In California, where Gov. Schwarzenegger declared a 20 percent reduction in water use statewide by 2012, a traveling home show exhibit called Water Wise Landscape displays a variety of home water-saving practices and devices to help homeowners and builders meet the mandate.

Sponsored by Sustainable Environmental Education (SEE), a nonprofit outreach organization in Whittier, Calif., the booth educates passers-by about smart ­water use. “It’s about strategically placing water and maximizing its use,” says spokesman Nick Federoff, who also hosts a syndicated radio show on gardening. “We don’t advocate getting rid of turf, but instead using the right grass and watering and feeding schedule to use water more efficiently.”

The booth showcases such products as drip irrigation systems as well as lesser-known solutions such as a valve that automatically blocks water from spewing out of a broken sprinkler head and a liquid polymer that helps soil retain irrigation water.

Meanwhile, plumbing giant Kohler recently launched, an online campaign for consumers and housing professionals on water conservation. Completion of a short survey on the site (providing the company with some ­research data about home water use) triggers a donation of $1’s worth of Kohler products to Habitat for Humanity up to $500,000, to match the company’s standing $500,000 pledge to the affordable housing ­developer, enough to outfit 600 Habitat homes with water-­saving products.

STEM THE FLOW: Kohler’s line of plumbing products, including the dual-flush Saile toilet that can conserve up to 25,000 gallons of water per year compared to traditional flush units, is part of the company’s recent efforts to reduce water use in new and existing homes.

James F. Wilson