Ice Bucket Challenge: Good, Water Waste: Bad


water towerOnce you’ve accepted the ice bucket challenge, there’s no turning back. You have signed a verbal contract with your friends, followers and your own conscience to dump a perfectly good bucket-full of ice water on your head for the sake of awareness. The challenge has been an enormous social and financial success for the ALS Association, but what about all of that wasted water?

Amid a drought crisis in California, The Daily Currant posted a satirical article stating that ice bucket challenge participants in California would be fined for their insensitivity to the drought. While the article was a farce, the issue of water waste still stands.

Facebook reports that over 1.2 million buckets of ice water have been dumped on their site since June 1st, when the challenge took off. With the challenge’s exponential pay-it-forward component, there’s quite a bit of water at stake. Is it possible to reverse the trend and save water?

In short, yes. Energy and water consumption in multifamily buildings across the U.S. cost owners and residents an estimated $22 billion each year – at least 25% of which is unnecessary waste caused by inefficient building systems (these numbers were calculated in a pre-ice bucket challenge era and do not account for challenge-related waste). There are plenty of programs out there implementing energy and water conservation measures to eliminate that waste, but there was no way of knowing whether or not these programs actually worked. As it turns out, they do. Bright Power and The Stewards of Affordable Housing for the Future’s recent study, Energy and Water Savings in Multifamily Retrofits, analyzes pre- and post-retrofit data to determine the effectiveness of two savings programs. With regard to water, efficiency upgrades saved properties an average of 26% and paid for themselves after only a year.

Although the ice bucket challenge continues to gain momentum, water waste can be counteracted. We have the tools we need to find the leaks, fix the kinks, and keep water flowing to you in the most efficient way possible. Of course, you could always donate instead of getting dunked, but we understand and appreciate the value of a good home video.

If you’d like to make a donation to the ALS Association without the bucket, click here.