The National Hockey League (NHL) 2014 Sustainability Report - the first document of its kind ever produced by a major sports league in the United States - reports that water, or lack thereof, is beginning to have a direct impact on the sport.
Water is essential to ice hockey. In fact, the game is often played on frozen rivers, ponds, or lakes in both the U.S. and in Canada.
But, in order to prepare the ice surface for an indoor arena, ice-making and ice surfacing equipment are needed, making the game a "highly water-intensive sport," according to the report.
The NHL estimates that its 30 teams throughout North America use more than 320 million gallons of water each year. Because so much water is used, the NHL is encouraging sports venues to take additional measures to use water more efficiently.

Among the measures suggested:
• Installing systems that measure and monitor water so that managers have up-to-the-minute water-related information and can make informed decisions.
• The installation of water-efficient fixtures in restrooms, such as aerators and high-performing toilets. "Some facilities have advanced their efforts by installing waterless urinals," according to the report. "[This] reduces water discharge and maintenance costs, as well."
• Using recycled water or water from rainwater harvesting systems for use in cooling towers and other non-potable uses.

"The report emphasizes that taking steps to reduce water consumption in restrooms is a high priority," says Klaus Reischardt, CEO and Founder of Waterless Co. "As an example, they say that a Florida [NHL] club was able to reduce restroom water consumption by a very impressive 75 percent just by installing more water-efficient [restroom] systems."