A timeline of important program milestones.
Created by WaterSense on Jun 7, 2011
Last updated: 08/02/13 at 12:22 PM
Since the program's inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 487 billion gallons of water and $8.9 billion in water and energy bills.
Read more on how WaterSense helped save water in the 2012 Accomplishments Report
Over the course of the year, WaterSense collected hundreds of photos of water-smart landscapes. The top 10 submissions were selected to be in the Water-Smart Landscape Photo Contest on Facebook, which was open for voting April 8-16, 2013. The landscapes came from various regions and offered beautiful examples of low water–using plants and efficient watering systems, including drip irrigation and rain water capture. Many of the examples were so water–smart they required no supplemental water!
Gino Piscelli and his team from Mississaugua, Ontario won first place by receiving the most votes on Facebook. His landscape incorporated drought-tolerant plants that thrived in direct sunlight and used mulch to reduce evaporation. Other notable submissions came from Joy Stewart in Bristol, Tennessee; Linda Andrews in Olympia, Washington; and John Galbraith in Grants Pass, Oregon. You can view all of these (and more!) in the Water-Smart Landscape Photo Gallery in the Outdoor section of the website.
This year’s Fix a Leak Week was the most successful yet! Over 30 events were coordinated by WaterSense partners across the U.S. and Canada to promote the importance of finding and fixing leaks in your home. Some of the highlights included road races, photo contests, workshops, and the distribution of leak detection kits and WaterSense labeled showerheads. Both social and traditional media were useful in getting the word out and helping to generate buzz around the campaign. The Fix a Leak Week message reached over 1 million users on Facebook and Twitter, while nearly 3,000 articles and press releases were featured across the country. View details of the events below:
The Draft Specification for Commercial Pre-Rinse Spray Valves (PRSVs) was released in February 2013. The draft evaluates PRSVs on the criteria of water-efficiency, energy-efficiency, and high-performance standards. These specifications are designed to ensure that despite a low flow rate (in gallons per minute), the ability of the product to clean is not compromised and is comparable to other models on the market. Manufacturers whose products meet the specification may use both the WaterSense and ENERGY STAR labels to highlight the efficiencies of those models.
Approximately 970,000 PRSVs are currently being used in the U.S., and about 200,000 new PRSVs are sold each year. Replacing standard models with WaterSense labeled models offers a significant opportunity for water and cost savings.
On January 1, 2013 homes in multifamily buildings became eligible for the WaterSense label!
WaterSense labeled new homes allow resident to enjoy the comforts of home while saving water and energy inside and out by using WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures, efficient hot water systems, and low-maintenance, water-smart landscapes. Residents living in a WaterSense labeled home will save water and energy now, pay less for utilities every month, and protect resources for future generations.
In addition to creating new opportunities for homes in multifamily buildings, the modified specification also includes these important updates:
• WaterSense now requires builders of WaterSense labeled homes to use EPA's Water Budget Tool for landscape design.
• If an irrigation system with a weather-based irrigation controller is used, the controller must be a WaterSense labeled model
• Showerheads must be WaterSense labeled models.
The first of many WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controllers earns the WaterSense label. WaterSense labeled controllers have the potential to save the United States over 110 billion gallons of water and roughly $410 million on utility bills each year.
The 2012 Fix a Leak Week was bigger than ever before! WaterSense teamed up with our partners to promote the fourth annual Fix a Leak Week, March 12-18, 2012.
From New Mexico’s search for bad flappers to leak detection efforts in Texas, West Virginia and across the nation, there were plenty of opportunities to get involved in Fix A Leak Week 2012. Find out more about the events at the link below and don't forget that every week is Fix a Leak Week!
zHome – the ultra-sustainable, 10-unit townhome development in Issaquah, WA that is redefining the future of housing – is also the first community in the Nation in which every home has earned the WaterSense label for new homes. EPA’s WaterSense program is modeled after its highly successful Energy Star program. The goal of WaterSense is to significantly reduce water use nationwide to save water resources for future generations.
A home that is certified to earn the WaterSense label will use at least 20 percent less water than a standard, newly-constructed home and the high-efficiency WaterSense labeled fixtures perform as well or better than their traditional counterparts. The benefits of the certification include:\
· Lower utility bills for future residents
· Reduced strain on water and wastewater systems
· More water left in streams and aquifers for salmon, recreation and other uses
· Fewer greenhouse gas emissions due to reduced energy demands from water treatment and delivery
zHome was designed to push the limits of sustainable, production housing. It is the first townhome, zero-energy, carbon-neutral community in the United States, and also received the Forest Stewardship Council’s 2011 award for the best residential project in North America.
In addition, zHome strove to demonstrate a multitude of water-efficient technologies, with a net reduction of 70 percent in potable water use compared to a typical King County home. Cascade Water Alliance provided WaterSense labeled toilets, showerheads, and bathroom faucets, as well as innovative, real-time use monitors for every unit to ensure maximum efficiency. Each zHome unit also includes a rainwater harvesting tank (ranging in size from 1,000- to 1,800-gallons) that is used for clothes washing and toilet flushing.
