Federal Water Efficiency Requirements
Federal laws and regulations require Federal agencies to reduce water use and improve water efficiency. The following section outlines these Federal requirements by topic, including:
Additional requirements spanning sustainable design, operations and maintenance, and other topics are outlined on the Requirements and Guidance by Subject page.
Executive Order 13423
Executive Order (E.O.) 13423 requires Federal agencies to reduce water consumption intensity (gallons per square foot) 2% annually through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2015, or 16% by the end of FY 2015 from a 2007 baseline. This requirement is to be achieved incrementally by fiscal year beginning in 2008.
|Fiscal Year||Percentage Reduction|
E.O. 13423 Mandated Facility Water Intensity Reductions by Fiscal Year
E.O. 13423 also directs Federal facilities to conduct annual water audits of at least 10% of facility square footage and to conduct audits at least every 10 years. The executive order instructions also state that Federal agencies should purchase water efficient products and services, including WaterSense labeled products, and use contractors who are certified through a WaterSense labeled program where applicable. More information can be found at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WaterSense website.
E.O. 13423 supersedes the requirements in E.O. 13123, namely the development of water management plans and the implementation of FEMP Water Efficiency Best Management Practices (BMPs). However, agencies are encouraged to use these existing tools in achieving Federal requirements.
Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 amends Section 543 of the National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA) and establishes a framework for facility project management and benchmarking. Under the new requirement, agencies must identify all "covered facilities" that constitute at least 75% of the agency's facility energy and water use. A covered facility may be defined as "a group of facilities at a single location or multiple locations managed as an integrated operation." An energy manager must be designated for each of these covered facilities. Each facility energy manager is to be responsible for:
Completing comprehensive energy and water evaluations (including re-/retrocommissioning) of 25% of covered facilities each year so that an evaluation of each such facility is completed at least once every four years.
Implementing identified energy and water efficiency measures. Bundling individual measures of varying paybacks into combined projects is permitted.
Following up on implemented measures, including fully commissioning equipment, putting in place operations and maintenance (O&M) plans, and measuring and verifying energy and water savings.
Executive Order 13514
E.O. 13514 expands the water efficiency requirements of E.O. 13423 and EISA 2007. E.O. 13514 does not supersede either regulation.
E.O. 13514 requires that Federal agencies improve water efficiency and management by:
Reducing potable water consumption intensity 2% annually through FY 2020, or 26% by the end of FY 2020, relative to a FY 2007 baseline. This is an expansion of the water requirements within E.O. 13423.
Reducing agency industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water consumption 2% annually, or 20% by the end of FY 2020, relative to a FY 2010 baseline.
Identifying, promoting, and implementing water reuse strategies—consistent with state law—that reduce potable water consumption.
Implementing and achieving objectives identified in the stormwater management guidance issued by EPA. More information on EPA stormwater guidance, as well as a fact sheet, is available on the EPA website.
E.O. 13514 adds a new reduction requirement that requires agencies to achieve a 2% volumetric reduction of industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water use based on a FY 2010 baseline. The intent is to expand the water reduction of Federal agencies to include other areas of freshwater consumption beyond potable water.
All Federal agencies must reduce total water volume in this use category annually through FY 2020. This is a significant change as, prior to E.O. 13514, Federal agencies were only required to reduce potable water. Federal agencies must now track, report, and reduce other sources of water that are consumed in industrial, landscaping, and agricultural applications.
The Federal Water Working Group is currently developing guidance to aid Federal agencies with implementing E.O. 13514 water efficiency requirements, including defining ILA water use, the exemption process, and water reuse strategies. Guidance will be posted on this page as available.
To help achieve the water goals and reporting requirements of E.O. 13423 and the Instructions for Implementing Executive Order 13423, FEMP developed Establishing Baseline and Meeting Water Conservation Goals of Executive Order 13423 as supplemental guidance.
This guidance assists agencies in the interpretation of, and ultimate compliance with, E.O. 13423. Specifically, three key elements of compliance were identified and presented, including:
- Baseline development
- Efficiency opportunity identification and implementation
- Necessary reporting
The guidance provides interpretation for each key area, suggests a path forward, outlines common definitions, and provides resources for additional information. For more information about the guidelines for meeting these goals, see the Water Efficiency Goals and Baseline and Annual Water Use guidance pages.