UBC Undergraduate Research

Water conservation at Vancouver International Airport : strategies for water conservation and efficiency Hitz, Chester


Water is essential to Vancouver International Airport (YVR), the main air transit hub for British Columbia. It is used heavily in both aircraft operations and providing services to the 19 million passengers that pass through YVR’s gates each year. As water resources in southwestern British Columbia are predicted to become more stressed in years to come as a result of growing population and climate change, there is an impetus for the Vancouver Airport Authority to introduce water conservation programs. The research presented in this report examines various academic, government, and case study literature as well as interviews with Airport Authority employees to summarize the current state of water conservation initiatives at airports worldwide and provide preliminary recommendations to the Airport Authority on context-appropriate programs for YVR and its tenants. Adoption of these programs would provide benefits to the financial, environmental, and social sustainability of YVR as well as the many tenants who lease facilities from the Airport Authority. The recommendations found from the research are summarized below: Creation and implementation of programs to encourage water conservation among the airports tenants, including green leases mandating retrofits and consumption reductions, incentive programs, sustainability rating systems, and educational seminars. Installation of water monitors throughout airport and undertaking of a water audit to fully understand water use at YVR and create targets for future. Consistent monitoring of the water distribution network so that leaks and other inefficiencies can be quickly solved to prevent waste. Installation of high-efficiency water fixtures and appliances in bathrooms and kitchens throughout the airport and tenant facilities. Construction of systems to capture alternative sources of water such as rainwater for use in airport operations where water does not have to be potable.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada

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