Water-Saving Strategies to Make Every Drop Count

What water-saving measures are musts for any commercial property? What's the best way to tackle water management outdoors?

Increasingly businesses, cities, schools and other institutions are asking these questions about a resource that was once only a concern for water-dependent companies and enterprises.

While it's no surprise to GreenBiz.com readers that water is becoming the new carbon, issues of water management and mismanagement and risks faced by industries are gaining wider attention across business sectors and the public.

The latest State of Green Business Report by GreenBiz cites a 30 percent drop in industrial water use since 1985. Other research, such as Ceres' recent study "Murky Waters: Corporate Reporting on Water Risk," also examines how big businesses are responding.

For the general public, events like World Water Day -- observed annually on March 22 since 1993 -- call greater attention to the need for stricter and smarter water management.

That attention is welcomed by water-conscious architects, builders and facilities and landscaping managers who often face a double challenge -- devising strategies to use water efficiently and persuading clients or their companies to follow them.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense partnership program is a good starting point for advice on water efficiency for commercial and institutional sites -- and tips on how to make the business case for conservation measures.

asked a range of design and sustainability professionals with experience in water management to offer ideas on water-saving strategies for a variety of budgets and needs.

Brian Feagans, an associate at the Ratcliff architectural firm, Alex Spilger, sustainability manager for the BCCI Construction Company, Nicholas Rumanes, vice president of development at Las Vegas Sands Corporation, and Jennifer Riley-Chetwynd, spokeswoman for Rain Bird, offered their suggestions.

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