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WaterSense: Meets EPA Critera WaterSense Seal An EPA Partnership Program

The WaterSense Current Summer 2015

Issue XXXV, Summer 2015

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water.The WaterSense Current is a quarterly update dedicated to news and events relatedto WaterSense.

In This Issue:

WaterSense Partners Make a Whopping Difference: 1.1 Trillion Gallons of Water Saved

Consumers and commercial entities who invested in WaterSense labeled products have saved a combined total of 1.1 trillion gallons of water and $21.7 billion in water and energy bills since the program's inception in 2006. That's more than the amount of water all the households in Texas use in a year! Last year alone, WaterSense labeled products helped reduce water use by 346 billion gallons.

These savings are even more critical as parts of the country face extreme drought conditions. WaterSense labeled products are independently certified to not only save water, but to perform as well or better than standard models, so the savings will keep adding up for the long life of the product. What's more, WaterSense labeled models are available in a wide variety of products, styles, and price points, so they can fit any fixture need.

By the end of 2014, more than 14,500 WaterSense labeled models of toilets, bathroom faucets, faucet accessories, showerheads, flushing urinals, weather-based irrigation controllers, and pre-rinse spray valves had been independently certified for efficiency and performance. In addition to water savings, they have helped consumers save 146 billion kilowatt hours of energy needed to heat, pump, and treat water, which is enough energy to power more than 13.3 million U.S. homes for a year. Reducing that amount of energy results in 54 million metric tons fewer greenhouse gas emissions—the equivalent of planting nearly 1.4 billion trees.

These savings would not be possible without the more than 3,000 water utilities, organizations, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, builders, and irrigation professionals certified by WaterSense labeled programs who have helped the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) create, educate, rebate, and communicate WaterSense labeled products to consumers. Builder partners have also helped consumers achieve even more water and energy savings in 449 WaterSense labeled homes since 2009. WaterSense labeled homes save as much as 50,000 gallons of water per year and $600 annually on utility bills compared to traditional homes.

You can even save water when traveling by selecting a hotel that has pledged (9 pg, 227K, About PDF) to save water through the WaterSense H2Otel Challenge, which EPA launched in 2014. Since then, more than 40 recruiting organizations have encouraged over 800 hotels to ACT: Assess water use; Change water-wasting products and practices; and Track their progress.

Learn more about WaterSense's milestones in 2014 and see what's on tap for 2015.

We're for Water, Whether in Drought or Not

Show Us Your #WaterSavingYard in
New Photo Challenge

With persistent drought affecting many areas of the country, summer is a great time to reconsider how much water our lawns use wherever we live and focus on plants that use less water. WaterSense is showcasing just how beautiful, water-efficient, and diverse low water-using landscapes can be with a new Photo Challenge! Photos can be of existing landscapes or recent makeovers, but remember to highlight the water-saving beauty of plants that don't require extra watering in summer. Post your photo to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #WaterSavingYard or learn how to enter.

Flo landscaping his yard

Some 300 years ago, Thomas Fuller wrote, "We never know the worth of water, till the well is dry." It might be an old adage, but it's relevant today as more and more communities face concerns from mild water shortages to extreme drought. Even if your area seems well stocked for summer swims, sprinklers, and sails, today's drought reminds us it's always a good idea to save this precious resource for future generations and fellow consumers nationwide.

The U.S. Drought MonitorExit EPA Disclaimertracks drought intensity across the country and over time. As the map here shows, drought has affected all different parts of the United States at different times in recent years. That's why it is so important to use a little "WaterSense" to save water now and for the future—learn our top tips to reduce your water use indoors and out.

  • Follow the rules. If your community has taken the step of restricting water use, it's to ensure that water is available for critical community needs such as fire-fighting, health care facilities, and local businesses. Save it for these important services!
  • Check for leaks. Make sure your faucets, toilets, and showerheads are not leaking and check your sprinkler system. If you find leaks, fix them—leaks can rob your home of nearly 1,000 gallons of water each month, and they add up to more than 1 trillion gallons wasted across the United States each year!
  • Consider an upgrade. If you're thinking about a bathroom refresh, now is the time to replace water-wasting fixtures with high-performing, WaterSense labeled models, which are independently certified to use at least 20 percent less water than standard models. In fact, if you replace all the fixtures in your main bathroom with WaterSense labeled models, it could save nearly 10,000 gallons of water, or the amount it takes to wash 240 loads of laundry every year!
  • Take a sprinkler break. Grass doesn't have to be bright green year-round. It's natural for your landscape to go dormant and look a little less vibrant in summer's hottest months. Also, raise your mower blade and leave the lawn a little long to help grow a more drought-resistant lawn with deeper roots, reduced evaporation, and fewer weeds.
  • Go the extra mile. If you've done all you can to be water-efficient, get creative:
    • Don't waste a drop. Collect water from your shower or kitchen chores and reuse it to water your flowers.
    • Shave off a gallon or two. Turn off the faucet while you brush your teeth and shave; you could save more than 5,000 gallons of water per year, as well as the energy used to heat that water.
    • Rev up recycling. Wash the car with dishwater from a bucket, or consider using a commercial car wash that recycles water.

