Department of Water Resources Home

WUE -- Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional Program

Division of Statewide Integrated Water Management

Water Use Efficiency
901 P Street Sacramento, CA 95814-3515

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 942836
Sacramento, CA 94236-0001

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Frequently Asked Questions

1) Where can I find people to conduct water audits of commercial, industrial or institutional sites?

Answer: The Waterwiser website lists providers that conduct water audits of interior and process water. Also, many of the contacts can provide service providers.

2) Why should businesses save water when they are the source of employment and much of California's economy?

Answer: In California, commercial, industrial, and institutional customers use one-third of the urban water supply. The urban demand for water is expected to greatly increase in the next two decades, and water supplies will become much more expensive. To competitively control cost, businesses will need to become more water efficient. The issue also calls for all water users to stretch existing and future supplies.

3) What types of businesses use the most water?

Answer: The amount of water used by Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional customers varies widely from one community another. According to the Study of Potential Water Efficiency Improvements Commercial Businesses , the following commercial users are the top users:

  • Health care
  • Offices
  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Sales
  • Eating and drinking establishments
  • Education
  • Laundries
  • Landscape irrigation
  • Meeting and recreation
The major industrial water users in California include:
  • Food processing
  • Petroleum refining
  • Chemical manufacturing
  • Lumber and wood products
  • Stone, clay and glass products
  • Paper and allied products
  • Primary metals
  • Electrical equipment

4) What types of Commercial, Industrial and Institutional water uses can save the most water?

Answer: The Water Efficiency Guide for Business Managers and Facility Engineers suggests the following as target areas for potential water savings

Cooling and Heating Systems:
  • Evaporative cooling systems
  • Eliminating single-pass cooling water use
  • Equipment cooling
Process and Equipment Use:
  • Rinsing and cleaning
  • Plating and metal finishing
  • Painting
  • Photo and X-ray processing
  • Dyeing

Sanitary, Kitchen and Domestic Use (except medical facilities)
Medical Care Facilities
Maintenance Operations
Landscaping Irrigation