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NYC Water Challenges for Non-Residential Sectors


The New York City Water Challenge is a year-long, voluntary challenge to non-residential groups to match the 5% citywide water consumption reduction goal. Participants are asked to calculate baseline water consumption, track water usage in their facilities for 12 to 24 months, develop Water Conservation Plans, and attend meetings with DEP to discuss progress. Challenge participants receive formal recognition from DEP for their efforts. DEP completed the Water Challenge to Hotels in 2014, the Water Challenge to Restaurants in 2015, and the Water Challenge to Hospitals in 2018. Currently, we’re launching a Water Challenge to Universities.

For additional information on how to make your hotel or restaurant more water efficient, visit Water Saving Tips.

Water Challenge to Universities

New York City is home to more university students than any other city in the country, and as such, this sector provides a large opportunity to reduce citywide demand. This Challenge is unique among DEP’s Water Challenges as it will not only engage campus facility staff in water conservation, but it will also be an opportunity to foster a water conservation ethic among students.

The 5% Challenge: For the Challenge, participants will voluntarily reduce their water usage, measured in terms of water usage per square foot (WUSF), by 5% from their baseline year. DEP’s Water Challenge to Universities offers participants the opportunity to be recognized for their water efficiency efforts as part of broader citywide goals. Participating universities will also have access to a diverse forum of peers, industry experts, and sustainability organizations that will provide contacts, best practices, and technical assistance needed to realize meaningful reductions in water use and costs. For more information, contact

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