• Boulder Colorado

City of Boulder, Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) Water Assessment Tool and Benchmarking Study

As part of a water benchmarking and budgets study conducted for the City of Boulder, Brendle Group developed the Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional (CII) Water Assessment Tool to support an alternative water budget development path for City CII customers. The CII Water Assessment Tool is a resource for conducting basic water conservation assessments for CII customers. This Excel-based tool is intended for use by various groups, including municipality/utility staff, technicians, and/or end users without a technical background in water conservation opportunities. The tool is adaptable to this wide range of users because of its functionality, which provides both basic and detailed assessment input options. The tool draws heavily upon resources from the EPA WaterSense© and ENERGY STAR for the assessment inputs and reporting outcomes. The tool and supporting user’s guide can be downloaded at the links to the right.

The CII Water Assessment Tool was inspired in part by the Water Conservation Assessment Toolkit developed collaboratively in 2007 by a task force of northern Colorado water utilities and the non-profit organization Colorado Water Wise. The tool represents a fresh start for this previous effort, providing a template for conducting basic water conservation assessments of CII customers.

While the tool is not intended to identify recommend projects, it can be used to screen for potential water conservation opportunities. It combines separate water conservation calculators and tools from a variety of sources with a common interface and assumptions that can be customized to a particular user.

Water Benchmarking Study

As noted, the CII Water Assessment Tool was part of a larger water benchmarking study conducted by the City of Boulder. This study was led by Brendle Group and included two phases:

Phase 1: The evaluation and interpretation of existing benchmark data for the restaurant, K-12 school, hotel/motel, and nursing/assisted living facility sectors, building off the 2007 toolkit. This phase of work also included the review of more general questions surrounding CII water use and benchmarking.

Phase 2: A more in-depth analysis to support the development of water budget benchmarks for the City of Boulder by defined CII categories. Using North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes, CII accounts in Boulder were broken into 29 sectors ranging from auto dealerships to places of worship. Budgets were then developed for each sector using a comparison of normalized historical water use between peer customers. For those customers with unique uses or circumstances, an audit-based alternative path was also provided to establish a fair water use budget with the CII Water Assessment Tool developed to support this alternative budget development path.