Contact Information

Business Operations,
Sustainable Operations,
Washington Office

201 14th Street SW
Mailstop 1108
Washington, DC 20024
National SusOps Email

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Sustainable Operations

Footprint Focus Area

Become the world leader for water conservation and water source protection by 2020.

Water is often considered the cheap utility, too inexpensive for conservation to be financially worthwhile. However, water is costly in many ways; it depletes aquifers, required energy for pumping, chemicals for treatment and staffing to operate treatment and wastewater treatment plants. By using water efficiently, we can protect water sources, improve water quality and reduce the amount of energy used to treat, pump, and heat water.


We don’t know how much total water we use as an agency. Our estimate for water consumption in 2004 is 440,000,000 gallons, and like energy, this figure doesn’t account for all the water we used. Like energy use, quantifying water use will require a shift in the way we collect information. Currently, water costs are often included with trash collection and other municipal fees. We also have no tracking system for water used in leased buildings or at campgrounds or rest areas.

Quick Links to the topics on this page:

...Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge we will face in this century, partly because it will affect our water supply, our most precious natural resource, said Forest Service Chief Abigail R. Kimbell.


Lead: WO Watershed, Fish, Wildlife, Air, and Rare Plants

  • WATER CONSERVATION: Reduce water consumption intensity by 2% annually through 2015.
  • WATER CONSERVATION / EFFICIENCY / EVALUATIONS: Complete water conservation/efficiency evaluations at 25% of facilities per year.


Executive Order 13423 (2007) has several water-related requirements, including the following:

  • Reduce water consumption intensity by 2 percent annually or 16 percent by the end of FY 2015 using an FY 2007 baseline.
  • Conduct energy and water audits on at least 10 percent of our buildings per year.

The accountable official at the national level is:

Letters From Leadership

Performance Criteria






Last Modified: 12/29/2009