Water Efficiency Case Studies
The following case studies provide information about the performance, economics, and/or success of Federal water efficiency projects. Federal agencies can get a good understanding about what is possible at their sites or learn what other agencies are doing.
Organized by corresponding best management practice (BMP), Federal water efficiency case studies include:
U.S. Department of Energy Y-12 National Security Complex: BMP 1 - Water Management Planning
A water assessment at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, provided a comprehensive understanding of current water-consuming equipment and applications while identifying key areas for efficiency improvement.
U.S. Army Fort Huachuca: BMP 2 – Information and Education programs
The U.S. Army Fort Huachuca contracted the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension to provide comprehensive water and energy conservation awareness programs under its Water Wise and Energy Smart (WWES) program. Ongoing since 1998, this program provides outreach, education, and services to approximately 14,000 Fort Huachuca civilian employees and their families.
Kirtland Air Force Base: BMP 3 – Distribution System Audits, Leak Detection, and Repair
Kirtland Air Force Base (AFB) performed an award-winning leak detection and repair program in 2006. The results save Kirtland AFB 179 million gallons of water each year, which is more than 16% of the total water use at the base.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: BMP 4/5 – Water-Efficient Landscaping and Irrigation
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) operates an award-winning grounds maintenance program that comprises a comprehensive landscape and irrigation management program. The program helped the laboratory reduce its water use for irrigation by 30%.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center: BMP 6 – Toilets and Urinals
Marshall Space Flight Center developed an innovative replacement program for toilets and urinals by researching appropriate fixtures, demonstrating technologies, and creating specifications for high-efficiency fixtures.
Huntington Veterans Affairs Medical Center: BMP 7 – Faucets and Showerheads
The Huntington Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center implemented an award winning faucet and showerhead water efficiency program in 2007. The efficiency improvements save the medical center more than 1.5 million gallons of water each year.
Boiler Upgrades and Decentralizing Steam Systems Save Water and Energy at Naval Air Station Oceana: BMP 8 - Boiler/Steam Systems
Naval Air Station Oceana determined that its heating needs could be met more efficiently by replacing its central plant with a combination of distributed boilers and ground source heat pumps. The results saved 1,109,888 MBtu in energy and 19,574 Kgal of water annual.
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center: BMP 10 – Cooling Tower Management
Marshall Space Flight Center implemented innovative technologies to improve water efficiency and cooling performance for one of its problematic cooling systems. The program saved the facility more than 800,000 gallons of water in eight months.
Department of Defense (DOD) Exchange Facilities: BMP 11 – Commercial Kitchen Equipment
The Exchange, formerly the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), took a leadership role in kitchen appliance upgrades to improve water efficiency by integrating water efficiency concepts into the organization's overall sustainability plan and objectives.
Various U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sites: BMP 12 - Laboratory/Medical Equipment
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency built a successful water conservation program and reduced potable water use through a series of initiatives at its laboratories. The projects demonstrate EPA's ability to reduce water use in laboratory and medical equipment by implementing vacuum pump and steam sterilizer replacements and retrofits.
Sandia National Laboratories: BMP 13 – Other Water Intensive Processes
Sandia National Laboratories developed an extensive water efficiency program at its Microsystems and Engineering Sciences Application (MESA) complex following FEMP Best Management Practice #13. The program saves the complex 80 million gallons of water annually.
EPA Science and Ecosystem Support Division: BMP 14 – Alternate Water Sources
Severe drought caused the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to address water conservation and management for their Science and Ecosystem Support Division. The plan aimed to reduce potable water usage through an air handler condensate recovery project.
U.S. Army Fort Carson: BMP 14 – Alternate Water Sources
The U.S. Army's Fort Carson has built a successful and award-winning water conservation program through a series of initiatives that avoid using potable water (PDF 786 KB ). The program involves an innovative approach to utilizing alternative sources of water, water reclamation, and recycling.