Water Use

Credit Language

OP 21: Water Use – version 2.2

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there there other credits that ask for the same information?

  • Weighted campus user (WCU) figures should be consistent across PRE 5, OP 1, OP 18, OP 21.
  • Gross floor area and energy intensive building space should be consistent across PRE 4, OP 1, OP 3, OP 5, OP 21.
  •  Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field.
  •  See related Help Center article on sharing information between credits.

Example Responses

  • Saint Michael’s College – Good example of an institution clarifying a discrepancy in the number of weighted campus users through the Notes field.
  • Northern Arizona University – Example of an institution that clarifies large reduction in water use per weighted campus user, as well as a large discrepancy between potable and total water, in its descriptive field for reclaimed water.
  • University of Waterloo – Notes field includes clarification as to why discrepancies exist between credits, and references COVID-related impacts.

Common Issues Identified During Review

  • Score outlier: Earning full points or close to may be the result of data entry or unit conversion errors. If a high score is reported, please review closely for the issues listed below. 
  • Numeric and Comparative outliers: Large differences between baseline year and performance year, or very high/low amounts under Total and Potable water use should be clarified under the Notes field.
  • Numeric outlier: Potable water use per unit of floor area below 1 gallon or over 100 gallons may indicate data entry or unit conversion error. Please review closely.
  • Numeric outlier: Total water use per unit of vegetated grounds below 10,000 gallons/acre or over 5 million gallons/acre may indicate data entry or unit conversion error. Please review closely.Data consistency: Weighted campus user (WCU) figures should be consistent across PRE 5, and OP 21 if the same Performance Year is used. Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field.
  • Data consistency: Gross floor area should be consistent across PRE 4 and OP 21 if the same or similar Performance Year is used. Valid discrepancies should be clarified in the Notes field. 
  • Start and End dates for Baseline Year and Performance Year must be valid (i.e., Baseline start date must be before Baseline end date, etc.). Baseline year may be any year from 2005 to the present. Older baselines (1990-2004) may be applied if they are adopted as part of the institution’s sustainability plans or policies, or in the context of other reporting obligations. Institutions should avoid reporting a peak emissions year as their Baseline simply to increase scores.

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