Saturday, April 22, 2006

EPA Study to Track Household Water Usage

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- How much of a precious resource -- water -- can be saved through better-designed homes and appliances?

That's the question posed by a 33-month study that will compare water usage in standard vs. high-efficiency new homes. The study, which is being launched by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency, will compare houses in six water districts in the West and three in the South.

"Better information and technology give homeowners greater choices to save water, money, and streams," Benjamin H. Grumbles, EPA assistant administrator for water, said in a prepared statement.

The study will determine water usage by analyzing data from billing records, surveys, and meter measurement of household water usage. The water districts taking part in the study are in Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, Oregon, Arizona, California, Nevada, and Florida.

High-efficiency toilets and faucets, water-efficient landscape designs, and weather-based irrigation controllers will be among the advanced technologies analyzed in this study. It will also investigate relationships between household indoor water use and factors such as the number of residents, home size, and types of fixtures and appliances.

The findings will be used to help establish voluntary targets for builders seeking to provide home buyers with alternate water-efficiency designs; develop criteria for water-efficient homes based on water-using products and building design or on average gallons used per resident per day; and create special certification marks to help consumers identify new homes that are water-efficient.

The EPA has more about water efficiency.

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