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WaterSense: Meets EPA Critera WaterSense Seal An EPA Partnership Program

The WaterSense Current Winter 2007

In This Issue I, Winter 2007:

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:

What Is WaterSense?

WaterSense logo

Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population increased nearly doubled and public demand for water more than tripled. To address the growing challenges to water supply and water infrastructure across the country, EPA introduced WaterSense in 2006. This new partnership program helps consumers save on utility bills by making it easy to identify water-efficient products and programs. It also helps utilities avoid costly infrastructure investments while still meeting demand for water and achieving long-term conservation goals.

In fall 2006, WaterSense took the plunge and began partnering with organizations to encourage the manufacture and implementation of water-efficient products, programs, practices, and outreach. Partners agree to manufacture water-efficient products, support certification programs that highlight water efficiency, or promote the WaterSense brand and message. In return, they receive permission to use the WaterSense label, program logo, or partner logo to distinguish their products, programs, and involvement in WaterSense.

Certification programs that assess the professional competency of irrigation professionals in irrigation system design, installation/maintenance, and auditing are the first partner types that can apply for the WaterSense label. Organizations offering WaterSense labeled certification programs promote water-efficient landscape practices in their certification classes.

WaterSense invites utilities, water districts, state and local governments, trade associations, and other nonprofit organizations to become promotional partners. These partners are responsible for advocating water-efficient practices and promoting WaterSense labeled products to consumers and businesses in their communities. As promotional partners, these organizations are responsible for spreading the water efficiency message and promoting the WaterSense brand.

Want to join WaterSense? Learn about becoming a WaterSense partner.

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Partner Profiles: Irrigation Association and the Professional Landcare Network

PLANET and Irrigation Association Logos

The Irrigation Association (IA)Exit EPA Disclaimerand the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET)Exit EPA Disclaimerare among the first organizations to join WaterSense. IA and PLANET recently signed partnership agreements with EPA and are taking the first step toward earning the WaterSense label for their certification programs for irrigation and landscape professionals.

"The WaterSense label will help consumers recognize that certification makes a difference," said IA Executive Director Deborah Hamlin.

Both organizations are based in Virginia and support irrigation and landscape professionals across the country: IA has 1,800 members and is based in Falls Church; PLANET has approximately 4,000 members and is based in Herndon.

In early November, the two organizations introduced WaterSense to the commercial irrigation community at their respective trade shows. Attended by more than 5,500 people, IA's International Irrigation Show included a technical session about WaterSense as well as other sessions related to water efficiency. PLANET hosted an informal lunch at its four-day Green Industry Conference and Expo, which also included a presentation from WaterSense.

EPA looks forward to working with these new partners to promote water efficiency.

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Water Current Droplets
If every household in the United States saved 10 gallons for one day, it would result in more than 1 billion gallons of water saved—enough for 1 million homes with dishwashers to wash their dishes for one year.
Image of woman loading dishwasher

Ring in the New Year With Water Efficiency

This year, forget resolving to cut calories—try slimming down your water consumption instead. Let WaterSense help you keep this New Year's resolution with the following water-saving tips:

  • Save leftover water for household chores. You can always collect water from boiling eggs, washing vegetables, or from a humidifier and use it for watering houseplants or a garden.
  • Scrape, don't rinse, dishes before loading the dishwasher after meals. Most dishwashers are designed to clean dishes that are not pre-rinsed. If you want to load dishes and run the dishwasher later, load them scraped (but not rinsed) and run the rinse cycle feature on the dishwasher.
  • Buy yourself a new throne! If you're considering bathroom renovations in 2007, install a high-efficiency toilet, especially if your current model if more than 10 years old. A high-efficiency model will use less than 1.3 gallons per flush, and could save a family of four more than 16,500 gallons per year.

Learn more simple ways to save water.

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Featured Product: High-Efficiency Toilets (HETs)

Photo of a toilet

Did you know that toilets account for more than 30 percent of indoor water use? It's true! Toilets are by far the largest user of water in the home. They also happen to be a major source of wasted indoor water, due to leaks and/or inefficiency. Thanks to WaterSense, in 2007, you will be able to easily identify high-efficiency toilets (HETs) that can save from 4,000 to more than 7,000 gallons per person per year, depending on the age of your current toilet.

WaterSense labeled HETs will use only 1.3 gallons or less per flush, yet they are designed to employ pressure or gravity-led flushing mechanisms that enable them to meet the same strict standards as their less-efficient competitors. Only HETs that meet rigorous criteria for both performance and efficiency in tests certified by independent laboratories will earn the WaterSense label.

If every home in the US replaced their old toilet with a new HET, more than 900 billion gallons of water could be saved every year—enough to supply almost 10 million US households for one year.

Whether you're remodeling a bathroom, constructing a new home, or simply replacing an old, leaky toilet that wastes money and resources, consider purchasing a WaterSense labeled toilet. Most popular toilet manufacturers now make a high-efficiency model, so plenty of options are available to meet your project's specifications.

Read more about WaterSense and high-efficiency toilets.

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Leading the Pack: 2006 Award Winners' Water-Efficient Practices

EPA Water Efficiency Leader Award logo

Five diverse organizations and one individual received EPA's Water Efficiency Leaders (WEL) Award this past November for their outstanding technologies and practices that use water efficiently. Distinct from WaterSense, the WEL Awards are part of a broader EPA initiative to foster a nationwide ethic of water efficiency by highlighting water-saving technologies and practices that go beyond the WaterSense label.

TOTO U.S.A., Advanced Mobile, the New York State Funeral Directors Association, Florida's Water Reuse Program, Southern Nevada Water Authority's Water Smart Program, and Bill Sartor of San Antonio Water Systems each received this prestigious national award for their innovation, leadership, and water-saving results.

  • TOTO U.S.A. was recognized for their water-efficient product line and manufacturing processes, as well as their educational efforts within their community.
  • Advanced Mobile won an award for developing a car washing method that uses just 5 ounces of total liquid per average car wash.
  • The New York State Funeral Directors Association was honored for encouraging their members to adopt new technology, reducing the volume of water used in an embalming from 120 gallons to 5 gallons. The practice, which has been adopted on a broad scale, results in a 96 percent reduction at each funeral home.
  • Florida's Water Reuse Program led in the public sector for saving more than 331 million gallons of water per day in 2005 through innovative state regulations and effective public outreach.
  • Southern Nevada Water Authority topped the utility and water district entries. Since its inception in 2002, the authority's Water Smart Program has saved 20 billion gallons of water per year in one of the fastest-growing and driest areas of the country.
  • Bill Sartor received an individual WEL Award for his leadership in helping San Antonio Water Systems realize an annual water savings of 3 billion gallons.

Learn more about these winners and how you or your organization can compete for next year's WEL Awards.

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Test Your WaterSense... and Save the World from Sogosaurus

While water is one of the most precious resources on earth, most of us don't know much about it. Think you know everything there is to know about water? Test your knowledge of water-using behaviors and water-saving opportunities with EPA's interactive Test Your WaterSense online quiz! Move the water-efficiency hero "Flo" through water pipes and answer water-efficiency questions while avoiding water-wasting monsters like Sogosaurus and Drainiac. Use the information you've gained from the WaterSense Web site to exercise your water-saving expertise.

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