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Water Credential For Facility Managers Would Focus On Efficiency, Metering and Usage

By H.W. (Bill) Hoffman - June 2013 - Green


A meaningful water efficiency certification program would provide a water credential for facility managers that focuses on water efficiency, metering and usage.

An Ideal Water Efficiency Certification Program

Many facility managers are familiar with the certified energy manager curriculum. It is designed to train the facility manager and engineer in the subjects they need to know to effectively manage energy at their facility. Topics include codes, standards, benchmarking, economics, energy audits, metering, and commissioning.

A similarly comprehensive program to help keep facility managers up to date on water efficiency is yet to be born, but many facility management, architectural, engineering, water resource agencies, utilities, and plumbing design-related groups are beginning to emphasize water efficiency elements in their educational and training activities. A training and certification program to help facility managers and engineers keep abreast of the rapid changes is clearly needed.

Now, an educational and certification program for all aspects of water use within commercial and institutional facilities is being developed by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE), the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE), the Irrigation Association, and other groups. The water efficiency certification curriculum would have much in common with the certified energy manager program, and the parallels are significant. The water curriculum would provide facility managers with the skills and expertise necessary to make a drastic reduction in the water use of their facilities with a systematic, measured approach.

Such a training and certification program is in the developmental stage, but there are five topic areas that a facility manager should know about water use. The first falls into the general category of understanding the cost of water use and the ways to determine the economics of each type of water use in the facility. This includes being able to quantify water use. Facility managers would also learn to determine how and where water is being used, and how to meter, submeter, and audit water use. They need to know how to add water to the facility "dashboard" for real time management and development of water-related building monitoring and automation.

These dashboards and meters provide ways to verify savings and understand how to quantify the true cost of water, wastewater, pretreatment, energy, equipment, and related cost at the facility level. Many facility managers simply use the cost-per-thousand-gallons charge on their water bill as the basis for their return-on-investment calculation. But it"s important that they learn the hidden costs of water, and how to incorporate those into a calculation in order to justify upgrades.





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