March 22 marks World Water Day, an international day of recognition for the ways in which water, and its use, impact the world and those living in it as one of our most important natural resources.
But though the pace of green building has accelerated and there is awareness around the importance of conserving water, especially in light of the recent historic California drought, both American consumers and builders have been slow to install water-saving technology in homes.
Reducing water usage is more difficult in some areas of the country (take a look at our interactive map to see which regions excel, and which fall behind, in water conservation). Organizations such as WaterSense have even offered incentives of up to $1,000 for builders who construct water-saving homes. Whether it's installing products or appliances that cut down on water usage or designing a system for water-wise landscaping, there are many water-conservation solutions that builders can apply to future projects.
In honor of World Water Day, we’ve pulled together six projects that raise the bar for what it means for a home to be water efficient, plus a few products and tips to help your next project measure up to these water-saving standouts.
Six Water-Saving Homes:
The Double ZeroHouse 3.0 is a living laboratory of real-world water-saving innovations.
Vali Homes' spec house concept in Phoenix makes water conservation in arid climates a reality, not an afterthought.
The 2015 show home boasts sustainable design, high-performance construction, and rapid assembly at a market-ready price. The home was a collaboration among BUILDER, Unity Homes, and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, along with support from 30 advisers, sponsors, and product contributors.
In its most ambitious concept home to date, Brookfield Residential explores rainwater storage and graywater recycling technologies.
Well-planned raingardens recycle rainwater on site and capture excess runoff from nearby streets as well.
A student-designed home from the 2015 Solar Decathlon offers ideas for builders in drought-prone areas and beyond.
Five Products to Help Homeowners Reduce Water Usage:
The product enables homeowners in drought-stricken states to significantly reduce potable water use without sacrificing irrigation needs.
After California's drought-related crackdown, homeowners have become more mindful of the amount of water they use every day. Here are seven building products from our sister-site EcoBuilding Pulse that can help cut down water use - and water bills.
This intelligent irrigation controller from Nexia helps users maintain landscape efficiently and remotely with minimum amount of water.
Water conservation is a focal point of sustainable building today. In this video, Michael Anschel and Carl Seville check out a new system for collecting rainwater invented by 15-year-old Steven McDowell.
Homeowners might not even think about their hot water heater but it is the second largest energy guzzler in most homes. Efficient water heaters will make homeowners sing in the shower--and when they get their energy bills.