Water use is one of the least examined issues in laboratories, even though labs use up to 5X the amount of water when compared to a typical commercial office building.
Water use may be routinely ignored because the cost of using water is still relatively low compared to the energy bill or cost of waste disposal in a lab. People also think of water as an abundant and renewable resource. But global water prices are rising, scarcity and droughts are increasing due to the impacts of global warming, and only 0.5% of global freshwater is fit for consumption.
Lab water waste comes from unnecessary use of high purity water, leaking and inefficient faucets, outdated processes like single-pass cooling, and improper use of equipment, particularly autoclaves and glasswashers. This module will discuss the drivers of water consumption in labs and provide practical knowledge and strategies to improve the water efficiency of your lab.