Put someone in charge of water saving
Having one person who is responsible for identifying and implementing water-saving measures will make the process of becoming water efficient more manageable -- companies that appoint a conservation champion generally have more success than those that do not.
Get all employees involved
Have one person in charge, but get everyone involved. Once all staff know that water conservation is a company goal, they will be more likely to modify their behavior and you will be quicker to learn about leaks and waste. Making staff aware of water conservation issues is probably the most cost-effective way to save water. If customers use a lot of water on your premises, get them involved too.
Upgrade or replace inefficient equipment
Although replacing old equipment can be costly, reductions in your water bill can quickly pay back your investment. Water-efficient equipment is often energy efficient as well -- by reducing your water bills, you may also be cutting your power bills. Making water use part of the evaluation process in new equipment purchases is a good starting point. In many cases, equipment can be upgraded or modified without being replaced.
Install low-flow devices
You can replace faucets, showerheads and other fittings that will reduce water use without expensive plumbing changes. Toilet tank displacement devices can reduce water use per flush without the need to install high-efficiency toilets.
Establish your baseline and set goals
To monitor your efficiency gains and the money you save from water conservation, first establish a baseline for comparison. If your business is seasonal, consider using a different baseline for each month. Once you have a baseline, set attainable monthly or annual goals and communicate these to your whole organization.
Sub-meter where appropriate
By installing point-of-use meters for individual facilities and appliances you can see where water is being used and can track down leaks more easily. Consider putting in sub-meters for individual buildings, swimming pools, heating and cooling units, water features and appliances.
Change your landscape
Use native, drought-tolerant plants for landscaping. Hardy native plants require less maintenance and often look more attractive than non-native plants that are struggling with the conditions. Start with a well-designed landscape plan and consider hydrozoning. Even without changing your landscape, you can cut the cost of irrigation by installing smart controllers or by using recycled, grey or harvested water. Water from on-site wastewater treatment systems, air conditioner units and harvested rainwater can all be used for irrigation.
Reduce water pressure
You can save water without significant losses in performance by limiting water pressure. Consider installing pressure-reducing valves with pressure gauges that reduce water pressure to 70 psi.
When cleaning paths, patios, driveways and other hard surfaces, use regular dry brooms or water-efficient spray brooms rather than hoses. If you need to use hoses, fit them with low-flow spray nozzles with an automatic shut-off.
Check for leaks regularly
Sprinklers, toilets and cooling systems can often leak and are easy to check. Aim to have regular inspections of your facility - both indoors and outdoors - and encourage staff to report leaks.
Find out which programs can help. Regional and national programs exist specifically to help businesses reduce their water use. Some of these programs provide support for specific businesses, such as the Rinse Smart program which helps restaurants upgrade dishwashing equipment.
The EPA's WaterSense provides detailed information and advises on water efficient equipment and practices.
The Arizona Municipal Water Users Association is also a good resource for water conservation information.
Consult City of Phoenix Building Codes and Ordinances to comply with the latest rules governing water-related installations.
When quick tips are not enough, learn how to save water and reduce overhead by visiting Your Business.