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Indian Health Service The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives

Environmental Sustainability

Water Use Efficiency and Management

Several laws and regulations establish requirements for water use and management. Examples include the Stormwater Management for Federal Facilities under Section 438 of the Energy Independence and Security Act and the Environmentally and Economically Beneficial Landscape Practices on Federal Landscaped Grounds memorandum.

IHS aims to increase water use efficiency by doing the following:

  • Purchase and install water efficient technologies (e.g., Waterwise, low-flow water fixtures and aeration devices) at IHS facilities.
  • Collect water consumption data through metering and other methods for annual reporting.
  • Implement sustainable landscaping design and management, like using regionally native plants, to reduce outdoor water use.
  • Identify and implement water reuse strategies (e.g., gray water system) to the maximum extent practicable.
  • Develop and deploy operational controls for leak detection including a distribution system audit, leak detection, and repair programs.

Additional Resources:

  • Environmentally and Economically Beneficial Landscape Practices: Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov [PDF]
    EPA guidance to assist implementation of the executive memorandum on Environmentally and Economically Beneficial Landscape Practices on Federal Landscaped Grounds.
  • Federal Water Efficiency Best Management Practices (BMPs): Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov
    FEMP and EPA provide 14 water-efficiency BMPs to help agencies increase water efficiency and meet federal requirements. Each BMP provides operation and maintenance improvements and retrofit and replacement options.
  • WaterSense at Work - BMPs for Commercial and Institutional Facilities: Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving www.ihs.gov [PDF]
    For facility managers and employees involved in facility resource conservation to help assess facility water use; establish a water management plan; effectively communicate and achieve water management goals; reduce water loss from leaks; generate ideas for increasing the efficiency of water-using fixtures, equipment, systems, and processes; and identify opportunities for reusing onsite alternative water to replace potable water use.