Water is a natural resource that we simply cannot live without. Yet, it is becoming scarcer by the year. As unsettling as this is, we don’t have to sit idly by watching our aquifers draw down while we still thirst for more. We can conserve water as individuals, as communities and as an industry. Small efforts toward conservation —which can make a big difference by the way—are not even that difficult as water-wise paths are being paved for us by forward-thinking communities. We just need to fall in line.
Cities like Denver, Scottsdale and many others are making headlines for partnering with the EPA’s WaterSense® program to encourage residents to choose water-efficient fixtures. These municipalities go so far as to pick up a portion of their residents’ tabs when they replace water-wasters with products that carry the WaterSense label. A simple way you can get involved is by understanding if your clients’ municipalities offer this type of rebate program, and if so, you can pass the information along while you specify the appropriate faucets, toilets and other hardware. What’s more, most manufacturers are thrilled to do what they can to forward the cause of water conservation, which means more and better WaterSense-labeled products from which to choose.
Another sweeping effort underway is California’s Title 20. This summer the Golden State adopted these emergency regulations to establish standards to improve efficiency of water appliances. In accordance with the state’s new Title 20, all regulated appliances must be tested, certified and listed in this California Energy Commission database as meeting certain water-efficiency standards. Before specifying a particular fixture for your California client, be sure to check if it is Title 20 approved. We are willing to bet this measure will become industry standard with time.
As droughts linger, climates change and the demand for clean water marches on, we are fortunate to be in an industry that can make a positive difference through simple measures such as specifying WaterSense-labeled products and adhering to water-conserving measures like Title 20. It feels good to do good.