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Part 3: Net-Zero Water: Is It Realistic?
April 2014 -
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Can you explain the concept of "net-zero water"? Is this a strategy available to only certain facility types? If not, how can facility managers move towards net-zero water at their facility?Akin to the concept of climate neutrality or designing a net zero energy building, the concept of net zero water is intended to limit the water quantity and quality impacts within a defined boundary. By reducing water use to only what falls on a facility’s site and minimizing stormwater runoff from the site a facility could move toward net zero water impact. The Colorado Water Innovation Cluster, is currently developing a Net Zero Water Planning Toolkit that will help users:1. Determine a company or organization’s baseline and forecasted water footprint based on existing and future activities 2. Identify strategies to reduce water consumption and impacts on water quality3. Analyze strategies and aggregating into scenarios for water planning4. Set milestones on the path to neutrality based on scenario modeling5. Measure and monitor progress during implementation The idea is that this toolkit would be useable at any scale, from any individual building all the way up to an entire watershed. A beta version of the toolkit will be made available later this year.Answers provided by Becky Fedak, PE, Engineer, with Brendle Group, a sustainability consulting firm based in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Ask An Expert: Becky Fedak, Water Efficiency
Part 1: How To Determine How Water Is Used, and How Water Is Being Wasted
Part 2: Less Obvious Systems To Consider in Pursuing Water Efficiency
Part 4: Barriers To Water Efficiency