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Buy Water Restoration Certificates (Water Credits) from BEF

Water Restoration Certificates—U.S.

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

In response to the rise of global water scarcity, more businesses are seeking innovative ways to minimize their water footprint through a wide range of conservation methods. BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates® (WRCs) offer the first-of-its-kind tool to go a step further—to actually restore gallon-for-gallon the water footprint your business can’t avoid to critically dewatered rivers and streams.

Each WRC represents 1,000 gallons of water restored in stream on your behalf and directly contributes to restoring the economic, recreational and ecological vitality of critical freshwater ecosystems. All WRC projects are certified by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s strict set of criteria to ensure flow is restored to the environment in locations and at a time that will have optimum environmental benefit.

where we get it

This product contains a blend of WRCs from our diverse portfolio of flow restoration projects.

View project portfolio ::

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Collectively, BEF and its partners have restored over 10 billion gallons of water to critically dewatered rivers and streams across 7 states through the purchase of Water Restoration Certificates®. That's the equivalent water in 2 billion standard five-gallon water containers.

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how WRCs work

WRCs are a voluntary, market-based program that provides farmers, ranchers and water users an economic incentive to devise new water management solutions that restore water to critically dewatered ecosystems. Each WRC represents 1,000 gallons of water restored in stream on your behalf and directly contributes to restoring the recreational and ecological vitality of critical freshwater ecosystems.

1 WRC = 1,000 gallons of water restored

VERIFICATION—The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a widely-recognized leader in freshwater restoration for the past 12 years, reviews all WRC flow restoration projects to ensure optimum environmental benefit.

PROOF OF PURCHASE—BEF provides you with a proof of purchase certificate by email to ensure that only you own the environmental attributes associated with the specific quantity of restored flow made possible by your purchase and to confirm the project supply from which your WRC was generated.

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types of WRC projects

BEF partners with many organizations to channel funding from the sale of Water Restoration Certificates® to a range of projects that actually enhance or restore flows and water to benefit critically dewatered sections of rivers, streams and wetlands. There are several project types that are used to achieve flow restoration goals.

The project types described below represent the diversity of projects that could make up BEF's WRC portfolio. They are provided as information only to help inform our customers about where and how WRCs are generated. View our current project portfolio online now ::

WATER CONSERVATION—Opportunities to conserve water used for agriculture in the U.S. abound, however funding to support water conservation is lacking. BEF's Water Restoration Certificate® program funds projects that invest in new irrigation infrastructure to allow irrigators to conserve and divert less water from dewatered rivers, streams, and aquifers. By funding irrigation system upgrades, BEF supports projects that leave significant “saved water” in the river to benefit fish, wildlife and water quality. While projects of this type do not create “new water” they play a central role in enhancing flows in critically dewatered streams.

WATER MANAGEMENT—Each year, outdated irrigation systems in the U.S. can leak up to 80% of the water they attempt to transfer to thirsty crops. Addressing this challenge with modernized systems is just one of the innovative solutions that funding from the BEF Water Restoration Certificate® program supports. As a result, irrigators divert less water from rivers, thus restoring water to dewatered sections of vital streams and rivers.

WATER LEASING AND FORBEARANCE AGREEMENTS—In many circumstances, water rights holders may not need or use all of the water that they have a right to use. Through “leasing” agreements, water rights holders can designate some of their water to be used for “environmental benefit”—meaning that these water rights holders choose to leave some portion of their water in dewatered rivers and streams to enhance flows and improve environmental conditions. Under the right circumstances, many states in the West allow this “leased” water to be legally protected against other downstream water use. The BEF Water Restoration Certificate® program provides funding to local organizations to pay for the costs associated with implementing water leasing and forbearance agreements.

PERMANENT TRANSFERS—In many states, water rights can be permanently transferred from one use to another. In some cases, water rights can be transferred to serve high-value environmental needs from low-value economic uses. Funding for these transfers can provide permanent environmental benefit by restoring flows of water to critical wetland areas or chronically dewatered stream reaches to benefit endangered fish and wildlife and enhance recreational values.

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how to shrink your organization's water footprint

GENERAL

  • Turn off water-using equipment when not in use including dishwashers, garbage disposals and food troughs.

  • Consider alternatives to discretionary uses of water that are not related to health and safety. For example, use a broom instead of a hose to routinely clean sidewalks or driveways.

  • Check for leaks and emphasize leak reporting and repair.

  • Eliminate daytime landscape watering. Water at night and consider weather-based or moisture-sensing controls on irrigation systems.

  • Reduce fleet washing as much as possible or use water reclaim systems. Eliminate car lot washing and housing.

  • Incorporate efficient use of water in kitchens for food preparation, food thawing and clean up procedures.

  • Put up signs in your place of business to encourage water conservation among employees in kitchens, locker rooms and restrooms.

  • Inform your business’ chemical suppliers and service contractors (cooling tower, laundry, janitorial, landscaping) that water efficiency is a priority. • Use water-efficient plumbing fixtures, appliances and other equipment.

  • Use water recycling systems for chillers and cooling towers.

RETAILERS

  • Install low flow toilet and tap aerators in bathrooms or retrofit existing toilets to be low flush.

  • Install sensor activated faucets in bathrooms.

  • Improve cooling tower and boiler system efficiencies.

  • Eliminate use of once through cooling of blow down.

  • Use cooling towers or chilled water loops in lieu of once-through cooling operations of chillers or reduce/reuse.

HOSPITALITY / RESORTS AND SPAS

  • Install low flow toilet and tap aerators in bathrooms or retrofit existing toilets to be low flush.

  • Install sensor activated faucets in bathrooms.

  • Provide drinking water only upon request or provide complimentary reusable water bottles to guests.

  • Thaw food in full sinks instead of running frozen items under water.

  • Replace or ensure dishwashers are auto-shutoff, water-efficient models. Most models should recycle rinse water.

  • Turn off continuous flow equipment like drain trays and scrap troughs. Eliminate scrap troughs where possible.

  • Use water conserving ice machines such as air-cooled models or flakers. Check equipment supplier for correct operations and water use.

  • Install low flow sprayers in dishwashers and only wash full loads. Turn dishwashers off when not in use.

  • Replace or ensure washing machines are water-efficient models. Recycle laundry water where possible and allowable with regulations. Reprogram machines to eliminate reuse or suds cycle if possible. Reduce water levels to minimize water per load. Wash full loads only.

  • For water features, install recirculation pumps. Turn off cascade or pump water features during off-hours.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

  • Install low flow toilet and tap aerators in bathrooms or retrofit existing toilets to be low flush.

  • Install sensor activated faucets in bathrooms.

  • Use sink screens to stop organic material from being washed down drains.

  • Thaw food in full sinks instead of running frozen items under water.

  • Install low flow sprayers in dishwashers and only wash full loads.