“EPA is proud to recognize the zHome project, built and developed by Ichijo USA and Seattle builder Matt Howland, as one of the leaders in the Pacific Northwest in helping to advance water efficiency,” said Paula vanHaagen, EPA’s Manager, Grants and Planning Unit in Seattle.
zHome was brought to life through a highly collaborative public/private partnership spearheaded by the City of Issaquah, in conjunction with Built Green, King County, Port Blakely Communities, Puget Sound Energy and the Washington State University Energy Program.
“We are extremely excited that the zHome units received the new WaterSense New Homes certification,” said Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger. “We hope zHome inspires homebuilders and homeowners to take advantage of the same water-saving benefits with their projects.”
Cascade Water Alliance, a long-time WaterSense promotional partner, is a non-profit corporation with the goal of providing safe, clean, and reliable water to its 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses. Cascade is made up of the cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Issaquah, Tukwila, the Covington Water District, and the Sammamish Plateau and Skyway Water and Sewer Districts.
To find out more about Cascade Water Alliance, visit: www.cascadewater.org
To find out more about WaterSense, visit: www.epa.gov/watersense
To find out more about zHome, visit: www.z-home.org
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, the nation's law for protecting our most irreplaceable resource. Every person deserves clean water - it is vital for our health, communities, environment and economy. We have made great progress in reducing pollution during the past 40 years. But many challenges remain and we must work together to protect clean water for our families and future generations. Everyone has an impact on the water and we are all responsible for making a difference. Water is worth it.
Since the program's inception in 2006, WaterSense and WaterSense partners have helped consumers save a cumulative 287 billion gallons of water and $4.7 billion in water and energy bills.
To learn more about other WaterSense milestones, visit www.epa.gov/about_us/milestones.html.
Irrigation controllers are the first outdoor product eligible to earn the WaterSense label. The most efficient irrigation controllers, which operate like a thermostat for your sprinkler system by telling it when to turn on and off, may provide home and building owners the ability to save 110 billion gallons of water and roughly $410 million per year on utility bills.
“As much as half of the water we use on our landscapes goes to waste due to evaporation, wind, and improperly scheduled irrigation systems,” said Sheila Frace, Director of EPA’s Office of Water’s Municipal Support Division. “WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers are designed to do the thinking for you and apply water only when needed, to ensure a healthy landscape that doesn’t waste water.”
Residential outdoor watering in the United States accounts for more than 7 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. For many homeowners, the practice is “set it and forget it.” When watering schedules for irrigation system are set during the hottest and driest months and not adjusted when the weather changes, the result is overwatering for much of the year. WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers, which monitor watering needs based on local weather data, can use significantly less water by applying water only when plants need it – reducing annual water bills and offering convenience and peace-of-mind while keeping landscapes healthy.
Controllers with the WaterSense label could be available in spring 2012. Like all WaterSense labeled products, WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers must be independently certified to meet EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance.
Congratulations to the 2011 Partners of the Year
On October 5, 2011, EPA announced the 2011 WaterSense Partners of the Year at the annual WaterSense Awards Banquet, co-sponsored with the Alliance for Water Efficiency. The banquet, held at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference Expo in Las Vegas, also celebrated an important milestone for WaterSense: the program’s fifth anniversary.
Since the program’s launch, WaterSense labeled products have helped consumers save a total of 125 billion gallons of water and $2 billion in water and energy bills. That’s due to the efforts of more than 2,200 WaterSense partners who have brought more than 4,000 plumbing products to the marketplace and educated thousands of consumers on the benefits of WaterSense labeled products.
The 2011 Partners of the Year represent the best of WaterSense’s six partner categories—including two new ones this year, Builder Partner and Licensed Certification Provider of the Year — who have made great strides in increasing water efficiency and awareness of the WaterSense label across the country. And the winners are…
Cobb County Water System
Delta Faucet Company
The Home Depot
Energy Inspectors Corporation
WaterSense Excellence Awards recognize a second group of partners whose support of WaterSense stood out in one or more of the Partner of the Year evaluation categories. This year, the following organizations made noteworthy strides in the following areas:
For Excellence in WaterSense Labeled Product Promotions:
For Excellence in Strategic Collaboration:
Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
Lowe’s Companies, Inc.
For Excellence in Education and Outreach:
City of Dallas Water Utilities
Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events:
Niagara Conservation Corp
3rd Annual Fix a Leak Week WaterSense teamed up with the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA) to promote the third annual Fix a Leak Week, March 14-20, 2011. The week's activities were topped off by We're for Water-Join the Chase! a 4 mile road race and informational educational fair in Peoria, Arizona. For all the latest on Fix a Leak Week events happening across the country, be sure to follow WaterSense on Facebook and Twitter! Are you a journalist seeking more information on Fix a Leak Week? Please go to the Resources for the Media page.
Since the program's inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 125 billion gallons of water and $2 billion in water and energy bills. Read more on how WaterSense helped save water in the 2010 Accomplishments Report (PDF) (6 pp, 1.1MB, About PDF).
