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There are numerous federal water conservation requirements. Thankfully, the Environmental Protection Agency has created a Water Conservation Strategy to meet the various requirements set by the government. The Water Conservation Strategy is implemented agency-wide and identifies the most appropriate efforts and best management practices. Furthermore, it identifies particular water-efficiency projects and the annual water reduction goals set by the agency and the government. To make this strategy effective, the EPA conducts numerous water assessments and updates existing management plans throughout the year.
Since the EPA reduced water use dramatically by the federal mandated baseline (2007) for water reduction requirements, the EPA was forced to create a new strategy in 2008; thus, the Water Conservation Strategy was born. This strategy is used to identify new opportunities to further reduce water, provide water efficiency training, and educate all facility employees on the importance of water conservation (EPA, 2012). The strategy even includes the estimated water savings annually. The Water Conservation Strategy provides a framework for the EPA to:
Identify priority of the various projects and approaches
Plan which projects must be implemented in order to satisfy the annual short-term water reduction goals
Plan which projects must be implemented in order to satisfy the annual long-term water reduction goals
The Water Conservation Strategy sets annual water reduction targets; implements the best management practices; completes water conservation projects; assess water use in other businesses; and develops effective water management plans. To ensure these tasks are complete, the EPA identifies water reduction opportunities in the following project areas:
Landscaping and Irrigation
Single-Pass Equipment Cooling
Cooling Tower Management
Alternative Water Sources
Though there are numerous practices used to manage water conservation, a couple methods seem to work best to ensure these requirements are met. Water management planning is one of the most important methods used. A successful water management program provides clear information of how a facility uses water, from the entrance of water to the facility, through the disposal process. Knowing how the water is used and how much it costs allows the business to make appropriate water management decisions (EPA, 2012). Information and Education Programs are also detrimental for the EPA to meet the necessary federal quotas. Operational procedures, retrofits, and replacements, are typically more effective if everyone involved is educated on the matter. Education ensures that society knows what a new technology/method is and how to appropriately use it.
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