A green home is built to use fewer resources, and there is no more important resource on our planet than water. The overuse of water is a critical concern, and predictions of severe drought in many parts of the country is only going to make the issue more important in the future.
Using less water in the home, and ensuring that the water we do use doesn't end up polluting natural waterways, is crucial for any green home. For a home to be certified with a national green building standard (such as LEED), water-saving measures are a requirement.
There are many ways to save water in our homes and outdoor spaces, and a program designed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is making water conservation easier than ever.
The EPA created the Energy Star program to help consumers easily identify appliances and other fossil-fuel powered equipment that are highly efficient. The EPA's Water Sense program seeks to do the same for water usage.
What is WaterSense?
The Water Sense program was created to protect our country's water supply by making it simple for people to use less water. It utilizes a product labeling system and informational resources to promote water efficiency.
Products or services that have earned the WaterSense endorsement are certified to use AT LEAST 20 percent less water than similar items without sacrificing performance. This promotes the value of water efficiency to consumers, and makes it easy for them to identify and choose these products to create a more water-efficient home.
Identifying and promoting water-efficient products and services also provides an incentive to manufacturers to research and develop innovative new products.
The WaterSense Label
Using less water through the use of high-efficiency products and practices saves this precious resource; it also saves money. Municipal water can be expensive, so conserving it makes economic sense. Water drawn from wells uses electric pumps, so less water usage there means less electricity is needed. Hot water requires gas or electricity, again costing money. Simple logic dictates that the less water we use, the less we have to pay to heat it.
The WaterSense Label makes finding water-efficient products easy, and instills confidence in those products backed by a third-party, independent testing and certification process.
Products with the WaterSense Label:
- Perform as well or better than similar products and are at least 20 percent more water-efficient.
- Promote water savings on a large-scale, national level.
- Provide measurable water savings.
- Conform to WaterSense specifications verified by the certification process and periodic market surveillance to ensure consistency.
Products with the WaterSense Label Several product categories can qualify for the WaterSense label. These include:
- Bathroom sink faucets and accessories
WaterSense labels can also be used on professional certification programs for landscape irrigation contractors who demonstrate water-efficiency in the design, installation, and usage of outdoor water.
WaterSense is constantly expanding to include new products and services.
Appliances in the home that use water, such as washing machines and dishwashers, qualify for high-efficiency under the Energy Star label since they also use electricity or gas. When choosing any home appliance, always look for the most-efficient Energy Star products.
WaterSense Certification for New Homes
A brand-new green home can be certified as a WaterSense home to provide assurance that it is water-efficient . A WaterSense labeled home can save a family of four up to 50,000 gallons of water a year compared to a similar home. By working with an independent WaterSense certified, a new home will be inspected before, during, and after construction to make sure it meets all efficiency and performance criteria necessary to be approved. The process is similar to other Green Certification Programs like Energy Star or LEED
With water, a little savings goes a long way. If only 10% of the homes in the U.S. installed WaterSense faucets in their bathrooms, SIX BILLION gallons of water would be saved per year, along with $50 million in energy costs.
Green Home Source is proud to be a WaterSense partner. Every home we design is carefully planned for maximum water conservation; we feel it's our duty to help preserve this vital resource.comments powered by Disqus