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June 1, 2018
deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov; 718-595-6600

Citywide Water Conservation Efforts Have Saved 10 Million Gallons of Water Per Day

Spray Shower Retrofit

Conserving Water has also Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 68 Metric Tons Annually and Helped to Improve the Health of Local Waterways

Upcoming Projects will Conserve an Additional 10 Million Gallons a Day

A Map of Water Conservation Projects is Available here and Photos are Available here

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza today released One Water NYC: 2018 Water Demand Management Plan (PDF) for New York City’s water supply. The plan outlines recent conservation efforts that have resulted in a savings of 10 million gallons of water per day, as well as plans to conserve an additional 10 million gallons per day over the next five years. Through a number of strategic initiatives, DEP has been able to reduce per capita water demand in New York City from a peak of 213 gallons per day in 1979, to 115 gallons per day in 2017.

While conservation programs have helped to drive down demand for water, they have also helped to cut greenhouse gas emissions related to operating the water and wastewater systems by 68 metric tons annually, as well as limit sewer overflows into local waterways during rain events. Importantly, the reduction in demand for water will also help to facilitate critical water system upgrades in the coming years, including the temporary shutdown of the Delaware Aqueduct.

“While our reservoirs are full this year, prudent planning requires developing and implementing a demand management plan that prepares for possible drought conditions and the uncertainty of a changing climate,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Using less water also means reduced air pollution associated with treating the water before use and cleaning it at wastewater treatment plants after use, as well as reduced sewer overflows into local waterways during rainy weather.”

Water conservation projects include:

  • The installation of timers on 400 spray showers in Parks Department playgrounds; saving 1.1 million gallons per day (MGD) during the summer months.
  • Upgrade of 30,000 inefficient bathroom fixtures in New York City public schools; saving 3.3 MGD.
  • Capital upgrades and modification of treatment procedures at DEP’s 14 wastewater treatment plants; saving 1.7 MGD.
  • The installation of 500 efficient toilets and 280 urinals in 10 City University of New York buildings; saving 40,000 gallons of water per day.
  • Construction of a water reuse facility at the New York City Fire Department’s Randall’s Island Training Facility; saving 30,000 gallons of water per day.
  • Replacement of more than 12,600 inefficient toilets in private residences; saving 500,000 gallons of water per day.
  • Distribution of nearly 100,000 home water savings kits to promote conservation; saving 400,000 gallons of water per day.

The plan also outlines future in-city conservation projects, steps being taken to reduce water use by 10 of DEP’s upstate wholesale customers, optimization of the water distribution system and management of the water supply during times of water shortage.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9.6 million residents, including 8.6 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $19.1 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

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