About EPA WaterSense

Thu, 2011-01-13 10:08

Why Worry About Water?

Don’t we live on a planet that is mostly made of water you ask? We do indeed, but a mere 1% of the water on Earth is available for human use. The rest is locked in polar ice caps or brackish (salty) ocean water, which is undrinkable without extensive purification. Many of us hail from states with abundant freshwater and we are lucky enough to turn on the tap and receive a clear, consistent flow of water. However, in many of the arid states of the US Southwest, water is a rapidly disappearing natural resource.

How Can We Conserve Water?

We all know to turn off the tap while we brush our teeth and water our lawns in the evening or not at all. But is this enough?

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognizes that as the population continues to grow, this natural resource will disappear even more rapidly. To mitigate this pressure, the EPA developed the WaterSense Program. In the broadest sense, this program promotes water efficiency and enhances the market for water-efficient products, policies and practices.

But to really make a difference, we need to design, manufacture and install drastically more water-efficient irrigation systems, faucets, showerheads and toilets. The WaterSense program offers a reliable, third-party standard for many different products. Currently the program only certifies products. WaterSense does not currently certify salespeople, contractors or designers in water-efficiency proficiency.

You may have seen several variations of the WaterSense Label. Certain labels denote WaterSense partners or promotions. Corporate or non-profit organizations partner with the EPA to pledge their commitment to water efficiency principles as outlined by the EPA. They may then bear the WaterSense Partner label. WaterSense Promotions signify educational programs that adhere to EPA principles of water efficiency.

What’s In It For Me?

Since WaterSense certified products are 20% more efficient than the average product in their category, they save green by saving blue. The EPA reports that since the program began in 2006, WaterSense has helped all consumers who purchased certified products save 46 billion gallons of water. That’s enough to fill almost 71,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools and amounts to $343 million in reduced water and sewer bills.

On a smaller scale, the average individual saves $60 per month in water bills (enough to pay for the water-efficient appliances in 2.5 years), 200 kWh of electricity annually (enough to run your refrigerator for two months) and 7,000 gallons of water annually (enough to wash six months worth of laundry)

How Does This Help The Planet?

The savings realized in reduced water and electric bills and translate to reduced carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA estimates that 1.75 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions were avoided through the WaterSense program. This is equivalent to taking 335,000 passenger vehicles off the road - or the same as telling the fine citizens of cities the size of Cleveland, Pittsburgh or Cincinnati that they can no longer drive their cars. I think they’d rather install efficient faucets.

How Can I Get Started With Water Sense?

Install Products: WaterSense products are available at retailers nationwide. Find them by looking for the WaterSense Label. Some well-known manufactures that supply WaterSense products include American Standard, Delta, Kohler and Moen (please visit the WaterSense Product Search site for a complete list of products). Something as simple as installing a water-efficient toilet saves the average family $90 annually on their water bill.

Consider A Partnership: Builders, manufacturers, municipalities and retailers all partner with WaterSense by spledging their commitment to the program and it’s water-efficiency standards. Find out about the benefits of partnership at the Become A WaterSense Partner page.

Get Your Product Labeled: If you are a manufacturer of a product that meets the WaterSense efficiency standards visiting the FAQ site to learn how to get the WaterSense Label on your product and start selling more.

If we all work to use less water through conservation efforts and the installation of water-efficient products, then hopefully we won’t find ourselves high and dry any time soon.

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