza-
tional goals in the process.
Water Use in the Commercial and Institutional Sector
The commercial and institutional sector is the second largest consumer of publicly
supplied water in the United States, accounting for 17 percent of the withdrawals
from public water supplies.
This sector includes a variety of facility types, such as
hotels, restaurants, office buildings, schools, hospitals, laboratories, and government
and military institutions. Each facility type has different water use patterns depend-
ing upon its function and use. Figure 1-1 shows how water is used in several types of
commercial and institutional facilities.