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Water Efficiency Opportunities Airports - Checklist


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                                WATER EFFICIENCY OPPORTUNITIES
                                          AIRPORTS – CHECKLIST
    Dr Michael H. Smith, Research Fellow, ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society (Funded by the Department of
                             Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities)

Secure and dependable water resources are essential for the operation of any successful airport. Water is
essential for cleaning and maintaining aircraft and rental cars, maintaining grassed areas and landscapes,
operating cooling towers and basic amenities, as well as for food and hospitality outlets within the airport
complex. Sydney airport, for instance, used, in 2008, a total of 2,830 kilolitres of water every day, or about
31 liters per passenger. This makes the airport one of NSW’s biggest water users. Large savings in potable
water can be achieved cost effectively through addressing water leaks, using water efficient amenities,
managing water losses from cooling towers, using efficient ways to wash rental cars and sourcing water
from alternative sources such as rainwater, stormwater and greywater. Brisbane Airport Corporation has
combined such cost effective strategies to achieve the largest potable water reduction in Australia, so far,
of 78 per cent whilst achieving annual savings of $2.1 million. This is projected to rise to 82 per cent in
coming years as Brisbane Airport Corporation invests in high-quality recycled wastewater for its cooling
towers at the Airport. The following checklist is informed by the work of leaders in the airport sector, such
as, Brisbane Airport Corporation. This checklist is designed to assist your airport cost effectively achieve
significant water savings. This checklist is complimented by a detailed best practice guide also available
from the Australian Government’s Water Efficiency Opportunities web portal

Step 1 - Embed Water Management in Corporate Governance Structures

To ensure water management is embedded in company governance structures as effectively as possible, it
is worth checking the following.
‐   Has the airport clearly defined responsibility for water management to someone in senior management
    who is accountable and responsible for all aspects of water management?                  Yes    No
‐   Are KPI’s related to water management targets and goals built into their senior managers remuneration
    packages?                                                                                 Yes     No
‐   Has the company adopted an environmental strategy, in accord with regulatory requirements, within
    which water management is a clearly defined priority
                                                                                                         Yes          No
‐   Has an environmental management action plan been developed with water management as a key
    component to guide the management of environmental issues related to all the company’s electricity
    plants?                                                                            Yes       No

‐   Do your operations comply with all aspects of the 1997 Airports Act and associated regulations and
    does the airport have water licence approvals for all relevant aspects of water sourcing and


    environmental release.                                                                                                           Yes      No

Step 2 – Establish An Effective Water Management System and Team.

A water management system creates a foundation for positive change and provides guidance for managing
water throughout an organization.
    ‐   Have you installed an effective system of metering and monitoring water usage?                                               Yes      No
    ‐   Have you set up data management systems to manage the water related information? Yes                                                  No
    ‐   Do you have plans to regularly review water performance?                                                                    Yes       No
    ‐   Have you committed to developing a water management plan with clear performance goals?
                                                                                                                                    Yes       No
    ‐   Does your airport regularly publically report on your water performance?                                                     Yes      No
No matter how well thought out and designed a water management system and water plan is, the key is to
ensure there is a good team to implement it. Does your water management team have at least the following
- Project Manager? (tasked with co-ordinating the overall water conservation and wastewater effort and
responsible for accounting for measurable results)                                       Yes       No
- Assessment task manager? (responsible for collecting and evaluating data)                                                          Yes      No
- Onsite head engineer? (will need to provide input on current practices and the practical ability to
implement proposed changes)                                                             Yes       No
- Maintenance staff representative? (will need to provide input on current practices and feasibility of
proposed changes.)                                                                       Yes        No
- Financial Manager? (to evaluate the costs and benefits of proposed changes)                                                        Yes      No
- Executive management representative? (authorised to approve expenditures for the assessment and
prepared to communicate results to the management team or owner, as applicable)       Yes     No

Step 3 – Undertake a Water Audit

Undertaking an initial water audit to get a baseline of current water performance is a key first step in
developing detailed water saving plans. As part of your water audit have you
‐   Undertaken a water balance (water inputs and outputs) for your airport?                                                         Yes       No
‐   Quantified how much water is used in each area of operation?                                                                     Yes      No
‐   Calculated your business’s water intensity rate?                                                                                    Yes   No
‐   Measured and determined incoming water quality?                                                                                  Yes      No


‐    Tested to determine if the source of incoming water meets the required water quality standards?
                                                                                                  Yes        No
‐    Quantified the amount and quality of waste water generated?                                  Yes        No
‐    Have you calculated what you are currently paying in water and effluent charges?             Yes        No
‐    Have you identified potential water saving opportunities?                                    Yes        No  
‐    Does water quality comply with the National Water Quality Management Strategy Guidelines?
                                                                                                  Yes        No

    Step 4 - Identifying the Major Areas of Water Usage in Airports

     Have the major areas of water usage in all your coal mines been identified and quantified? Yes          No
     Has water usage, reuse and water losses in the following areas of your airport been identified and
    ‐   Water Leaks                                                                               Yes        No
    ‐   Amenities (toilets, showers, washing taps)                                                Yes        No
    ‐   Water for Cooling Towers                                                                  Yes        No
    ‐   Green Landscapes                                                                          Yes        No
    ‐   Aircraft Washing                                                                          Yes        No
    ‐   Vehicle Washing                                                                          Yes         No
    ‐   Kitchen and Catering                                                                     Yes         No
    ‐   Cleaning and Hygiene                                                                     Yes         No
    ‐   Fire fighting and training,                                                              Yes         No
    ‐   Construction and maintenance activities                                                  Yes         No

    Step 5 - Identify and Implement Water Saving, Reuse and Recycling Options for Reducing
    Potable Water Consumption

    Have you identified, considered or implemented the following water saving, reuse and recycling options
    for all your electrical power stations?

