​Water savings: A hidden opportunity in your operating budget

May 30, 2017

By Rebecca Busterud

At one time, sustainability officers and facilities managers wanted to control and reduce water use, but the tools at their disposal were extremely limited. The combination of these limited tools and the reality that many organizations prioritized energy savings over water savings has meant that water savings have been overlooked in most organizations.

With the development of new technologies and regular access to water data, the opportunity to conserve water has not only increased, but may actually be one of the easiest ways to significantly reduce operating costs. What’s more, the urgency behind saving water is increasing every day. Water rates are rising at an average of 5% per year across the U.S. (a 48% increase in the average price per gallon since 2010). That’s a faster rate of increase than any other utility. Recent droughts and changing weather patterns have also made water more of a priority in the public consciousness, prompting both building occupants and facilities managers to take a closer look at how they are using this finite resource.

Forward-thinking organizations are already embracing the power of data and technology to measurably impact their water use. By using real-time data to control irrigation, Lincoln Centre in Dallas has reduced their irrigation water use by over 55% and is saving almost 10 million gallons of water each year. The simple act of controlling their outdoor water through a data-driven irrigation solution has made their property more sustainable, increased NOI, and contributed to their LEED Silver Certification, BOMA 360 award, and an Energy Star SocialStar award. Other properties have avoided property damage and astronomical water bills by leveraging real-time data to immediately detect leaks that may have gone unnoticed for weeks. Banyan Water estimates that in 2016 alone, it was able to detect 432 leaks as they occurred, saving 58 million gallons of water.

Finally, building occupants are increasingly aware of their own impact on the environment and many are interested in and excited about being a part of sustainability efforts. Empowering them to contribute to water savings can be a powerful tool in a facility manager’s toolbox. In order to remain engaged, building occupants need to see regular updates on their progress and the difference that their efforts are making. That’s why Banyan Water and Lucid have teamed up to provide easily accessible and understandable water data through Lucid’s dashboards.

Banyan Water offers water tracking, analysis and optimization on every type of water on your property- indoor, outdoor, or cooling tower. That information is valuable to decision makers who want to automate water conservation, prevent leak-related damage, and make the right capital improvements to their properties. Lucid leverages that information to provide occupant-friendly dashboards that give users the “big picture,” create engagement, and drive action among a building’s occupants. This combination of real-time data and control along with sharable dashboards means that you can easily address water savings from multiple angles, drastically impacting your water bills. Smart organizations are leveraging the power of technology to save water across the country. They are discovering the hidden potential to save water through the power of big data and IoT solutions.

To learn more about automating water savings, getting the right water data to power decisions, and engaging your building occupants, contact Banyan Water or Lucid.

Rebecca Busterud

Rebecca is the VP of Water Innovation Strategy at Banyan Water, a partner of Lucid’s. She brings experience in Sales Operations and Utility Data Analytics from her work in the energy industry.