According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, almost 45% of California experienced moderate, severe, or extreme drought this summer. All of the state's coastal cities are experiencing drought or abnormal dryness, with Southern California hardest hit by severe and extreme drought conditions. In addition, the abnormally dry weather and vegetation has fueled destructive wildfires.
In response, manufacturers are stepping up to the plate with innovative products that meet strict standards of water consumption. These nine products offer homeowners comfort and convenience while helping them conserve resources and save money.
Niagara Conservation’s Nano Toilet uses vacuum-assist technology for an average of 0.6 gallons per flush. WaterSense certified and MaP premium rated, the toilet is touted as one of the most water-efficient toilet fixtures on the market. The Nano’s compact design is ideal for tight spaces or tiny homes, the company says, while its elongated bowl preserves user comfort. The toilet also includes a noise-cancelling water tank and 10-year warranty. niagaracorp.com
The Toro Evolution controller offers homeowners “smart,” cloud-based control of their landscape irrigation. When used with Toro’s Smart Connect device, the system can wirelessly communicate with a weather sensor, handheld remote, multiple soil sensors, and other add-on devices. Toro Evolution proactively adjusts watering based on live weather forecasts and historical water needs for that location, maintaining healthy landscapes while cutting down on unnecessary water use. Homeowners can review suggested watering schedules or customize their own. toro.com
The OAS shower from Orbital Systems purifies and recycles water while a person is showering. The closed loop system recirculates five to 10 liters of clean hot water at a rate of 12 liters per minute, or just over three gallons. The OAS filter pod at the drain removes oils, bacteria, viruses, metals, and other toxins before returning it to the showerhead with only minimal reheating required. Orbital Systems says the OAS shower offers up to 90 percent water and energy savings. orbital-systems.com
The Flo water security and management system from Flo Technologies continuously monitors water flow, temperature, and pressure, reports that information back to the homeowner, and intelligently learns the home’s typical water usage patterns over time. The Flo system consists of a Wi-Fi connected monitor device installed on the home’s main water supply and accompanying smartphone app. It can detect small leaks, shut off water supply in the event of a pipe burst, and alert homeowners if pipes are about to freeze. meetflo.com
About a minute’s worth of water is lost every time a shower starts, according to Evolve Technologies, though the amount of water varies by showerhead. Evolve’s ShowerStart TSV, or thermostatic shut-off valve, cuts down on “behavioral waste,” which occurs when bathers let the water run as it heats up. The ShowerStart TSV installs between the shower head and arm and automatically slows flow to a trickle when the water temperature reaches 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It saves the hot water until the bather is ready to pull the cord and resume flow at the same shower pressure and comfort. thinkevolve.com
Greyter Water Systems developed a residential water-saving solution called Greyter HOME, which recycles shower and bath water to be used for toilet flushing or irrigation. Greyter says the system is easily installed, requires little maintenance, and can supply enough water for a typical household’s flushing. Greyter HOME reduces water consumption by 25 to 30 percent, meets NSF 350 water quality standards, and reduces hot water heating costs by 20 to 25 percent through drain water heat recovery, the company says. greyter.com
Almost 2 trillion gallons of water are wasted in the U.S. each year, according to Conservation Labs, costing $40 billion. To address this, they introduced H2know, an affordable smart water meter that helps homeowners manage their water consumption and expenses. H2know takes measurements from a pipe every second in order to estimate water flow for major appliances and generate money-saving insights. The H2know app allows homeowners to monitor water usage and set goals, alerts them of leaks, and helps them achieve an estimated $250 in water savings annually. conservationlabsinc.com
Kohler’s new Artifacts collection of kitchen, bathroom, and bar sinks combines a vintage turn-of-the century look with contemporary water conservation features. The Column model bathroom sink spout is WaterSense certified for its 1.2 gallons per minute (gpm) flow rate, which saves 45% more water than standard 2.2 gpm faucets. According to Kohler, the Artifacts Column faucet can help a building receive Water Efficiency points through LEED’s Green Building Rating System. Column and other items in the collection meet water saving requirements for California Energy Commission (CEC), CALGreen, and Colorado SB 14-103. kohler.com
Whirlpool’s Smart ENERGY STAR Certified Dishwasher with Third Level Rack combines smart technologies with energy and water savings. The Sensor cycle can detect soil levels to determine the water amounts and wash settings that are needed. Using Whirlpool’s Download & Go app, homeowners can start the dishwasher from any location, choose from either specialty or custom cycles, and restock their dishwashing supplies through Amazon Dash. The dishwasher includes a third level rack for hard-to-fit items, and is available in three fingerprint-resistant finishes -- Stainless Steel, Black Stainless Steel, and Sunset Bronze. whirlpool.com