U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Headquaters
-Water Alliance Voluntary Efficiency (WAVE) for Colleges & Universities
The WAVE program was a training and implementation “pilot” project based on the benefits of utilizing the EPA new WAVE Saver for Colleges and Universities within the Northeast United States.
Selected demonstration project institutions learned how to utilize the EPA WAVE computer aided audit protocol that identifies water -usage on campuses and the opportunities to implement areas for short and long term water use efficiency.
This may indicate replacing, upgrading or changing to new water-efficient technologies and water awareness initiatives. These changes may only exist in operation to result in conserving water usage on campus.
The EPA WAVE partners have achieved water use reductions of up to 30 percent (a significant cost savings in the water bill!) through various efficiency measures. Increasing the water use efficiency also assists in energy conservation, wastewater treatment, and maintenance costs.
Besides identifying potential means of reducing costs through water use efficiency and potential additional savings in energy and wastewater costs, this project will provide faculty, staff, and students training on how to conduct the WAVE audit. This project will also be an important factor in the “Green Campus” program, and in some cases may help in environmental compliance issues.
The selected demonstration “pilot” colleges were based on an open solicitation in which the interest and commitment to provide a project team consisting up to four representatives (faculty, staff, and/or student) for the following project activities: attend a WAVE audit training session; conduct a campus WAVE audit and share reports/findings; submit monthly project summaries and a final project report; agree to implement low-cost water use efficiency opportunities within a short period of time; agree to consider long term higher cost water efficiency opportunities in the campus master plan; one college/university must agree to work with their local high school to conduct a WAVE Audit of that high school; provide any in-kind matching support documentation (i.e. personnel, supplies, etc.).
PETE provided the selected demonstration “pilot” colleges the following; training of project team in the WAVE Audit Protocol and Water Efficiency Opportunities; technical assistance and guidance; limited financial assistance for campus expenses; travel subsidies to attend WAVE audit training workshop and final project meeting. The following institutions were selected to participate as “demonstration colleges:” Westfield State College; Westfield, MA; Community College of Southern Maryland; LaPlata, MD; Frederick Community College; Frederick, MA and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. During this period, the focus was on the colleges utilizing the WAVE software as class projects to assess building’s on their campuses to test the ease of usefulness of the software in determining the data needed, ease of operation, water use efficiency assessment results and the recommended water saving areas to consider. Each pilot college chose a different approach for on-campus use of the software and found mixed results form utilizing the use of the software. This ranged from relatively easy to difficult in how to interpret the input need to assist in the conversion of existing data into the format required within the program.
Ultimately each college found significant water use savings potential that ranged from the need to change out old water fixtures to more efficient units, to upgrades in boilers, chillers, conversion to no-flow urinals and other potential water saving areas that could save the colleges thousands of dollars in water, sewer, and energy savings aside from just conserving water.
For more information on this EPA WAVE auditing software program or other water use efficiency tools and/or information go to EPA’s Water Use Efficiency website http://www.epa.gov/owm/water-efficiency/.