We're working with AT&T to find ways to reduce water and energy use in cooling towers.
It isn't always obvious, but water is critical to the operations of many companies. Increasing droughts and water shortages are causing companies to pay more attention to their water use.
Reduce Water Use = Reduced Costs and Reduced Risks
Water plays an important role in buildings: from faucets and fixtures to outside irrigation to cooling. Increasing water shortages and rising costs related to water use are causing companies to pay close attention to their water use. If your organization is ready to look at ways to address water-related risks, the tools that Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and AT&T have created can provide a framework for you to develop you own building-related water efficiency plan.
Reducing Water Use Has a Positive ROI
EDF and AT&T launched an effort to identify opportunities to reduce water and energy use in buildings—and save money. We found that building operators can realize substantial water savings in their cooling towers — up to 40 percent — in ways that provide a competitive return on investment. Organizations can also realize savings by taking full advantage of air-side economizers, which cool buildings with lower temperature air from the outside and dramatically reduce use of water and energy in the cooling process.
Together with EDF, AT&T engaged in a series of pilot projects to evaluate water efficiency opportunities in 2012 and 2013. Based on the results, AT&T is rolling out a plan in 2013 to achieve 150 million gallons of annualized water savings by the end of 2015.
The plan includes:
1. Investing in technology to improve water use efficiency for cooling towers.
2. Investing in “free-air cooling” projects, which take advantage of the outside air to provide some, or all, of the building’s cooling needs.
3. Growing the capacity to optimize cooling tower operations by sharing training materials developed during the pilot with facility managers and other key staff across AT&T’s highest water-using sites.
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