Will concerns about water overtake those about energy conservation and waste reduction in the coming years? Yes, according to a just-released survey of architectural and engineering firms as well as contractors and building owners conducted by McGraw-Hill entitled Water Use in Buildings.
 
The 40-page report discusses a number of water-related issues including:
• The importance of water efficiency
• Business benefits of water-efficient practices
• Drivers and obstacles to water efficiency
• Types of water-efficient products and methods
 
According to Klaus Reichardt, founder and managing partner of Waterless Co. Inc., the study says buildings consume 20 percent of the world’s water supply, “which has historically been an abundant resource but one that is being depleted more and more each year,” he says.
 
Some of the highlights of the study include these:
• Eighty-five percent of the respondents believe water efficiency will be a key component of green building in the next four years; this is up from 69 percent currently.
• Forty-two percent of business owners indicate they are committed to water-efficient practices in their facilities.
• More than half of the building owners surveyed say water-efficient practices will be implemented in at least half of their building portfolios in the next four years.
• As many as 73 percent of those surveyed believe a key reason for water conservation is financial; conserving water is viewed as a way to reduce building operating costs.
• Brand awareness of water-reducing fixtures is strongest for high-efficiency toilets (48 percent), water-reducing faucets (30 percent), and waterless urinals (23 percent).
 
“In the nearly 20 years I have been involved with waterless urinals, I have never seen as great an interest in water conservation as we are witnessing today,” says Reichardt.
 
“It’s the result of the green movement, the increasing cost of water, and — at the top of the list — a greater understanding that we face some serious water shortages in the United States and around the world.”
 
The complete study is available for purchase from McGraw-Hill.