ACRP Report 154: Water Efficiency Management Strategies for Airports provides a guidebook and tools that airport operators can use to design and institute a water efficiency management program specific to their facility. This report enables airport operators to understand water uses and usage at airports to generate a baseline water use profile specific to their airport activities, and to define appropriate water use targets. It will also help to evaluate appropriate water efficiency measures including their direct and indirect costs and benefits and develop a water efficiency management action plan. Among the many topics this report addresses are applicable water management tools and practices used worldwide within and outside of the airport industry; methods for collection, management, and analysis of data relevant to airport water management; collaboration and communication with the public and stakeholders, including water providers; program implementation strategies, including motivation for decision makers; infrastructure operation and maintenance considerations; and drought planning considerations.
Large amounts of water are consumed at airports during the course of daily operations to support terminal operations such as restrooms, food service, and HVAC; airfield services such as deicing, construction, and firefighting; and maintenance activities such as vehicle cleaning and landscaping. These operations can use millions of gallons of water annually. These numbers are significant when one considers that water supplies may be limited, for example, due to drought conditions. Further, water consumption at airports is expected to increase with growing air travel demand, accentuating the importance of increased water efficiency and stewardship. In addition, there are significant amounts of energy associated with water use.
In response, airports have begun to implement common water efficiency measures, such as installing water-efficient fixtures, planting native vegetation, and using non-potable water sources. Although the nature of airport facilities and activity present opportunities for implementing water efficiency practices, there are also challenges due to a lack of awareness or a lack of guidance in terms of identifying, evaluating, selecting, and implementing the most appropriate practices.
Under ACRP Project 02-59, research was conducted by The Cadmus Group, in association with CDM Smith, Inc. The research team conducted interviews at 15 airports across the United States, visited six of these airports, and collected detailed information about their water use.
The End Use Water Audit Tool, which can be used to estimate an airport’s baseline water footprint and a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation which provides an overview of the guidebook and the toolbox are provided on the accompanying CD-ROM and are also available on the TRB website by searching for “ACRP Report 154”.