Scenario 1: The Ideal Net Zero Water Building

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An ideal net zero water building uses on-site alternative water sources to supply all of the building's water needs. All wastewater discharged from the building is treated on-site and returned to the original water source.

Infographic titled Scenario 1: The Ideal Net Zero Water Building.

Formula: 63 kgal/yr alternative water use plus 51 kgal/yr water returned equals 114 kgal/yr total water use.

This graphic shows incoming and outgoing water flows of the building.

  • Potable water is supplied and treated on-site from harvested rainwater.
  • Alternative non-potable water is supplied and treated on-site from harvested stormwater and graywater, which is lightly contaminated wastewater generated by lavatory faucets and showers.
  • Wastewater is treated on-site and returned to the local aquifer.
  • Stormwater is recharged to the aquifer through on-site green infrastructure features on the building's landscape.

This building has a surplus of water returned to the original water source, as shown in the equation.

See Scenario 2: The Mainstream Net Zero Water Building.

Design Elements of a Net Zero Water Building

Learn about the key design elements of a net zero water building, including:

  • Reducing demand by employing innovative technologies that consume less water.
  • Producing alternative water sources to offset purchased freshwater.
  • Treating wastewater on-site and reuse or inject treated wastewater into the original water supply.
  • Implementing green infrastructure by infiltrating stormwater to the original water supply.