Water: A Green issue and a Pocketbook Issue

water costs savings

Most facility managers and building owners are probably aware that water usage reduction can greatly benefit the environment, and many also know that this can be accomplished with little or no impact on tenant satisfaction. But many building owners and managers may not realize that reducing water usage in their facilities can have a significant impact on their financial bottom line.

Water and sewer rates in virtually every area of the United States are increasing, and in some places the increase is actually quite significant. For instance, some areas of the country are experiencing double-digit percentage rate hikes, and we can expect rate increases all over the country in future years.

The causes of these increases are complicated. First and foremost, water is starting to be in short supply in many parts of the country. As with any other commodity, as the water supply diminishes, the costs go up.

It should also be noted that to deliver clean water and to treat effluent water from facilities, is also going up. Local water departments typically depend on imported oil to power the pumps that move water from place to place. In some communities, water departments have tried to absorb these increasing costs, but this generosity is coming to an end in many areas of the country.

Another issue causing increases in water pricing is aging water infrastructure. Infrastructure upgrades have been postponed in many areas for years, to the point that action is now mandatory.

Did you know that there are pipes under Washington DC, still being used today that are more than 150 years old? That shows just how much we have postponed water infrastructure upgrades.

So, we have a pretty good idea as to why water-related charges are going up.

But, this brings up another issue.  Many building owners and managers are complaining that even though they have taken steps to reduce consumption, their rates are still going up.

This is true, and it is happening in many parts of the country.  But, here is what owners and managers must ask themselves: How much would these charges be if they had not taken steps to reduce water consumption?

More than likely, owners and managers are saving far more money today by implementing water reducing strategies than they realize.

For more information on ways to reduce water consumption, contact a Waterless Co representative.

California Water Savings Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions The Equivalent of Taking 111,000 Cars Off the Road for One Year

Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A study released earlier this year by the University of California at Davis (UC Davis), finds that the reduction in water consumption in the state of California has also resulted in what was reported to be a “substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

California experienced a four-year drought, which ended in 2016. In 2015, the state implemented regulations, requiring a 25 percent across-the-board cut in water consumption. 

The UC Davis team reports that more than 525 million gallons of water were saved during that one-year period just as a result of the restrictions.  This was on top of voluntary cutbacks on water consumption, which began as soon as the drought was declared.

As to how a reduction in water consumption could result in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), “it’s all because of the close interconnection between water and energy,” says Klaus Reichardt, CEO, and Founder of Waterless CO, manufacturers of no-water urinals.

“It takes energy to treat and distribute water. If less water is being consumed and distributed, less electricity is needed, so fewer gas emissions are released.”

According to the researchers, this is precisely what happened. They found that due to reduced water consumptions and the need for electricity, there was a reduction of more than 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. This is the equivalent of taking 111,000 cars off the road for one year.

"The scale of these integrated water-energy-GHG savings, achieved over such a short period, is remarkable,” says Professor Frank Loge, one of the authors of the study.  “Our results provide strong support for including direct water conservation in the portfolio… for reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.”

Reichardt adds that as scientists look for more ways to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they will likely focus more attention on improving water efficiency. 

“This study is clear, and there have been others like it.  Reducing water consumption not only protects our most important resource, but our atmosphere as well.”

Tips on making properties more water efficient

Millions of gallons of water are wasted every day in the United States. While several factors contribute to that waste, the two main issues are undetected leaks caused by an aging infrastructure and faulty irrigation systems/procedures incorporated by scores of property owners.

Like energy, property owners and managers must begin monitoring their water use on a weekly basis to ensure efficiency, according to conservation firm WaterSignal.


Here are 12 tips for making properties more water efficient by pinpointing problems owners and managers might not otherwise detect:

  • Compare water usage against a bill that is 12-24 months old, instead of auditing water usage by comparing against the previous month’s water bill. An undetected leak may have occurred several months ago.

To read more tips on how to make your property more water efficient, click here to visit the Proud Green Building Website.

Africa’s first carbon-neutral brewery

Waterless urinals installed in brewery

Western Cape-based craft brewery Darling Brew has been named Africa’s first carbon-neutral brewery and is expected to offset a total of 687.96 t of carbon dioxide over the next year.

This, the brewery explained, will be equivalent to having eliminated the same amount of carbon from the environment as 17 829 tree seedlings having grown for ten years.

To read more from Simone Liedtke on Creamer Media Engineering News website, click here.