If you're remodeling the bathroom, or installing a water sprinkler for the yard, learn about the Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense program before you make a purchase. The EPA is touring the country to highlight some of the program's successes, like Denver's 20% reduction in water usage.
The new labeling system -- just a year old -- is similar to its better-known EnergyStar label that rates products on their use of electricity. The WaterSense label is similar, and will appear on more and more efficient toilets, bathroom faucets, and landscape irrigation products as the program builds momentum.
Why? Between 1950 and 2000, the U.S. population increased nearly 90% -- and the nation's water use increased 209%, according to the EPA. The average American uses 100 gallons of water a day.
That would be fine if there was an infinite amount of clean fresh water available, but there is not. As the population grows, some regions -- notably the West, where access to water is a historically divisive issue -- will face shortages, and conservation will be a big part of maintaining enough supply for critical functions. Saving now for later just makes good sense.
To learn more about the WaterSense program, click here.
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