Non-Residential water efficiency programs
In addition to addressing water efficiency issues in public and residential buildings, DEP is also pursuing a Non-Residential Water Efficiency Program as part of our comprehensive approach to water demand. Commercial and non-residential buildings account for a significant proportion of citywide water demand and stand to benefit from partnerships with the City to reduce water consumption. In order to maximize water savings to meet the Water for the Future goal of a 5% reduction in citywide water demand, DEP will tap into water saving opportunities through exploring partnerships with the private sector. During the spring of 2013, DEP and the Mayor’s Office launched a water efficiency program called the Mayor’s Water Challenge.
The Mayor’s Water Challenge is a year-long, voluntary challenge to private sector groups to match the 5% citywide water consumption reduction goal. Some of the city’s largest and most prestigious hotels will be among the first private sector entities to participate in the Challenge. Participants will be asked to calculate baseline water consumption, track water usage in their facilities for 12 months, develop Water Conservation Plans, and attend meetings with DEP and the Mayor’s Office to discuss progress. Challenge participants will receive formal recognition from the Mayor’s Office and DEP for their efforts.
Additionally, DEP is currently evaluating criteria for initiating a cost sharing program. Through incentivizing water reuse and alternative use, DEP would capture benefits such as deferred capital cost of large-scale water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure, reduced loadings to sewers and water bodies, improved environmental stewardship and increased capability to manage demand on the water supply system. DEP has set a goal to unveil a cost sharing program by 2015.
The program will be designed to target specific water efficiency technologies in the non-residential sector. The scope of this program will include: water efficient technologies that address water-cooled refrigeration in food related businesses, hotels or health care facilities; reuse of water in laundry and car wash facilities; steam condensate use for toilet or urinal flushing, cooling tower makeup water or other non-potable uses; increasing cycles of concentration in cooling towers; changes to water-related industrial processes; climate based smart irrigation controls; and water reuse for non-potable applications, such as toilet flushing and irrigation.