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Funds available for building owners who conserve water

With a goal of reducing water consumption by 20 million gallons per day, the city is urging property owners to take advantage of funding for water conservation and reuse projects.

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) said the Water Conservation and Reuse Grant Pilot Program aims to conserve the City’s drinking water supply and reduce flows into the sewer system by reimbursing commercial, industrial and multi-family owners who invest in water efficiency projects, including low-flow fixtures and on-site water reuse systems.

“New York City is fortunate to have some of the highest quality and best tasting tap water anywhere in the world and we must do all we can to conserve this invaluable resource,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.

“We have made great progress is reducing New York City’s demand for water and we encourage property owners to take advantage of this funding as they upgrade their properties.”

Grants are available to institutional (such as museums and schools), residential and commercial customers who receive a water bill directly from DEP for their own water use.

Applicants must have an account in good standing with a functioning automated meter reading device and must have one year of water use data.

Applicants applying for funding for new construction projects who do not have water use data would qualify for water reuse projects only.

Proposed projects must conserve at least one million gallons of water per year, or about 2,740 gallons per day.

DEP’s One Water NYC: 2018 Water Demand Management Plan outlines recent citywide Water Conservation efforts that have resulted in a savings of 10 million gallons of water per day, as well as plans to conserve an additional 10 million gallons per day by 2022. Through these strategic initiatives, DEP has been able to reduce per capita water demand in New York City from a peak of 213 gallons per day in 1979, to 120 gallons per day in 2018.

Overall, citywide water use has dropped from approximately 1.5 billion gallons a day in 1980, to about one billion gallons a day at present, while the city’s population grew from just over 7.1 million to 8.6 million in the same period.

DEP recently completed a $1.3 million fixture upgrade at Harlem Hospital that is conserving 70,000 gallons of water per day. The retrofits included more than 570 fixtures and ice machines, 900-plus faucets, and one industrial dishwasher.

DEP’s Toilet Replacement Program invested $1.85 million to retrofit more than 13,200 toilets citywide in multi-family buildings. The total water savings of this effort is more than 620,000 gallons per day.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately one billion gallons of drinking water each day to more than 9.6 million residents, including 8.6 million in New York City.

The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes.

Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants.

To find out about eligibility of projects, email waterconservation@dep.nyc.gov or call 718-595-6242.

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