Water Use in the Commercial and Institutional Sectors


In the last 10 years, WRF has funded nearly 20 projects on changing water use trends, demand forecasting, and demand management. Most of the research has focused on single-family homes since they are easier to study because each house is an account and has its own meter. The commercial, institutional, and industrial (CII) sector accounts for 30-40% of utility water sales on average (Maupin, et al. 2014), but is more challenging to study because there are inconsistent customer classifications and meters may not be associated to just one business. Additionally, fewer than 20% of utilities have implemented CII efficiency programs.

In November 2019, WRF published Developing Water Use Metrics for the Commercial and Institutional Sectors (4619) on 10 commercial and institutional sectors (auto/auto service, eating/drinking and healthcare facilities, lodging, office and religious buildings, retail outlets, retirement/nursing homes, schools, and warehouses). This webcast focused on highlights from the research, which included water use analyses for the 10 customer sectors across seven U.S. water utilities and provided an overview of the Water Use Analysis Guide, which can help utilities analyze CII water use in their service areas. The final portion of this webcast focused on work outside of the WRF 4619 project with a discussion of what the State of California is doing to improve water efficiency in the CII sector.