DALLAS — As drought conditions rage across many areas of the country, AT&T and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) unveiled a suite of tools that U.S. commercial buildings can use to collectively save up to 28 billion gallons of water annually, equivalent to the amount of water that more than 765,000 Americans use at home in a given year.

Buildings with cooling towers typically use 28 percent of their daily water use for cooling, and they have the opportunity to reduce that water demand by 14-40 percent with this toolkit, stated the release.

The Building Water Efficiency toolkit, available at www.edf.org/attwater, is the result of data and lessons from pilot projects that ran across the U.S. during the summer and fall of 2012.

It gives organizations simple, cost-effective resources to build their own water efficiency programs and includes both technical and management tools to design, implement and document water savings. The combination of tools can be used to create the business case for investments in efficient water management.

"People knew these cooling systems use a lot of energy, but nobody had ever focused on how much water they guzzle, or how we could reduce that 'aqua-print,'" said Tom Murray, vice president of Corporate Partnerships at EDF. "Even we were surprised by what we were able to achieve with AT&T. It's a huge opportunity for companies to save water, save money and help out the communities where they operate."

Read the entire press release here.