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Lean & Water Toolkit: Appendix A

Water Efficiency Resources and Technical Assistance Providers

This appendix focuses on resources that are directly applicable to manufacturing and industrial facilities; however, some resources and tools may have broader relevance and contain information that will be useful to commercial, institutional, and residential water users as well as industrial water users.

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Water Efficiency and Conservation Resources

At the Crest of a Wave: A Proactive Approach to Corporate Water Strategy, Pacific Institute

Making the case that businesses and industrial facilities must prepare for water trends, this guide helps users to design and implement a two-stage water conservation strategy. Case studies and success stories include those from companies such as Unilever, Nestlé, Toyota, General Motors, Anheuser-Busch, GE, Proctor & Gamble, and more. The steps presented help corporations to create a comprehensive approach to managing water risks and opportunities.

Collecting the Drops: A Water Sustainability Planner™, Global Environmental Management Initiative (GEMI)

This web-based tool and downloadable document provides step-by-step guidance and resources to help facilities conduct assessments of their water use and impacts on the water supply. Facilities can then use this information to develop water sustainability strategies, create action plans, and take actions to improve water resource management in their operations and community. The planner includes case examples of how GEMI member companies have engaged internal and external stake­holders and generated actions to improve water resource management and conservation. Modules include:

  • Module 1: Facility Water Use and Impact Assessment Program
  • Module 2: Water Management Risk Assessment Questionnaire
  • Module 3: Case Examples and Links

Commercial, Institutional, and Industrial (CII) Water Users: Manufacturing Introduction, Alliance for Water Efficiency

The Alliance for Water Efficiency Resource Library webpages offer information on CII water use and efficiency opportunities, as well as links to the research and information about this end user catego­ry. In manufacturing, major uses and topics include cooling water, process water, steam generation and boilers, sanitation, irrigation, food services, and housekeeping. The resource briefly discusses the need for and value of water audits for facilities and applying the strategies of reduce, reuse, and recycle for facility water consumption.

Connecting the Drops Toward Creative Water Strategies: A Water Sustainability Tool™, GEMI

This tool presents the business case for water efficiency, and provides guidance and case studies on water assessment, opportunity identification, planning, and implementation. Five core analytic modules comprise a roadmap to help facilities identify specific steps that they can take to reduce their water use:

  • Module 1: Water Use, Impact, and Source Assessment
  • Module 2: Business Risk Assessment
  • Module 3: Business Opportunity Assessment
  • Module 4: Strategic Direction and Goal Setting
  • Module 5: Strategy Development and Implementation

Cooling Towers: Water Use, Washington State Department of Ecology

Cooling towers are a significant area of water use for many facilities, and taking steps to assess and reduce water use in cooling towers can substantially lower a facility’s overall water footprint. The Washington State Department of Ecology’s Technical Resources for Engineering Efficiency (TREE) Team created this succinct checklist of conservation suggestions, questions to ask during a water use evaluation, and suggested data to collect to identify opportunities for water savings from cooling towers.

ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This tool allows users to track and access information about their facility’s water consumption, inad­dition to data about energy consumption. Water and energy use and cost data can be managed across multiple facilities in a secure, online interface. The tool allows you to track multiple water meters for each facility, identify meters with customized names and key information, benchmark your facili­ties relative to past performance, monitor costs, and share data with others inside or outside of your organization. By tracking energy and water metrics across facilities, users can identify opportunities for efficiency improvements, and can receive EPA recognition for superior performance.

Facility Manager’s Guide to Water Management, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association

This guide is intended to help commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities to identify areas to improve water use efficiency within reasonable economic parameters. The guide provides a step­by-step resource for creating a water management plan, and includes worksheets on topics such as water consumption history and estimated water balances. Several water end uses and options for reducing them are discussed, including domestic water use, cooling and heating systems, landscape water uses, and kitchen uses. The guide provides planning and policy-setting options, water man­agement options, and guidance for empowering employees to effect changes to reduce water use.

GEMI Local Water Tool™, GEMI

By spring 2012, GEMI plans to release a new tool, the GEMI Local Water Tool™, which will be an interactive, downloadable module that will help companies evaluate specific sites for water impacts and risks in order to devise site-specific sustainable water management strategies. This tool is de­signed to complement the Global Water Tool (described below), which can help a company identify and prioritize risks to its competitive position based on the link between its operations and the external water landscape. Companies can then employ the Local Water Tool to further evaluate the high water-risk locations and plan actions to manage those risks.

