Water Consumption

Valley Forward’s Water Efficiency Leaders Program Showcases Water Management Efforts

In this unique desert environment, water is our lifeline to sustainability and growth. The Valley’s secure water future is the result of more than 100 years of visionary planning. It’s clear, however, that while our region leads the Southwest in managing water supplies, we need to do a better job of communicating our efforts.

Valley Forward’s Water Efficiency Leaders program is designed to showcase how business and industry are demonstrating innovation in managing water resources.

Holsum Bakery in Tolleson was named the environmental public interest organization’s inaugural Water Efficiency Leader, and earned the title for integrating more sustainable processes into its entire operation.

In addition to bestowing top honors on Holsum Bakery, Valley Forward has recognized Intel Corporation and CityCenter of CityNorth for exceeding water efficiency standards.

“These companies are integrating sustainability into their corporate culture and have included water conservation and efficiency in their overall operations,” says Gregg Capps, chair of Valley Forward’s water committee, which initiated the program. “By spotlighting their efforts, we’re encouraging other businesses to review their processes to improve environmental quality, while at the same time positively impacting their bottom line.”

Holsum’s team has converted its water-intensive sanitation practices to processes using much less water. Irrigation of desert landscaping has been optimized, reducing water usage by 57 percent in the summer months and saving an estimated 155,000 gallons of water annually. Waterless urinals are now in place, saving 40,000 gallons annually, and basket washer controls have been modified to ensure minimal water usage.

Other water efficient practices include:

  • Setting goals each year for the bakery to reduce water usage per pound of production and in absolute gallons.
  • Installing secondary water meters to monitor usage at key process points, such as ingredient water, cooling towers and swamp coolers.
  • Increasing the use of brooms and brushes in the place of water hoses to clean equipment and work areas.

Next year, Holsum plans to install a system to capture runoff water from cooling towers and swamp coolers to replace incoming water used for landscape irrigation.

These measures are making a difference. Through July of this year, Holsum’s improvement in usage rate has saved the equivalent of 613,997 gallons of water over 2008, despite an increase in bread production of 4.1 percent.

Intel’s Ocotillo campus has developed innovative water conservation approaches that offset up to 75 percent of fresh water usage in the manufacturing process. Its key water management strategies include aquifer recharge, reuse of wastewater and internal water recycling.

CityCenter is the 76 acre, mixed-use portion of CityNorth development of Desert Ridge. Its state-of-the-art water capture and management system is designed and constructed to reclaim approximately four-million gallons of water per year.

Diane Brossart is president of Valley Forward. For more information on Valley Forward’s Water Efficiency Leaders visit www.valleyforward.org

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Diane Brossart

About Diane Brossart

Diane Brossart has a longtime connection with Valley Forward Association, having first joined the non-profit public interest organization 20 years ago. Brossart served on the Valley Forward Board of Directors for several years and was named President of the association in 1991. As President, Brossart oversees a staff of four and manages a host of committees, which focus on such issues as land use planning and desert preservation, transportation and air quality, water concerns and environmental education. Under Brossart's leadership, Valley Forward has received widespread recognition for its role in addressing environmental and quality of life issues in the Valley. Awards include an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9; Award of Distinction from the Western Mountain Region of the American Institute of Architects; and first-place honors from the City of Phoenix Mayor's Environmental Awards Program. Brossart also received the Phoenix Award from the Public Relations Society of America's Phoenix Chapter in 2008, in addition to the 2009 Champion of Sustainability Award through the Phoenix Business Journal's Green Pioneers program. She is also involved as a member of several civic organizations, including the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Valley Partnership, Friends of the West Valley Recreation Corridor and Phoenix Community Alliance. Prior to her work with Valley Forward, Brossart was Vice President of one of the Valley's largest public relations agencies, serving as a marketing consultant to Valley Forward and several commercial accounts. Brossart received her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wayne State University in 1979 and began her professional career as a reporter for a daily newspaper in metropolitan Detroit.