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Principles of Water Conservation and Reuse

Robert P. Stevens, P.E., DEE

Course Outline

This two hour course discusses the principles of water conservation and water reuse. Water is vital to sustain life and economic growth. It is an increasingly scarce resource which requires careful management of all competing uses. This course will increase your awareness of the concepts of conservation and reuse, mainly focused on commercial and manufacturing facilities. Techniques for critically evaluating water use are described and some ideas on how to successfully implement saving programs are presented. Another benefit from this course will be awareness of water use that can be applied at home and can be shared with other water users.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this three hour course, the student will

Course Introduction

Water is so common in our personal and business lives that the true value of this resource is often neglected. Accessible and usable water is a scarce resource extensively managed in essentially all parts of the world on a regional and often local level. In areas where water availability has become limited (such as caused by a drought or by rapid population growth) water costs are increasing and use restrictions are often applied. The individual water user can develop good water management practices even without the immediate threat of a water restriction. These practices include water conservation (using less water) and water reuse (using water more than once before discharge). A systematic evaluation approach can be used to assess current (or planned) water management and lead to improved water conservation and reuse. The end result is the more efficient use of water.

Course Content

The course content is in a PDF file (37 KB) Principles of Water Conservation and Reuse.pdf. You need to open or download this document to study this course.

Course Summary

Water conservation and reuse are important to preserve this scarce resource. A practical approach to evaluate and implement programs to accomplish reduced water use is to follow four principles: conserve water, reuse water, know where you use water, and continually evaluate how you use water. Converting good intentions into practice can be accomplished using information from a detailed water balance. One approach for this follows four steps:(1) Identify total water use; (2) Identify individual water use activities; (3) Develop water use estimates; and (4) Prepare a water balance. Accomplishing reduced water use at a facility requires evaluating all process water uses, considering water use policies, and not forgetting the "minor" water uses. Finally, there is the need to manage this process to achieve success, and it is most important that you report successes!

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites and links:

American Water Works Association, Waterwiser Program,
EPA Water Use Efficiency,

Once you finish studying
the above course content,
you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered professional engineer. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.