Sunday, November 29, 2009

GREEN LIVING: Green Building - A Look at Water Efficiency and WaterSense

By Thomas Ajava

The green building revolution is often promoted with a focus on two subjects - energy efficiency and reduced emissions. While both are obviously important, the issue of water efficiency is one that should not be pushed aside.

What is the greatest threat to our way of life in the next 100 years? The idea of oil depletion is certainly a concern. In synchronicity with this is the idea of climate change radically changing the planet. Both of these ideas have a certain glamour to them, if horrifically so, and garner the most media attention. There is, however, another problem that we are facing even now that gets little attention - water shortages. Cities such as Atlanta, San Diego and a host of others all are suffering through such shortages to one extent or another.

How much water do you think you use in a day? 5 gallons? 10 gallons? 50? Not even close. If you are like the average American, you use a whopping 100 gallons a day. That is the equivalent of over 1,500 glasses of water each day! That's a lot of water. The demand has also put a huge strain on our current water supplies. One need look no further than the mighty Colorado River which is so overused that it no longer makes it the Pacific Ocean anymore.

Water usage is becoming a huge issue across the country and the globe. There are many federal and state issues involved, but green building advocates take a different approach. The basic idea is to label and support products that improve water efficiency in the home. The EPA has joined in and given the program the name "WaterSense".

Products that come with the WaterSense label are similar to those with the Energy Star label. They represent a high level of efficiency, with water use replacing energy use. The primary focus is on the two biggest wasters - toilets and faucets. WaterSense compliant products work on low flow concepts and can save as much as 18,000 gallons of water use in the average home each year.

More than a few people feel that small changes in the household really don't help that much when it comes to saving energy. In the case of water efficiency, this simply isn't true. We waste so much water each day that even small changes can save huge amounts of this resource that is under so much pressure. This is why water efficiency and the WaterSense program have become an accepted part of green building.

Thomas Ajava writes green building articles for the directory

Article Source:

No comments:

Post a Comment