Water Splash

A Staff Report

The Army Reserve has reduced potable water use intensity by 42 percent since fiscal year 2007 – notably more than the 16 percent reduction goal. And, it has reduced potable water consumption by 20 percent since 2007.

These numbers indicate that the Army Reserve is successfully saving water in its operations as well as protecting the availability of natural water sources that are so vital to every military mission. While this is an inarguably significant achievement, the progress is only driving forward the efforts to conserve water.

To that end, the Army Reserve has worked with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to establish the Assess, Improve and Maintain Program. According to Ms. Kate McMordie Staughton, Senior Research Engineer with PNNL, the AIM Program will help sites maintain water infrastructure at the facility level. The program targets the most common water-related practices and services including plumbing devices, landscaping and irrigation methods, vehicle wash facilities and dining facilities. “If the AIM measures are followed, sites will see reductions in water loss through leaks and wasteful practices,” said McMordie Staughton. With reduced funds for infrastructure investments, the AIM Program can potentially save fiscal resources for the Army Reserve, too, because it is focused on proactive rather than reactive measures for operations and maintenance.

The AIM Program will be incorporated into Building Energy Monitor (BEM) training. “The BEM Program is a perfect forum to institute critical elements of the AIM Program,” McMordie Staughton remarked. “The BEMs are the first layer of defense to ensure that equipment is operated and maintained in this fashion. BEMs are the ‘boots on the ground’ in the Army Reserve facility who can ensure that water equipment is monitored alongside energy equipment.” For instance, BEMs can easily monitor and assess plumbing devices for leaks and other maintenance issues that need to be addressed.

The AIM Program will be more than a drop in the bucket toward sustainability. Instead, the program will create a major splash in the efforts to incorporate conservation practices into daily operations throughout the Army Reserve.