Survey Gauges Facility Managers’ Outlook on Water-related Issues

Looking ahead to what 2010 might bring, a new survey conducted the first two weeks of December 2009 asked facility managers and other building professionals about water conservation, water costs, and other related issues in their facilities in the coming year. The survey was conducted by AlturaSolutions Communications for Waterless Co., manufacturers of waterless urinal systems.

E-mail invitations to take the survey were sent to about 500 facility managers and building professionals. A total of 154 people answered some of the questions; 84 people completed the entire survey. Virtually all, 89 percent, indicate that, compared to past years, concerns about water conservation will increase in 2010. Participants were also asked if they thought the cost of water would go up in the next few years and by how much. Their responses were as follows:

• Forty-three percent believe water costs will go up 15 percent or more;

• Thirty percent foresee costs going up about 10 percent;

• Twenty-three percent believe costs will go up about 5 percent; and

• Four percent do not believe water costs will go up in 2010 or in the near future.

Most of the other survey questions dealt with actual water use and fixtures in their facilities. For instance, 58 percent indicated the facility they work in has not installed water-conserving fixtures or systems. This statistic is surprising because 72 percent of the respondents indicated installing water-conserving fixtures and systems is either important or very important.

Sixty-two percent said that most of the water used in their facilities is used in restrooms; this was followed by landscaping, according to 13 percent of the respondents; the remainder selected kitchen and food service areas, cooling and heating systems, or they indicted they were “not sure.”

Finally, the participants were asked what types of water-conserving fixtures and systems their facility is considering installing to reduce water use. The following were their responses:

• High-performing toilets, 28 percent;

• Reduced-flow faucets, 23 percent;

• Reduced-flow showerheads, 15 percent;

• Waterless urinal systems: 15 percent, and

• Water-conserving landscaping systems, 19 percent.