    1- Have you identified and stopped all water leaks                                           Yes         No
    2- Have you retrofitted more water efficient amenities (low flow toilets, urinals, taps, shower heads)
                                                                                                 Yes         No
    3- Have you retrofitted more water efficient amenities (low flow toilets, urinals, taps, shower heads)
                                                                                                 Yes         No


 4- Have you examined all potential ways to save water in cooling towers.                       Yes       No
    ‐    Are you monitoring and reducing unnecessary cooling tower blowdown to optimise the process
         and reduce water waste?                                                          Yes     No
    ‐    Have you increased the number of times water is recycled through the cooling towers (‘cycling
         up’) to produce savings?                                                         Yes        No
 5- Have you investigated alternative cooling approaches such as dry cooling or hybrid cooling
    systems?                                                                              Yes            No
 6- If located near the ocean, have you investigated the option of saline water cooling?       Yes       No
 7- Have you investigated options to use recycled water for cooling towers?                    Yes       No
 8- Have all opportunities to harvest, treat and recycle rain and stormwater and operational water runoff
    and effluent been explored for the airport?                                            Yes        No
 9- Is their opportunity, if new terminals or buildings are being built to utilise “Siphonic Roof Drainage
    Systems” to enhance rainwater harvesting? .                                                  Yes       No
 10- Have you implemented all aspects of good water efficiency green landscape management (drought
     tolerant plants, water efficient irrigation, only watering at night etc)         Yes       No
 11- Are you working with tenants, contractors and sub-contractors to identify and implement cost
     effective water saving plans that are complying with all aspects of water management related
     regulations?                                                                          Yes            No
 12- Do airlines using your airport use recycled water for aircraft washing? Do you recycle the wastewater
     from aircraft washing?                                                                   Yes     No
 13- Do car hire company tenants use recycled water for vehicle washing? Do you recycle the
     wastewater from aircraft washing?                                                    Yes             No

 Step 6 - Undertake Cost Benefit Analysis:

 Have you calculated the capital and operational costs of implementing the water saving options by
 considering both direct and indirect costs?                                         Yes       No
 Have you calculated the benefits of implementing the measure by considering both direct
 and indirect costs?                                                                     Yes              No
 Have you determined the return on investment?                                           Yes              No
 If installing new water treatment and recycling infrastructure have you factored all the benefits and costs
 such as depreciation, maintenance, energy and chemical costs?                                Yes        No

Step 7 - Develop Key Performance Indicators

 Have you adopted appropriate KPIs?                                                             Yes       No

Step 8 – Set Performance Targets?


  Have you set appropriate short and long term performance targets?                                                          Yes         No

  Step 9 Monitoring, Auditing, Review, and Reporting

  Have you installed meters and sensors to enable regular monitoring and auditing of water usage, water
  quality and wastewater production?                                                        Yes      No

  Have you put in place systems of auditing to enable regular monthly reviews of water management
  performance?                                                                             Yes                                            No

  Are you annually publically reporting your water management and water efficiency performance?
                                                                                          Yes                                            No

Step 10 – Partner with Business Water Saving Initiatives – eg: UN Global Compact CEO Water

Water initiatives like the UN Global Compact encourage companies to consider the following;

Have you undertaken supply chain analysis to see if there are significant embodied (virtual water) water
issues which need to be addressed?                                                          Yes       No

Have you checked to see if there are alternative feedstocks, energy sources, or supply chains which
have lower embodied water?                                                                 Yes      No

Have you initiated water saving programs with your supply chain to help save water?                                         Yes          No

Have you initiated programs to enhance the quality and conservation of water in water catchments from
which your airport sources its water?                                                      Yes      No

Disclaimer: While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure that the contents of this publication are factually correct, the parties
involved in the development of this document do not accept responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the contents.
Information, recommendations and opinions expressed herein are not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular
individual or entity and should not be relied upon for personal, legal, financial or other decisions. The user must make its own
assessment of the suitability of the information or material contained herein for its use. To the extent permitted by law, the parties
involved in the development of this document exclude all liability to any other party for expenses, losses, damages and costs (whether
losses were foreseen, foreseeable, known or otherwise) arising directly or indirectly from using this document. This document is
produced for general information only and does not represent a statement of the policy of the Commonwealth of Australia. The
Commonwealth of Australia and all persons acting for the Commonwealth preparing this report accept no liability for the accuracy of or
inferences from the material contained in this publication, or for any action as a result of any person’s or group’s interpretations,
deductions, conclusions or actions in relying on this material.


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