Survey: Facility Water Conservation Measures In California

Survey looks at facilities that say water conservation is a high priority

By Edward Sullivan, Editor  

By Edward Sullivan, Editor   Green

The historic drought in California — a once-in-a-thousand years drought often referred to as a megadrought — prompted California Gov. Jerry Brown to declare the state’s first water emergency. That made water-conservation an even higher priority in a state where water shortages have long been a fact of life. To gauge the way that facility managers are responding to the situation, Building Operating Management conduced an email survey of magazine subscribers and other facility professionals. This survey is based on 457 responses from facility managers who described water conservation as a high priority in their organizations. The initial goal of the survey was to find out who facility managers are responding to the declaration of the water emergency. But because many facilities had already taken significant action to reduce water use before the emergency was declared, the survey also includes questions about actions that may have been taken prior to Gov. Brown’s announcement. ("N" indicates the number of responses to that question.)

1. Have you spent or committed money for BUDGETED steps to conserve water or reuse water on-site as a result of the California water emergency being declared? N=454
Yes    69%
No    31%

2. Have you spent or committed money for UNBUDGETED steps to conserve water or reuse water on-site as a result of the California water emergency being declared? N=452
Yes    64%
No    36%

3. Which of the following water conservation measures have you implemented or received approval to implement since the California water emergency was declared? (Note: Water conservation measures are listed in descending order based on number of respondents who indicated that they had implemented, approved, or were evaluating that measure. Percentages are based on the number of respondents for each item, not on the overall number of respondents.)

Irrigation control N=376
Implemented    76%
Approved    10%
Evaluating    14%

Toilet replacement N=301
Implemented    58%
Approved    11%
Evaluating    31%

Water use avoidance N=301
Implemented    75%
Approved    8%
Evaluating    17%

Faucet replacement N=288
Implemented    65%
Approved    9%
Evaluating    26%

Urinal replacement N=283
Implemented    55%
Approved    10%
Evaluating    35%

Water audit N=277
Implemented    58%
Approved    13%
Evaluating    29%

Aerator installation N=263
Implemented    71%
Approved    7%
Evaluating    22%

Cooling tower upgrades N=242
Implemented    40%
Approved    17%
Evaluating    43%

Leak detection N=229
Implemented    63%
Approved    8%
Evaluating    29%

Commercial kitchen equipment (other than faucets) N=182
Implemented    35%
Approved    9%
Evaluating    56%

Laboratory & medical equipment N=109
Implemented    23%
Approved    7%
Evaluating    70%

4. Have you received or do you expect to receive any funding from an external source (rebates, tax incentives, etc.) to replace water-inefficient equipment since the water emergency was declared? N=449
Yes    29%
No    71%

Responses to the next two questions came from facility managers who answered Yes to question 4.

5. Which of the following have you received to replace water-inefficient equipment since the water emergency was declared?
Utility water conservation rebates    93%
Utility energy efficiency rebates    59%
Tax incentives    15%
Other    18%
6. Was the external funding a significant factor in getting management approval for the water conservation measures? N=120
Yes    57%
No    43%

7. Do you meter or submeter water buy use? N=442
Yes    64%
No    36%

Responses to question 8 came from facility managers who answered Yes to question 7.

8. Which of the following do you meter or submeter?
Irrigation/landscape water    76%
Cooling tower water    44%
Tenant spaces/water use by zones or floors within buildings    25%
Boiler water    24%
Pools/spas    14%
Ornamental water features    9%
Other outdoor water uses    19%
Other HVAC water    3%

9. Do you get any water from alternative sources (gray water, rain water, condensate, etc.)? N=433
Yes    26%
No    74%

10. Do you use reclaimed water from a wastewater treatment facility? N=432
Yes    25%
No    75%

11. Have you taken any steps to educate building occupants about water conservation? N=432
Yes    81%
No    19%

12. Does your organization have a formal water conservation plan? N=432
Yes    44%
No    56%

13. Has your organization set specific goals for water-use reduction? N=434
Yes    58%
No    42%

14. Has your organization ever conducted a water audit? N=417
Yes    51%
No    49%

15. Have you used any water-conservation information or resources from the WaterSense program of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? N=417
Yes    31%
No    69%

16. Which is a higher priority in your organization, water conservation or energy conservation? N=418
Energy conservation    17%
Water conservation    11%
Both are equal priorities    72%

17. What types of facilities are you responsible for?
Commercial    46%
Medical/Healthcare    18%
Government    18%
Industrial    15%
Educational (K-12 Schools)    13%
Data Centers    11%
Retail    11%
Higher Education (Colleges/Universities)    9%
Hospitality    7%
Other    5%


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  posted on 11/18/2015   Article Use Policy

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