Even when the rains return, your water-saving ways shouldn't go away. Avoiding water-wasting habits will help you save water, energy, and money and help your community save water for the future.

Learn more about doing your part during a drought.

Global Entertainment Company Gets Wise About Water

One casino company has hit the jackpot of water savings. From 2008 to 2013, Caesars Entertainment reduced its water use by 18 percent, saving 430 million gallons of water throughout its 39 U.S. properties in the process. The savings come in part by replacing existing fixtures with WaterSense labeled models, tracking its water use, and engaging employees.

The casino company's efforts to take the "guest" work out of saving water are all part of its CodeGreen strategy focused on water conservation and reduction. This multi-year, organization-wide strategy is helping the entertainment gaming giant significantly reduce its water use across the globe.

As part of its strategy, Caesars and its U.S. properties replaced more than 16,000 showerheads with WaterSense labeled models. Guests went from using 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) to 1.8 gpm with every shower, saving an estimated 50 million gallons of water annually in properties nationwide.

Beginning in 2008 as an employee-driven initiative, CodeGreen continues to grow through employee participation and interest. Each property has a CodeGreen team made up of employees from different departments and job functions, such as facilities, food service, and housekeeping, who take ownership over environmental initiatives at Caesars. Employees can become CodeGreen Ambassadors and spearhead some portion of the strategy.

The Caesars Code Rewards program also gives incentives to employees who complete sustainability projects, allowing them to earn Total Return Credits that can be used on prizes such as a free stay at a Caesars property. The Caesars Code Rewards program encourages information sharing so that participants can learn more water- and energy-saving approaches.

Caesars also launched CodeGreen at Home to reward employees for sustainability initiatives implemented at home, including water conservation, waste reduction, and energy conservation projects. As of 2013, employees had received more than $60,000 in rewards for their participation in CodeGreen at Home.

Learn more (3 pg, 696K, About PDF) about Caesars Entertainment's efforts to save water.

Colorado Springs Utilities Saves Residents 80 Million Gallons of Water

Two-time WaterSense Promotional Partner of the Year Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) helped home and business owners significantly reduce their water use through education and WaterSense labeled product rebates. By supplying more than 7,000 WaterSense labeled product incentives, the utility helped Colorado residents save an estimated 80 million gallons of water in 2013.

Much of that success comes from CSU's efforts to educate its customers. More than 20,000 visitors per year learn about WaterSense through the utility's Conservation and Environmental Center WaterSense Showcase. Those interested can interact with fully functioning WaterSense labeled products; view a one-gallon water jug savings comparison between labeled products and less efficient fixtures; and learn facts about the water, energy, and cost savings achieved with WaterSense labeled products. The Center hosted a Fix a Leak Week open house for residents in 2013, where residents took advantage of CSU's showerhead "free-bate" program, onsite water efficiency experts, and kids' activities.

"We are so glad to utilize the WaterSense program. It contributes to the success of our conservation goals, helping everyone save water, energy, and money—a true example of win-win," Kinder said.

Learn more about CSU's efforts to promote WaterSense.

KB Home and Energy Inspectors Team Up to Bring Savings Home to Consumers

Many builders in California are facing a new reality as the state experiences an unprecedented drought, but one partnership in particular is using WaterSense to help meet those challenges. WaterSense Builder Partner of the Year KB Home and Licensed Certification Provider Partner of the Year Energy Inspectors Corporation have joined forces to build and certify, respectively, more than 150 WaterSense labeled new homes during 2013 and 2014 in California. This partnership has allowed them to help Californians meet drought conditions head on.

This year, KB Home plans to open its Sea Cliff community in San Diego, where all homes will not only be WaterSense labeled, but will also feature advanced water-recycling technology. And most recently, KB Home announced plans to build WaterSense labeled homes at its Cadanera community in West Covina, California. A total of 45 WaterSense labeled homes are planned for Cadanera and will be certified by Energy Inspectors Corporation.

To ensure its staff are up to the challenge, Energy Inspectors provides a hands-on training process through which participants perform a full inspection on a model home to ensure that it meets the WaterSense criteria indoors and out. The company also worked to develop a training video for new and existing inspectors to maintain their WaterSense knowledge.

KB Home also implemented extensive training initiatives to educate its employees about WaterSense labeled products and homes. Various teams of sales counselors and inspectors learned how to communicate the benefits of WaterSense labeled products to home buyers. Landscape contractors and irrigation installers who work on KB Homes are also required to review and implement water-efficient practices from KB Home's landscaping guide.

Energy Inspectors works with both KB Home's corporate and regional offices in northern and southern California to outline strategic ways KB Home could integrate WaterSense into their production cycle to save home buyers water, energy, and money.

"Energy Inspectors and our builder partners are continually working to increase water savings for new homeowners, which reduces waste and saves on utility bills. We are very excited to help our builder partners save precious resources," Energy Inspectors Chief Operating Officer John Gillett said.

Learn more about KB Home and Energy Inspector Corporation's efforts to build the market for WaterSense labeled homes.

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