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NIH Environmental Management System

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Water Efficiency

​​As outlined in Executive Order (EO) 14057, Catalyzing Clean Energy Industries and Jobs Through Feder​al Sustainability, federal agencies shall increase water efficiency.

  • Set a target to reduce potable intensity​ by 2030. 
  • Set annual targets to reduce potable water intensity each year up to 2030.

To demonstrate progress in water efficiency and sustainability, NIH publishes an annual Sustainability Plan (SP) and reports progress to their parent government agency, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS adheres to the requirements of EO 14057 and publishes an annual Sustainability Plan to demonstrate overall agency progress.​

Water use efficiency and management includes implementation of conservation measures and reduction in use intensity across all operations and activities. These include management strategies for potable and non-potable water applications.

NIH Strategies to Achieve Water Use Efficiency and Management Goals​

The NIH Division of Facilities Stewardship Energy Management Branch tracks the NIH water use and implements water saving measures. NIH implements the following strategies to improve potable water use reduction measures:

  • Install low flow water fixtures.
  • ​Install high efficiency touchless faucets.​​
  • Mantain an advanced water treatment program at the NIH Bethesda Campus CUP to reduce water consumption.
  • Install green infrastructure features to assist with storm and wastewater management.
  • Install and monitor water meters and utilize data to advance water conservation and management.
  • Prepare and implement a water asset management plan to maintain desired level of service at lowest life cycle cost.
  • Minimize outdoor water use and use alternative water sources as much as possible.
  • Design and deploy water closed-loop, capture, recharge, and/or reclamation systems.
  • Install advanced meters to measure and monitor potable and ILA water use.
  • Develop and implement programs to educate employees about methods to minimize water use.
  • Assess the interconnections and dependencies of energy and water on agency operations, particularly climate change's effects on water which may impact energy use.
  • Consistent with State law, maximize use of grey-water and water reuse systems that reduce potable and ILA water consumption.
  • Consistent with State law, identify opportunities for aquifer storage and recovery to ensure consistent water supply availability.
  • Ensure that planned energy efficiency improvements consider associated opportunities for water conservation.
  • Where appropriate, identify and implement regional and local drought management and preparedness strategies that reduce agency water consumption

Water Use Efficiency & Management – Progress/Accomplishments

Progress/accomplishments on water use efficiency and management include advancing energy control measures in RTP using grey water from a nearby municipal waste water treatment plant for make-up water in cooling towers. NIH continues implementation of Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESC) and Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) projects signed previously which include implementation/construction of water metering, steam traps, condensate units, and fixtures to conserve water.

Click here for more information on how the NIH is participating in water conservation.

Division of Facilities Stewardship

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