GreenScape’s Philosophy on the Sensible Use of Water
At GreenScape, we believe it is our responsibility to design and install landscape sprinkler systems that use water sensibly and efficiently. Our commitment extends to providing remarkable customer service, water management education and cost savings to our clients and our community. The need to conserve water has never been greater and together we can make a difference.
Using our World’s Water Resource
Water may seem to be the most abundant resource available on Earth. But the reality is that 97 percent of all water is saltwater, 2 percent is held in snow and icebergs and only 1 percent is fresh water (the only portion currently usable for human consumption)
Estimates quantifying irrigation’s share of treated water use vary greatly by region, however in North America it is generally accepted that landscape irrigation accounts for approximately one-third of all domestic/residential water use. (Outdoor Water Use in the United States, US Gov’t EPA Watersense Publication).
Canada’s Share of Fresh Water and our Responsibility
Remarkably, Canada is blessed with approximately 60% of the world’s fresh water lakes. A total count is estimated to be around three million, not counting big puddles, or little seasonal collections of water. This means the lakes that stay.
Of these lakes, the number larger than three square kilometres (that’s approx.2 km long x 1.5 km wide) is estimated at close to 31,752 by the Atlas of Canada. That means almost 9% (891,163 square kilometres (344,080 sq mi)) of Canada’s total area is covered by freshwater.
On a world scale, Canadians have great fortune and bear great responsibility. For the future prosperity of our country, our children and our planet depend directly on our ability to responsibly, and sustainably manage the use of our water supply today.
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How Ontario’s Fresh Water Supply Compares?
The humorous side:
In the US, the state of Minnesota’s vehicle licence plate carries a slogan “Land of 10,000 Lakes!” This is something the residents of that fair state are quite proud of. To put a Canadian perspective on that claim, based on a Toronto Star trivia question, Ontario is known to contain approximately 240,000 lakes that don’t officially have a name. Poor Minnesota!
The serious side:
There are a total of about 250,000 fresh water lakes in our province. As a result of this abundance, present day Ontario residents are ignorant, or sometimes apathetic, to the concerns for how valuable our water resources are. Ignorance makes us guilty of taking our water situation for granted and history has repeatedly shown that when people don’t control their consumption of resources sensibly, Governments and Mother Nature can step in to take corrective actions. And those corrective actions are painful. Just ask any old cod fisherman.
Government Reaction to Perceived Shortages
The growing need to reduce water waste is causing many regional governments to review landscape irrigation practices and impose watering restrictions for landscaping. This has become a common government reaction to actual, or forecasted, water shortages. It is our belief that utilizing intelligent, water conserving design techniques, and implementing the practical watering control and monitoring technologies that exist today, our clients and our community can make water resource conservation a way of life to proactively prevent the need for extreme and costly measures. Collectively we have the know-how.
Commercial Outdoor Water Use
GreenScape – Your Water Management Partner
Commercial facilities that take seriously the need to maintain their surrounding landscapes in peak condition can use significant amounts of water in doing so. Irrigating outdoor green spaces can account for up to 30% of a facility’s annual total water use, as shown below, with summer seasonal peaks surpassing 50%. Better landscape maintenance practices, more efficient irrigation equipment, and a higher level of technology in the control of the sprinkler system can provide opportunities for significant water savings in commercial settings. (EPA WaterSense).
Percent Water Attributed for Outdoor Use
Business is increasingly aware of the need to use water more efficiently to reduce their risk of water shortages and to combat increasing costs. There is a strong business case to be made for water efficiency and for water management.
Planning is the foundation of effective water management. Commercial facilities should consider partnering with a water management team to review their water use and develop implementation plans in the context of achieving the established water management and cost reduction goals. With GreenScape as a Water Management Partner, we can assist your firm in an evaluation, review and the development of an outdoor water efficiency strategy that allows your organization to continually evaluate progress, set new goals, improve and reduce costs
GreenScape.ca is always ready to help…
As the Ottawa area leader in sprinklers and the art of making landscapes and properties sparkle since 1986, we’ve got the knowledge, experience, skills – and most of all, the desire – to be your trusted, one-stop, outdoor services provider.
Over the years, we’ve established the GreenScape.ca ‘Standard’ – our way of ensuring each and every project, whether you’re a new client, or you’re one of lued ones – is always delivered in a consistent, industry standard-setting fashion for quality and professionalism, every time, all the time.
Our Industry-leading guarantee…
Most sprinkler system contractors only offer 1 or 2 year guarantees, if they offer any at all.
Manufacturer-recognized contractors (like Rain Bird’s™ Select Contractors – GreenScape.ca is proud to be one) are supported by the manufacturer to offer their clients a guarantee of up to 5 years.
Since we have over 25 years experience, and we know design and install the best, most effective and reliable sprinkler systems you’ll find anywhere, we offer our clients an industry-leading, full 7-year guarantee on our sprinkler system installations. No one else does that. Be sure to ask us for details.
GreenScape’s Outdoor Water Management Planning
Outdoor water management planning serves as the foundation for any successful water reduction effort. It is the first step a commercial or institutional facility should take to achieve and sustain long-term landscape water savings. GreenScape’s Outdoor Water Management Planning, through system evaluation and upgrade, generally addresses water use reductions in five areas:
- Reducing water losses (e.g., leaks).
- Increasing the water efficiency of fixtures, equipment, control systems, and processes.
