The focus on saving water in commercial office buildings is quietly creeping up, as more predictions on clean water shortages are on the rise.
A 2003 report by the U.S. General Accounting Office forecasts that 36 states are likely to experience water shortages by 2013. Keep in mind that places like northern California, the Pacific Northwest, Las Vegas and Atlanta has already gone through recent water shortages.
Where is all the water going? The country uses about 400 billion gallons of water each day, basically as follows:
– 48% thermoelectric power generation
– 34% irrigation
– 12% in and around buildings
– 6% other
So, what do those of us who manage office buildings do? According to an American Water Work Association study, office buildings use an average of 62 gallons of water for each square foot each day. With simple water efficiency measures, the AWWA estimate total water usage should be below 35 gallons per square foot per day … a reduction of 43 percent!
While water-savings has been on our lists of sustainability efforts, it’s looking like it will be getting more attention and a lot sooner than many of us may have thought.