Water conservation usually conjures up images of places like Arizona or Death Valley, California. And even though many think of Idaho as having plenty of water, the INL is classified as high desert. Conserving water not only protects the aquifer, it also saves energy. Energy is required to pump water, to treat the water for drinking, to dispose of the waste water, and to then treat the waste water. And energy costs money. Like energy use, the less we spend on water usage, the more money we can focus on INL missions.
INL is expected to meet or exceed the requirements of DOE Order 436.1, "Departmental Sustainability" (dated 5/2/11), by reducing potable water consumption intensity 2% annually through FY 2020, or 26% by the end of FY 2020, relative to a FY 2007 baseline. Additionally, INL must reduce industrial, landscaping, and agricultural water consumption 2% annually, or 20% by the end of FY 2020, relative to a FY 2010 baseline.
A major step toward meeting this water reduction goal will occur at the Materials and Fuels Complex, located at the INL site. Fifty year old boilers are being replaced and nearly the entire leaking condensate system is being taken out of service. This will result in an annual reduction of 3,500,000 gallons of water, nearly 1 percent of the INL total with this single project!
You can also check out the Federal Energy Management Program water management best practices at http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/program/waterefficiency_bmp.html for additional information on low-cost water conservation strategies for both work and at home.
Presentation on Conserving Water.