Matt Howard, The Water Council vice president of water stewardship and director of the Alliance for Water Stewardship North America, co-wrote the following article with Dr. Rodolfo Perez and Dr. Glynn Skerratt for the International WELL Building Institute. Visit the WELL website for the full article.
Although buildings are homes to living beings, they can also be thought of as living entities themselves. While it’s not a perfect analogy, buildings are “alive” in the sense that the materials used to make them, the locations they occupy, and the ways owners and occupants treat a building’s shell and systems all have a profound impact on the useful life of a building.
More than ever before, an increasing number of designers, builders, building owners and managers seek to be good stewards of their facilities by ensuring that they do not strain local energy, water and waste systems while also fostering human health and well-being. A stewardship approach to building management—specifically the built environment’s impact on water resources—can be achieved through purposeful alignment of key principles from WELL v2, the latest version of the WELL Building Standard (WELL), and the International Water Stewardship Standard (Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) Standard).
Clean, accessible water for all is an essential component for the world we want to live in. The aim of Goal 6 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”1 Any water policy congruous with Goal 6 must embrace the essential components of water stewardship by ensuring resources are used in a fair, sensible and transparently sustainable way. Implementing policies that encourage stakeholders to identify and mitigate water-related risks through development of, adherence to, and improvement of standards that apply clear metrics and due process to the acquisition, treatment, distribution, consumption and discharge of water is crucial.
Just as many companies in water-intensive industrial and agricultural sectors seek to improve their water-related goal setting and actions, owners and managers in the commercial and multifamily residential sectors must pay more attention to water use, stormwater runoff and other water-related concerns inside and outside their facility.
Visit the International WELL Building Institute website to read more.
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