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:
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:
- Watershed Fish and Wildlife
- 12/21/2009 - Responding to General Government Proposals from the President's SAVE Award [PDF]
- The President’s first-ever SAVE Award invited employees from across the Federal Government to submit their ideas for making our Government more efficient and effective - read about the great ideas.
- 10/2/2008 Water Strategy [RTF]
- 9/17/07 USDA Implementing Executive Order 13423 Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management [PDF, 3 pages]
- Water Conservation Habits - Can't Live Without It! [RTF]
- 100+ Best Management Practices - Defining What a Green Park Looks Like - National Park Service [PDF, 12 pages, 1.14 MB]
- ARS Water Use Survey [RTF]
- Green and Getting Greener: Tips and Resources [PDF]
- US Forest Service and Water - August 2009 [PDF]
Read statistics related to the nation's water supply, water production, and forests.
- Sustainable Operations - Our Environmental Footprint & The Climate Change Connection - Anna J. Jones-Crabtree P.E.; Ph.D.; LEED AP; Sustainable Operations Coordinator; Rocky Mountain & Northern Regions US Forest Service [PDF, 58 pages, 2.12 MB]
- Water Harvesting Project - Region 3/ Lincoln National Forest/ Smokey Bear Ranger District
- Gutters, PVC pine, a 5,000 gal storage tank, and discharge fittings were installed to harvest rain water and snow melt off the Engine Bay roof. The harvestable amount is an estimated 33,708 gallons/year. Read more...
Last Modified: 12/29/2009