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Water Restrictions and Drought Drive Smarter Choices at DFC

Workers installing the irrigation lines in the ground

What would you say if you got a rebate check for $19,000? Economical benefits, Executive Orders, climate conditions, and more, can all be motivators for change.  
 

Delivering on GSA’s priority to make a more sustainable government, the agency remains committed to reducing energy and water use in federal buildings and facilities like our 623-acre DFC. Did you know that the DFC uses the equivalent water of 811 households annually and it is one of Denver Water’s largest customers? 
 

Some water saving projects at the DFC that are underway or have recently been completed.

  • A cooling tower project shows preliminary results that we’ve saved more than 1 million gallons of water in the first year, resulting in a $19,000 rebate check to GSA from Denver Water
  • An irrigation control project across the campus will be completed this summer and it is expected to save roughly 9.9 million gallons of water. That roughly translates to about $54,000 of savings per year.

 

“These types of water reduction projects are at the heart of GSA's work to meet our environmental performance goals,” said Susan Damour, Rocky Mountain Regional Administrator. “The results will allow us to fulfill our vision of making the DFC one of the greenest campus’ in the country by 2020 and sharing our successes with industry to lead market transformation."
 

Cooling towers exist in many government buildings, consuming large amounts of potable water, and contribute greatly to annual operation costs related to utilities and maintenance. GSA continues to explore new treatment methods for cooling tower water intended to reduce water used in building cooling. The goals with this project were to:

 

  • Maintain or improve mechanical operation
  • Reduce water usage
  • Explore reducing pollution
  • Capitalize on economic payback
  • Replicate

In February 2013, GSA embarked on an irrigation control project across the campus with the goal of saving at least 20% of irrigation water through a new smart metering system. The system is considered “smart” because it allows an individual to monitor water usage, moisture level, and detect problems quickly and efficiently.
 

We’ve all seen the sprinklers running during a rainstorm. This system will automatically turn watering off if it’s raining. The system also allows personnel to monitor and troubleshoot the system from a mobile device. Personnel will receive alerts if there are problems and allow them to shut down a trouble zone immediately. This project will be complete this summer resulting in smarter work practices that save water and cut down in overall operational costs.

 

These are just a couple of projects that demonstrate how GSA is contributing to water savings. A commodity of particular interest in Colorado as the state is experiencing its first state drought since 2002.

 

For more information about sustainable projects you can visit www.gsa.gov/GPG.


 


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