What Is LEED Water Metering & How is LEED Water Efficiency Measured?

Published: April 30, 2023 | by Wahaso Water Harvesting Solutions

What Is LEED Water Metering & How is LEED Water Efficiency Measured?

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) v4 and v4.1 Water Metering Credits offer building owners, Facilities and Maintenance teams, and design teams an opportunity to measure and monitor water usage during building design, to help ensure effective water management and higher water efficiency during building operation. Water Metering Credits are available for various LEED certification levels, and within the BD+C, ID+C, O+M (v4, v4.1), and O+M: Interiors rating systems.

What Is LEED Water Metering & How is LEED Water Efficiency Measured?

LEED Water Metering: An Overview

Water metering requires the installation of permanent submeters, which are connected to water subsystems within a building (flush fixtures, sinks, irrigation, cooling towers, site and vehicle wash, and other demand types), to measure water usage, monitor for leaks, and provide additional methods of tracking water consumption throughout a building’s lifecycle.

For example, once a building is operational, the Facilities staff may discover an HVAC system or boiler using more water than necessary, or certain restrooms apparently using more water than others. Once identified with the help of a submeter, these issue can be addressed, and measures put in place to rectify them.

The following categories must be included within a building design, in order to qualify for Water Metering Credits.

Water-Efficient Fixtures

LEED requires the integration of water-efficient fixtures including High Efficiency Toilets (HETs) and urinals, and low-flow lav faucets and showerheads. These fixtures help reduce water consumption by 20% to 30%, playing an essential role in achieving water conservation goals.

Water Reuse

Water harvesting and reuse is another critical component in this process. Greywater, rainwater, stormwater, groundwater, as well as various other sources, can be treated for non-potable uses including irrigation, toilet flushing, and cooling tower systems. This often provides an even more impressive impact on municipal water consumption.

Water Management

The implementation of a water management plan that includes monitoring and maintenance of water subsystems, leak detection and repair, and regular water quality testing, is key to ensure a building’s water use meets design objectives.


The last main component requires that building owners and managers provide continual education and training to building users and occupants on water conservation practices and the importance of water efficiency. Although perhaps a less direct process than installing and maintaining water fixtures and subsystems, water use education plays a crucial role in the pursuit of the highest standards of water efficiency.


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