Although the weather for much of the U.S. has been more rainy than usual, the same cannot be said for the rest of the globe as many places are suffering through drought. The varied weather only serves to highlight the “chance” factor in rainfall and the consequent effects on water availability across the globe. No matter the current status for the U.S., the fact remains that the world is facing an ever-shrinking supply of water. Many organizations are incorporating sustainability into their corporate goals; however, it may be the facilities that house these businesses that will lead the way toward conservation. There are three key ways that facility managers can impact the use of water not only nationally, but globally:
- Restroom Water Consumption: Significant water savings are possible through the installation of low-flush toilets, which use only a quarter of the water of their older counterparts. Water savings are also possible through the installation of zero-water urinals: “A regular urinal can use up to 40,000 gallons of water per year.” Water-efficient faucets are also effective, especially when accompanied by motion sensors that cut water flow and reduce waste, and “can reduce water use by around 20%.”
- Water Reclamation: Facilities have water available for reclamation and reuse that is often overlooked. Rainwater can be collected from rooftops and used for toilet flushing, irrigation or manufacturing; building management must figure out the best way to harness the available resources.
- Sustainable Cleaning Routines: Buildings use water for sanitation but conservation-minded water use can also positively affect the overall amounts used. For example, using hoses with manual-release sprayers can reduce waste. Another way to decrease water use is to switch to microfiber mops from typical string mops. The microfiber mops use less cleaning solution (and reportedly clean better) and consequently requires less water. Additionally, if the mops are not dunked into the water bucket, even less water is used.
Globally, the number of facilities is countless, as is the number of employees working at these facilities (you may be sitting in one now). Facility managers can lead the way in setting new standards and operating procedures for water consumptive behaviors if they continue to incorporate sustainability into their business practices. It would be a positive step toward addressing a looming world crisis.
 Martin, Scott. “How to Reduce Water Consumption with Janitorial Supplies.” Glen Martin Limited, 15 Aug. 2014, glenmartinlimited.com/how-to-reduce-water-consumption-with-janitorial-supplies/.
 Contributor, Guest. “In Facilities, Three Way To Address Impending Water Crisis.” Facility Executive – Creating Intelligent Buildings, 10 May 2019, facilityexecutive.com/2019/05/in-facilities-addressing-impending-water-crisis/.
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