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Water Efficiency

Goal 4: Water Use Efficiency & Management

GSA is committed to reducing water usage in its facilities and capturing and reusing water where possible.

Evaluation Measures and Successes

-In FY 2012, GSA reduced water usage in buildings subject to the Executive Order 13423 and Executive Order 13514 reduction goals by nearly 20 percent from an FY 2007 baseline, exceeding the FY 2012 target of 10 percent. This reduction represents 622 million gallons of water, or more than 943 Olympic-sized pools. Water reduction efforts also led to a cost avoidance of approximately $6.5 million.

-Through the use of reverse osmosis (RO) technologies at the Veterans Administration (VA) Center in Philadelphia, GSA developed a more efficient way to use potable water in cooling towers. Using RO technology significantly decreases the amount of water wasted during each cooling cycle and prevents the need for the addition treatment chemicals to rid the water of solids. The VA Center estimates savings of more than three million gallons of water per year due to the reverse osmosis installations alone

-Between 2010 and 2012, GSA, in collaboration with DOE’s National Renewable Energy Lab and Denver Water, installed pilot water treatment systems on three cooling towers located at GSA leased buildings, where the primary tenants were U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Early results indicate that two of the pilot technologies are successful in accomplishing water and energy conservation goals. Therefore, GSA recently initiated an in-depth four-month review that aims to understand the conditions necessary for technology application and determine the potential to replicate nontraditional water treatment technologies in federal buildings nationwide.

Planned Actions

-Advanced water meters in GSA facilities are identifying leaks, monitoring the results of repairs and corrections, and indicating water savings achieved. GSA will continue to perform routine maintenance to detect irrigation system leaks.

-As part of the Green Proving Ground Program, GSA is currently testing a landscape irrigation system that utilizes a soil moisture sensor network to optimize the amount of landscaping water used. Results from this test will be made available in FY 2014.


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