Water Conservation: Putting It All Together

Water Conservation: Putting It All Together

The water crisis will prompt us not only to rethink our approach to landscaping, but how we treat, use and recycle water inside our homes.
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Green Builder Media

Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 7:00am

CAMPAIGN: Ethical and Sustainable Living

CONTENT: Article

WATER SECURITY IS a growing concern, not just in arid developing nations, but here in the United States. Public awareness is starting to catch up with this reality. According to the EPA, many of the states that have projected population growth increases also have higher per capita water use. This translates into heightened competition for an already limited resource. But the consequences of climate change, including unpredictable and prolonged droughts, are already spurring watering restrictions and higher utility rates.

Conservation is critical, and the residential built environment has a huge role to play. Outdoor water use accounts for 30 percent of the typical home’s water budget—more in drier areas. Rethinking the function of landscaping is essential—seeing it as an integrated extension of the home, rather than “icing” to be applied once the project is complete. This means choosing landscape plants that are appropriate for the region and for the site-specific conditions. It also means capturing and managing rainwater and reusing graywater onsite, which will not only recharge groundwater and keep pollutants out of waterways, but save the energetic and monetary cost of transporting and treating water at a centralized facility.


CATEGORY: Environment