Water Sence

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Submitted by DavinStrand on Sun, 04/11/2010 - 15:54.

Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population nearly doubled, but the public demand for water tripled. Americans use an average of 100 gallons of water each day (the equivalent of 1,600 glasses of water). And a recent government survey showed at least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or statewide water shortages by 2013.

The Increase demand has put additional stress on water supplies and distribution systems, threatening public health as well as the environment. To help meet these concerns, the EPA has developed a rating system, called WaterSence, to certify  that participating new homes have been independently inspected and certified to meet specific water conservation criteria. WaterSence-labeled new homes are projected to save about 10,000 gallons of water per year.

Homes receive certification if they consume toughly 20% less water than standard new homes. Along with criteria for high-efficiency toilets and faucets, the program has a landscaping clause that limits the amount of tuf grass participating builders could plant. Focusing on exteral water usage makes sense, because estimates suggest that 30 to 70 percent of all water usage goes into landscape maintenance.

Landscape irrigation does nothing more than waste water – as much as 1.5 billion gallons every day acrross the country.

How does the WaterSence program wor? Outdoor, WaterSence-labeled homes feature water – efficient landscaping and irrigation. Builders have the option of developing an outdoor “water budget” and planning the landscaping accordingly. One way of staying within budget is through the use of a variety of water – efficient plantings, as well as limiting landscaping to less than 40 percent coverage by grass.

Cities in Florida, Nevada and Texas are already familiar with water shortages. To combat the problem, these and many other cities across the country offer financial incentives to builders who plan for water conservation by planting native species and limiting grass cultivation. But EPA’s plan will widen the scope of the WaterSence prgram, sparking concern on the part of turf grassindustry suppliers.

Submitted by DavinStrand on Sun, 04/11/2010 - 15:54.


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