- Educating clients and occupants about water efficiency to encourage water-saving behaviors.
- Providing real-time, centralized monitoring and control of all irrigated properties 24/7, including water usage tracking and reporting for decision making and ROI measurement purposes.
- Investigating potential for reusing onsite alternative water that would otherwise be discarded, or discharged to the sewer (e.g., harvesting rainwater from building roof surfaces, or parking areas to water landscape areas).
Effective water management planning is easily coupled with energy and waste management and follows the same framework used in the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management, which consists of these basic steps:
- Making a commitment to improve in partnership with a water management professional
- Assessing facility water use through sprinkler system evaluation
- Collectively setting and communicating goals of the water management program
- Creating a water management action plan
- Implementing the action plan
- Evaluating progress
- Recognizing, and celebrating achievement
It’s About Taking Action
Implementing the Water Management Action Plan is the key to realizing cost savings and landscape environmental success. Beginning with a system evaluation, an action plan implementation will typically follow four progressive steps:
1) Measuring what’s actually happening. Metering the landscape watering system allows a facility to continually monitor water use and quickly identify leaks, or other unnecessary water use. It also has the added benefit of enabling the facility to identify cost-effective water use reduction opportunities and to track project water savings to prove the ROI benefits.
2) Effect system repairs. Leaks are water wasted with no intended use or purpose; once identified, leaks should be the first area to target from a water management perspective. With a few simple steps, a facility, in partnership with a Water Management Professional can establish a comprehensive leak detection and repair program, which can save water, money, time, and expenses that would otherwise be associated with unmanaged leaks.
3) Ensure water efficient components. Antiquated, improperly installed, or malfunctioning sprinkler system components make proper control of the landscape water application impossible. Updating old equipment, ensuring proper separation of local micro-environments or varied plant water requirements, and repairs and realignment of all existing component installations ensures all water applied as effectively as possible.
4) Implement water management monitoring and control technology. To make informed, effective decisions facility operators need accurate and timely water use information. Intelligent, weather-based and centralized control systems give building managers the ability to make the right decisions and the equipment to support effective cost saving steps.
Ottawa’s increasing water costs
Over the past ten years, the costs of water and wastewater services have risen at a rate well above the consumer price index. In 2012, the City of Ottawa announced that there will be a 74% increase over the next 10 years in sewer and water rates. Facility managers can expect these and other utility costs to continue to increase in order for the region to offset the costs of replacing aging water supply systems.
GreenScape can assist you in carrying out and communicating water efficiency efforts that can position your company and facility managers as leaders in their community who are helping to improve sustainability. This can also help them pursue recognition in the green marketplace, all while creating cost savings that can be passed on to tenants
The BOMA BEST Certification: Understanding how water management factors in.
BOMA BESt Practices serve as the foundation of the BOMA BESt program. The BESt Practices are meant to establish the industry standard for good building management practices.
BOMA BESt PRACTICES: WATER
1) Is there a written policy intended to minimize water use, and encourage water conservation?
Tip: This is a prerequisite to achieve BOMA BESt certification. A water conservation policy should express a commitment to reduce demand for water and to establish goals and strategies to reduce water consumption.
2) Has a water assessment been done within the last three years?
Tip: This is a prerequisite to achieve BOMA BESt certification. The water assessment report must include:
- Water billing analysis with benchmarking observations;
- Summary of major water-consuming systems in the buildings; and
- List of potential water conservation opportunities including maintenance procedures and water-using equipment that should be upgraded, estimated savings and simple payback.
BOMA WATER CONSERVATION POLICY REQUIREMENTS
A water conservation policy should express a commitment to reduce demand for water and to establish goals and strategies to reduce water consumption.
The water conservation policy may be a national, corporate policy for all buildings managed by a single company. However, to meet this BESt Practice, building management must demonstrate its awareness of the policy, and is implementing specific measures in accordance with its strategic guidance.
I. For on-site verification applicants must make available:
- A copy of the required policy;
- Examples of how the policy is being implemented on-site by property management; and
- Documents demonstrating the policy’s implementation must be dated.
II. Policy should be an official document on a company’s website (internal and/or external); and/or printed on company’s letterhead with appropriate management signature.
BOMA WATER ASSESSMENT REQUIREMENTS
A Water Assessment report must be presented for on-site verification. Requirements are outlined in the tip language (noted in the BESt Practice questions table) and must include the following information:
- Owner/manager information;
- Building name and address;
- Building description;
- Date of water assessment (walk-through, analysis);
- Water billing analysis with benchmarking observations;
- Summary of major water-consuming systems in the buildings;
- List of potential water conservation opportunities including maintenance procedures and water-using equipment that should be upgraded, estimated savings and simple payback; and
- An assessment should provide recommendations for maintenance procedures that may need to be revised, and identify water-using equipment that should be upgraded. Water meters should be installed for the building as a whole, as well as sub-meters for large water users such as restaurants, gyms, landscape irrigation and so on.
I. The Water Assessment may be completed by ‘in-house’ technical staff or by a third party consultant (e.g. appropriate professional water management consultant or engineer ).
II. Assessments are evaluated based on meeting the requirements outlined in the tip language and by date. Water assessments MUST BE DATED and SIGNED by the person responsible for conducting the work.
BOMA BESt verifiers will look for signature and date. A Water Assessment must have been conducted within the last three (3) years of the date the assessment was conducted.
III. The Water Assessment report may be combined with the Energy Assessment report.