Opportunities to save water, energy, and money are right around the corner. Improve your building's performance using best management practices, by reviewing case studies, or with additional information identified in resources prepared by WaterSense partners.
On this page:
- External Resources
- WaterSense Commercial Program Development
- ENERGY STAR Resources
- Water Efficiency Guidance for Federal Agencies
- Alliance for Water Efficiency Resource Library
- Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and Black and Veatch, 2008. Facility Manager's Guide to Water Management
- City Energy Project, 2019, Water Audit Guidance for Commercial Buildings
- East Bay Municipal Utility District, 2008. WaterSmart Guidebook: A Water-Use Efficiency Plan Review Guide for New Businesses
- Environmental Defense Fund Water Efficiency Toolkit
- North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2009. Water Efficiency Manual for Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Facilities
- South Florida Water Management District, 2011. Water Efficiency Improvement Self-Assessment Guide for Commercial and Institutional Building Facility Managers
- In addition to those highlighted below, Section 9: Resources of WaterSense at Work(308 pp, 6 MB, About PDF) offers a comprehensive list of resources on water efficiency and specific technologies.
Since 2009, WaterSense has engaged in stakeholder efforts to evaluate the potential for a more formal commercial and institutional program.
- WaterSense CI Stakeholder Meetings - A 2009 meeting outlined the possibility of expanding the program to include opportunities for the CI sector, with a white paper as an output. A 2012 meeting described the approach used by ENERGY STAR to benchmarking energy and the implications for water benchmarking.
The best management practices in WaterSense at Work recommend the use of many types of ENERGY STAR products because they include water factors to ensure products are both water and energy efficient. ENERGY STAR's commercial building program has also developed many resources to assist commercial facilities reduce their energy use. Many other federal resources are also beneficial to facilities interested in improving their water efficiency.
- Guidelines for Energy Management – While developed to help managers implement energy efficiency programs, the guidelines are equally relevant to facility managers looking to improve their water efficiency.
- Portfolio Manager – Portfolio Manager is an interactive energy management tool that allows a user to track and assess energy and water consumption across their entire portfolio of buildings in a secure online environment.
- Users have entered water data into Portfolio Manager for more than 50,000 buildings. In 2012, ENERGY STAR reviewed the data to see how water use varied between and among different types of buildings.
- Building Competitions - ENERGY STAR hosts national competitions which also include water as a recognition category and has resources to help their partners develop their own competitions.
- Better Buildings Water Saving Network: DOE brings organizations together to discuss and demonstrate successful approaches to conserving water in buildings, plants, and multifamily housing.
- Sustainable Facilities Tool: The General Services Administration (GSA) has developed the sustainable facilities tool to help facility managers, purchasing agents, designers, tenants, or interested individuals learn more about efficient, healthy buildings and environmentally-responsible purchasing.
A number of executive orders (E.O.) have been issued that require federal agencies to implement water efficiency measures. E.O. 13423 (2007) required the purchase, installation, and implementation of water-efficient products and practices. E.O. 13514 (2009) extended and expanded the requirements of the executive order to also include requirements related to industrial, landscape, and agricultural water use. E.O. 13693 (2015) extended reduction goals and added requirements for metering. E.O. 13834 (2018) renewed a call to reduce potable and non-potable water consumption and comply with stormwater management requirements. E.O. 14057 (2021), which supersedes all previous executive orders, requires federal agencies to establish targets to reduce potable water use intensity through FY 2030. E.O. 14057 also requires agencies to procure WaterSense labeled, ENERGY STAR certified, and other water-efficient products and systems.
The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality has issued implementing instructions(73 pp) for E.O. 14057 and the Office for Federal Sustainabilitywill issue additional guidance to help carry out requirements.
This page is designed to assist federal agencies in fulfilling these requirements. To comply, federal agencies can:
►Purchase WaterSense Labeled Products
WaterSense labeled products are at least 20 percent more water-efficient than conventional models on the market, and provides equal or superior performance. All WaterSense labeled products are certified to meet EPA's efficiency and performance criteria by an independent, third-party laboratory. WaterSense currently labels a variety of both indoor and outdoor products that can be easily identified and installed in federal facilities.
►Specify the Purchase of WaterSense Labeled and ENERGY STAR Certified Products
Incorporate the following procurement language into purchasing agreements:
- The vendor must, where applicable, provide WaterSense labeled and ENERGY STAR certified products. The vendor is encouraged to check for updated lists of applicable product categories.
►Use Contractors Certified by a WaterSense Labeled Program
- WaterSense labeled programs are available for irrigation system installation and maintenance professionals, irrigation system designers, and irrigation system auditors.
- Irrigation professionals certified by one or more of the above labeled programs have demonstrated their expertise in water-efficient irrigation technologies and techniques.
- Irrigation professionals certified by a WaterSense labeled program can help you design and install a new irrigation system or audit an existing one to minimize the amount of water you use, greening your facility in more ways than one.
►Incorporate Water Efficiency Best Management Practices Into Facility Operations
- The best management practices included in WaterSense at Work can help federal facilities reduce water use in their operations.
- To further help you identify water-efficient products and practices that will enable you to reduce your water consumption and comply with E.O. 14057 and other federal statures, the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Water Efficiency in Federal Buildings and Campuses Website provides a range of guidance, tools, and resources that can be implemented and tailored to meet your agency and/or facility–specific water efficiency goals.
►Purchase FEMP-Designated Energy-Efficient Products
- FEMP provides purchasing specifications for many energy and water-efficient products not currently covered by WaterSense specifications. For more information, please visit the FEMP Energy–Efficient Products Website .