Global Water Tool, World Business Council for Sustainable Development

In order for a facility to manage current and future risks related to its water use, the Global Water Tool helps users map their water use and assess risks related to their global operations, comparing water needs to local conditions. The tool helps calculate water consumption and efficiency, compar­ing water consumption data through time to help assess improvements and monitor progress.

Water Efficiency: Business or Industry Water Use and Conservation Audit, New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

This factsheet provides a short set of steps to audit water use in a business or industrial facility, analyze feasibility of conservation measures, and develop a conservation plan.

Waste Not, Want Not: The Potential for Urban Water Conservation in California, Pacific Institute

This report presents a comprehensive assessment of water use and conservation potential in the state of California, including industrial water use as well as commercial, institutional, and resi­dential. It includes benchmarking data on water use for many industry sectors, a description of the methodology for estimating cost and water savings from water conservation strategies, and informa­tion on cost-effectiveness of various water conservation and efficiency improvements.

A Water Conservation Guide for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Users, New Mexico Office of the State Engineer

This guide presents the business case for water efficiency, offers programmatic steps, conservation strategies for indoor and outdoor use, and process-specific and mechanical systems, and illustrates potential opportunities with fifteen individual case studies.

Water Efficiency Manual for Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Facilities, North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

This comprehensive manual provides sound principles of water conservation, strategies for conduct­ing a successful water efficiency program, auditing tools, water management options, and examples for three industry-specific processes: textiles, food and beverage, and metal finishing. Practical tools in the guide include assessment checklists, step-by-step instructions for conducting a successful wa­ter efficiency program, and explanations of approaches such as water balancing. The manual details water management options for several common end uses, including:

  • Sanitary and Domestic Uses
  • Cooling and Heating
  • Boilers
  • Kitchen and Food Preparation
  • Commercial Laundries
  • Cleaning, Rinsing, and In-process Reuse
  • Reuse and Reclamation
  • Landscaping

Water Footprint Manual, Water Footprint Network

This guide provides a thorough description of the practice of water footprinting, including practical steps for estimating a water footprint and instructions for assessing the difference between a direct and indirect water footprint. This comprehensive guide to water footprinting instructs readers on estimating the footprint of a product as well as that of a business.

WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices for Commercial and Institutional Fa­cilities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The WaterSense Best Management Practices, which EPA’s Office of Water developed in coordination with the Federal Energy Management Program, are a comprehensive set of recommendations and tips for how commercial and institutional facilities can improve their water efficiency. EPA’s Water- Sense Program helps water consumers identify best practices, resources, and tools to reduce their water use. Commercial and institutional water users can take advantage of lists of water-efficient products to install in their facilities, best management practices, and other ways to improve water efficiency.

WaterSmart Guidebook, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Oakland, California

This extensive guidebook provides information on water-saving technologies currently available to commercial, industrial, and institutional businesses, as well as specific water efficiency strategies and tips for different business types such as paper manufacturing and metal finishing. Many water-using technologies, such as process water, are explored to show the areas in which the most water is used and where it can be saved. 

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Technical Assistance Providers

Water Utility Incentive Programs

Many utilities and local governments offer incentive programs to water utility customers to encour­age the efficiency of water use in the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. Common approaches include a combination of water audits and rebates to help facilities realize water sav­ings. Check with your local utility to see what incentives may be available. Some notable programs include those sponsored by the following utilities and localities, all of which saw significant reduc­tions of water use by facilities that they serve:

National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Part­nership (MEP) is a network of manufacturing assistance centers that provide Lean manufacturing training, Lean event facilitation, and other services to small-to-medium sized businesses to make them more competitive. Many MEP centers have experience providing integrated Lean and environ­mental services to businesses or have partnerships with environmental agencies to offer Lean and environment services.

Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx) Consortium

The Pollution Prevention Resource Exchange (P2Rx™) is a consortium of regional pollution prevention information centers in the United States, funded in part through grants from EPA. These centers all provide pollution prevention information, networking opportunities, and technical assis­tance services to state agencies, local governments, businesses, and technical assistance providers in their region. Regional centers and contact information can be found on the P2Rx™ website, along with their collective information resources on Lean, water efficiency, and other topics.

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