Water Conservation for Business Hub

Discover how your business can conserve water and become a water steward. Safeguarding our water supply and cutting down on your costs.

Why conserve water

Small changes in your business can make a big difference. Conserving water not only helps protect your local supply – it can also protect the environment, boost your reputation, and reduce your bills. Learn how to start conserving in your business, including industry specific conservation tips.

Start conserving in your business

Of Europe's water is used by industry and agriculture
Expected growth in demand for water globally by 2030
Of industrial wastewater needs treatment before disposal
Increase in global demand for water over the last 100 years

Water stewardship initiatives

Global water issues like shortages, flooding and pollution are impacted by industrial activities. Water stewardship helps you to evaluate how you use water and make changes.

Your privacy settings

In order to allow the use of multimedia content on this website you must accept the use of miscellaneous cookies.

Step 1

Pledge to conserve 

Commit to making changes that will conserve water in your business. You can post your pledge on social media to show you’re taking action. 

Make your pledge

Step 2

Water conservation training

This free online quiz helps you to learn all about the importance of water stewardship. You’ll get a digital badge to share your new knowledge. 

Start online training

Water Stewardship Badge

Step 3

Become a water steward

Learn how to map, grade, and evaluate your water use to make effective changes. Sign up and become a Certified Water Steward.

Learn about the course

Helpful Stewardship Resources

EWS Standard

Open the PDF Document

Roadmap to Water Stewardship

Open the PDF Document

EPA funded Large Water Users Community of Practice

Open external webpage

What Irish businesses are doing

Intel case studyDisplay video

Intel case study

Your privacy settings

In order to allow the use of multimedia content on this website you must accept the use of miscellaneous cookies.

Dublin Airport Authority case study Display video

Dublin Airport Authority case study

Your privacy settings

In order to allow the use of multimedia content on this website you must accept the use of miscellaneous cookies.

Dalata Hotel Group case study Display video

Dalata Hotel Group case study

Your privacy settings

In order to allow the use of multimedia content on this website you must accept the use of miscellaneous cookies.

Fund your conservation project

If you already have a project in mind to cut down on your water use, there are many different funding initiatives available. Visit GreenStart and GreenPlus for more information.


What is Water Stewardship?

A way to audit your business's water use and make changes
The plan for how Irish Water manage the water network
It controls the amount of water supplied to your business

About Water Stewardship

Water stewardship is a way to evaluate your water use and impacts. It involves evaluating your water use, and making best practices changes. These are most effective if they're adopted both in your business and the local area.

Global issues can affect our water supplies. Which of these is a risk to supplies?

Discharged water can be polluted
It's difficult to contain supplies
Not enough of the earth is covered in water

About Water Stewardship

Globally, issues related to water availability and quality are critically important. Water scarcity, flooding and pollution can all be increased by water use and discharge. This can result in ecological, social and economic impacts.

There are four pillars of water stewardship. What are they?

Identify, plan, implement and review
Audit, conserve, repair, and maintain
Quantity, quality, environment and governance

About Water Stewardship

There are four main principles for examining your water use. Consider each of these areas and decide on actions to reduce your impact.
  • Quantity - Review the quantity, sources, and impact of your water use to check its sustainability
  • Quality - Examine potential pollutants in the water your business discharges (chemical and biological)
  • Environment – Restore and preserve High Conservation Value areas around your business
  • Governance – Work with stakeholders to achieve fair and transparent water governance

Which of these is a water steward?

An Irish Water representative who speaks to your business
A person in your business who implements strategies to reduce water use
A member of the community who is interested in the environment

Being A Water Steward

A water steward is a person in your business who sets out the plan and implements strategies. Water stewards should have an understanding of:
  • Your business's water useyour water use to check its sustainability
  • The context of your area
  • The shared risk of water governance and qualityareas around your business

Part of being a water steward is to create a water map. What does a water map show?

How you use water and the related costs
Where your business's water goes once you discharge it
All potential water sources in your local area

Being A Water Steward

Water mapping is a way to understand your business's water use. It's a simple diagram that captures your water sources, services, end users, and outputs. This allows you to get an idea of how much water you use, and its true costs.

Mapping also helps to identify problems like leaks, and water conservation opportunities. This will allow you to not only save water, but also to cut down on costs.


You always need to consider shared risks when developing a stewardship plan. What are shared risks?

Risks of industrial water use both for your business and the supply in your local area
Risks of stewardship activities for business stakeholder
How national water use can impact on your business's supply

Being A Water Steward

There are risks that come with industrial water use. This is mainly because businesses share a river basin with other water users. Water stewardship helps to address any potential risks and challenges.

  • Physical – Disruption in water supply. Decline in water quality. Impact on production and product quality
  • Reputational – Water as a public good. Public view of sustainability. Community opposition
  • Regulatory – New water allocations. Stricter water quality standards. Comply to global water strategies
  • Financial – Increase in water tariffs. Cost of insurance. Investor reassurance

There are several ways to find out how much water your business uses. Which of these should you use?

Talk to other business owners
Check your meter readings
Research how much your appliances typically use

Identify Opportunities

Auditing your business's water use can help you in establishing baselines. Ways you can check what you use include:

  • Analysing your water bill
  • Checking your meter readings
  • Monitoring patterns of water use

A baseline serves as a benchmark to measure conservation actions against.


You want to reduce the amount of water your business uses. How can you start conserving water?

Buy appliances and devices that save water
Choose plants that don't need to be watered very often
Invest in equipment that doesn't require water
All of the above

Identify Opportunities

Conservation is a key part of water stewardship. The level of effort and cost associated with conserving water is wide ranging.

Some initial opportunities that you can action right away are to:

  • Invest in water efficient appliances – such as taps, shower heads, toilets, and dishwashers
  • Go waterless – use air-vacuums, high-pressure air jets, and dry sweeping
  • Buy devices to save water – such as dual flush systems, toilers cistern bags, and shower timers
  • Choose low maintenance plants – such as cacti, peace lilies, aloe vera, and jade

Congratulations, you're now a Sustainable Water Partner!

Fill in the form below with your details and we'll email on your badge. Be sure to post your badge on social media and share your achievement.

Linked In Logo

Select your pledge to conserve

Commit to making changes that will conserve water in your business. Select one of the three pledges to help us make a difference.

Become water conservation champions

Become water conservation champions

Pledge to spread the water conservation message to your staff and customers. Train staff on the role of water in your business and their role in its conservation. Raise awareness amongst customers.

Learn to identify and compare water waste

Learn to identify and compare water waste

Pledge to gain a understanding of how much water you use and how you compare to other businesses in your industry can identify waste through leaks or people wasting water by leaving taps running unnecessarily etc.

Use water efficient devices

Use water efficient devices

Pledge to upgrade your business to use some simple water efficient devices. Urinal controls or waterless urinals, efficient flush toilets and automatic or sensor taps will make a big difference in saving water and money.

Back to the top