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Water Conservation

The Sustainability Measures Review Team (SMRT) team has developed water conservation objectives and targets for the 10-year timeframe based on the requirements of the 2007 Executive Order (EO) 13423 – Strengthening Federal, Environmental, Energy and Transportation Management, the 2009 EO 13514 – Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, the 2015 EO 13693 – Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade (which supersedes EOs 13423 and 13514), the Energy Policy Act of 1992, and the recent Presidential memorandums regarding Energy Savings Performance Contracts.  NIH campuses are undergoing considerable facility construction and renovations, and as a consequence maintaining an effective water management program is particularly challenging.  The long term purpose of the water management program is to optimize water consumption on campus through a combination of water usage policies, best available technologies, operations and maintenance, and campus-wide energy conservation awareness and participation. 

The near-term objectives of the water conservation program are to conduct feasibility studies of commonly-employed water conservation measures and, wherever appropriate implement them. The team will lead the effort in developing a campus-wide water conservation plan that will include addressing the longer-term goals of increasing awareness and designing water conservation measures into building design and renovation. Specific procedures implemented by NIH to reduce water usage can be found on the Water Use Efficiency and Management page.

Water Conservation Goals:

  1. Potable Water Use
  • E.O. 13693 requires the reduction of potable water consumption intensity, measured in gallons per square foot, by 2% annually through FY 2025 relative to an FY 2007 baseline.  A 36% reduction is required by FY 2025.
  1. Storm Water Reduction
  • E.O. 13693 requires that agencies reduce industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water consumption, measured in gallons, by 2% annually through FY 2025 relative to a FY 2010 baseline.

If you would like more information about this program, please contact Greg Leifer.


Related Links:

NIH Sustainability in Action

1.The LEED Platinum renovation to NIH workspace at the 5600 Fishers Lane Building in Maryland included several sustainable innovations for minimizing water consumption:

  • Low-flow plumbing fixtures, including 1.28 GPM toilets, 0.125 GPM high efficiency urinals.
  • Hands-free self-generating ecopower system faucets that use less than 0.17 gallons of water per cycle.
  • Landscaping water removed from the building and potable water and cooling towers separately metered.
  • Regularly post information on the building information system and building displays to educate employees about water conservation.