IRRIGO News

Water Conservation in the Workplace

Posted by: IRRIGO on February 12th, 2013

Environmentally aware individuals practice water conservation efforts in their homes. They use water-efficient fixtures. Some have converted their conventional lawns into charming and functional rain gardens. They even take the habit with them on holidays by not indulging in excessively long showers in hotels, or by hanging their towels to signify the intention to reuse them.

Water conservation can be a fairly simple concept when you think about it. However, even the more water-conscious members of our society sometimes fail to make the connection between conservation and things that on the surface do not appear to have anything to do with water at all, like their computer keyboard at work, or that stack of tiny paper cups next to the water dispenser. People tend to think that water use is limited to what actually flows out of our faucets.

Information Drive

It is a sad fact that in a typical workplace, there is very little initiative, if any at all, to encourage water conservation. The HR department is probably in the best position to create awareness about the things that employees can do to somehow contribute to the company’s water conservation efforts.

A water-saving campaign in the workplace can include among other things the following:

  1. Short, eye-opening seminars about everyday items used in the office and their corresponding waterprint. For example, employees should be made to realize that for every $1 worth of computer peripheral on their desk, the corresponding water footprint is 5 gallons. This equates to 5000 gallons for every employee who has $1000-worth of office electronics. For 100 employees, that is a mind-blowing 500,000 gallons of water! Employees can be inspired to not beat on their office gadgets the next time they are having a bad day. Learning that they will not only potentially need a new keyboard or printer, but that they will also have wasted all the water that went into the manufacture of the things they just broke might help your employees to consider the way they treat their equipment. As another example, several times in an ordinary working day, employees tend to converge around the water dispenser, relishing a few minutes of office socializing. Everyone grabs a water cup and fills up. By the end of the day, the trash bin next to the dispenser is brimming with used paper cups. If employees were made aware that it takes 4 gallons of water to produce each of those crumpled paper cups, they would probably bring their own drinking mugs.
  2. Accenting office décor with classy and inspirational posters about water conservation. To a lot of people, saving water does not come naturally. Daily stresses in the workplace tend to keep their minds off issues that have no direct bearing on their workload. Posters help to remind them gently. It might take a while, but convincing employees that the company is serious about promoting good water habits will be well worth it in the long run.

Indoor Water Reduction

The Property Management Department can get professional help in evaluating the company’s water facilities and finding ways to reduce consumption. Many companies have begun installing high-efficiency devices in restrooms and break rooms. Employees will appreciate the seminars and poster campaigns even more when they see that real changes are being established around the office.

Outdoor Water Reduction

For some companies, water consumption extends outdoors to the landscaping around the building. Having some semblance of nature in their place of work somehow promotes calm and well-being among employees, and companies that appreciate this positivity tend to want to keep maintaining the grounds, but must look for ways to manage the cost.

A water audit will establish whether existing landscape irrigation systems are old and outdated enough to need improvements. The system, its design, hardware, management and maintenance will all be evaluated. Any recommended rehab work will mean additional investment, the kind of investment that over time will save the company money on water expenses. Companies that offer specialized services like water audits and improving irrigation efficiency will provide the ROI calculations. They typically estimate between 20% – 40% reduction in water use.

Water conservation is everyone’s business. At home or at work, there is always something one can do to conserve water. The key is awareness and a genuine desire to do good for the environment.

  1. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-calculator-methodology/#page=2
  2. http://www.appropedia.org/Paper_cup
  3. http://www.resourceidc.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=54
verb.
  • to irrigate
  • to irrigate responsibly

We provide high quality irrigation and landscape lighting services in and around Victoria, BC. Contact us to discuss your project or how we can help maintain your existing system.

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