City of Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport Honored for Advancements in Water Conservation

October 8,2012

The City of Atlanta’s Better Buildings Challenge and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport received special recognition from the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) for their “Best in Business Class” water conservation efforts. Awards were presented during a press event held at the headquarters of TOTO USA, just south of the airport, where water-efficient plumbing fixtures used throughout the world are manufactured.

CRK’s update to its 2011 report, Filling the Water Gap: Conservation Successes and Missed Opportunities in Metro Atlanta, served as a highlight of the event, which was attended by Atlanta City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd, Melinda Langston, Director of Water Conservation, and Denise Quarles, the city’s Director of Sustainability, amongst other local environmental leaders. The report outlines water conservation efforts across the metro region as implemented by nine local governments and select businesses.

Award presentations were made to:

City of Atlanta – for leading the nation’s “Better Buildings Challenge” effort to save water and energy in commercial buildings;
TOTO USA – for partnering with local governments and businesses to upgrade    outdated plumbing fixtures; and
•  Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – for achieving significant water and energy savings through plumbing retrofits and other best management practices.

Filling the Water Gap report findings conclude that although cities and counties continue to achieve significant water savings through modest conservation efforts, missed opportunities remain. According the report, added measures could reduce metro Atlanta’s water demand by 147 gallons of water per day (MGD):

• Reducing water loss due to system leaks to 10% or less (16 MGD);
• Retrofitting old homes with new plumbing fixtures through direct installation (34 MGD);
• Limiting sales of clothes washers and dishwashers to Energy Star models (24 MGD);
• Pricing water more effectively for homes and businesses (46 MGD); and
• Large-scale rainwater-harvesting for homes and businesses (27 MGD).

A more substantial commitment to reuse over the next decade could add as much as 252 MGD, bringing the total potential water savings up to nearly 400 MGD, or enough water to serve 2.6 million people in the metro Atlanta area.

“We are honoring TOTO USA, the City of Atlanta, and the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as “Best in Businesses Class” because they are showing everyone how it can be done,” said Laura Hartt, CRK’s Water Policy Director and author of the report.

“My office is proud to work with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and its efforts to help create a more sustainable Atlanta,” said Councilmember Joyce Sheperd. “District 12 is delighted to call the Lakewood TOTO USA facility a fixture in our community and we commend all those honored today for their work.”

“The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge is helping buildings across the city to save energy and reduce water consumption, while reducing carbon emissions,” said Quarles. “Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s mission aligns perfectly with how we see nonprofit organizations helping to make Atlanta a more sustainable place to live, work, and play. We are honored to be recognized, and congratulate TOTO, and the city’s crown jewel, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, on their respective achievements.”

The Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge was commended for its choice to expand the local focus beyond energy efficiency best practices, to include water conservation measures.

Guests were treated to a guided tour of the Morrow, Georgia manufacturing facility, where over 20,000 water-efficient toilets are generated a month using locally sourced materials. TOTO also employs an additional workforce of laborers and engineers at a facility in the Lakewood area of Atlanta.