The 1st WaterSense Labeled New Homes Built EPA welcomes the first WaterSense labeled new homes! WaterSense builder partner KB Home has constructed the first homes in the nation to meet the Final Specification for WaterSense Labeled Single-Family New Homes in Roseville, California, near Sacramento. WaterSense labeled new homes are designed to reduce residential water use indoors, as well as outdoors, compared to typical new homes—allowing you and your family to enjoy all the comforts of home while using less water and energy, and spending less money on utility bills. Read the press release About WaterSense Labeled New Homes
2010 Partners of the Year Announced Congratulations to the 2010 WaterSense Partners of the Year! Winners were announced at the second annual WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Banquet co-sponsored with the Alliance for Water Efficiency. The banquet was held at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference Expo in Las Vegas. This year's water-efficiency heroes, along with more than 2,000 other WaterSense partners promoted WaterSense to help save water for future generations. The 2010 Partners of the Year represent the best of WaterSense's four partner categories and have made great strides in increasing water efficiency and awareness of the WaterSense label across the country: Lowe's Companies, Inc. Moen Incorporated Cascade Water Alliance Irrigation Partner: Judy Benson This year, WaterSense expanded its Partner of the Year awards program to include Excellence Awards, which recognize the following organizations and individuals whose WaterSense support stood out in one or more of the evaluation categories. Read the Press Release View Photos from the 2010 WaterSense Awards Banquet
WaterSense Joins Twitter Follow Flo and be the first to hear about exciting program news and fun facts. http://twitter.com/#!/epawatersense
Flo Hits the Road to Help Launch "We're for Water" WaterSense launches We're for Water, a national outreach campaign to help consumers save water. The campaign encourages everyone to try at least one simple water-saving behavior around the home and kicked off with a cross-country road trip from Los Angeles to New York City. Why a national road trip? In some communities, while the water supply might seem abundant, often that's not the case. Between 1950 and 2005, the U.S. population doubled, while our use of water through public supplies more than tripled. With demand outstripping supply, at least 36 states have projected some degree of water shortage through 2013. You too can make a difference by joining thousands of your neighbors in supporting the We're for Water campaign and making simple changes to save water at home. Become a WaterSense fan on Facebook and explore all of Flo's road trip adventures! Read the Press Release
2nd Annual Fix a Leak Week Participants in the second-annual WaterSense Fix a Leak Week, from March 15-21, used elbow grease and creativity to get out in the community and into their own bathrooms, kitchens, and yards to fix common water leaks. Dozens of WaterSense partners and other organizations helped spread the word, hosting dozens of events, including: Free repair or water audit clinics in Greeley, CO; Clarksburg, WV; and Tampa, FL. Elementary school lessons on fixing leaks and saving water in Milwaukee, WI. 100,000 leak detection kits mailed to residents around Puget Sound, WA. Door-to-door leak detection offered by utility workers and high school students in Redding, CA. Renovations of bathrooms at an Angels' Arms foster home in St. Louis County, MO; a Ronald McDonald House in Scranton, PA; and the Battleship New Jersey in Camden. In Texas, an effort dubbed the Great Dallas Fix a Leak Week Roundup went off with a bang. Dallas Water Utilities, in partnership with EPA, ramped up an existing plumbing repair and retrofit program for qualified, low-income residential water customers, many of whom are elderly and unable to make the repairs themselves. Dallas estimates the repairs and renovations made during the roundup will save more than 2 million gallons annually. Read the Press Release Listen to a Soundbite from Assistant Administrator for Water, Peter Silva
Final Specification for Showerheads Released The WaterSense label is awarded to showerheads for the first time! If all older, inefficient showerheads were replaced with a WaterSense labeled model, the average household could save more than 2,300 gallons of water per year and $50 in utility bills—a difference in shower performance! About WaterSense Labeled Showerheads Find WaterSense Labeled Showerheads
WaterSense Facebook Fan Page Launched Learning about what people across the country and around the world are doing to save water just got easier! Flo and WaterSense launch the program's Facebook fan page. Become a fan today and get updates on WaterSense activities and fun facts about saving water.
Another Great Year for Water Savings Since the program's inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 46 billion gallons of water and $800 million in water and energy bills. Read more on how WaterSense helped save water in the 2009 Accomplishments Report | PDF Version (6 pp, 1.1MB, About PDF).
Final Specification for Single-Family New Homes Released WaterSense labeled new homes are designed to reduce residential water use indoors, as well as outdoors, compared to typical new homes-allowing you and your family to enjoy all the comforts of home while using less water and energy, and spending less money on utility bills. Buying a WaterSense labeled new home is a smart investment that will impact not only your family's future, but will help save water and resources for your community and future generations. About WaterSense Labeled New Homes Find a Builder
2009 Partners of the Year Announced Time to toast the WaterSense partners who have made extraordinary efforts to advance the WaterSense program. The 2009 Partner of the Year Award year's winners show how working together can help customers and communities of all sizes save water and are recognizes at the first-ever WaterSense Awards Banquet held in conjunction with the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, NV. The banquet, jointly sponsored by WaterSense and the Alliance for Water Efficiency, honored a select group of partners for their outstanding accomplishments and efforts in water efficiency: Kohler Co Lowe's Companies, Inc. Cobb County Water System James City Service Authority Brian Vinchesi Read the press release or visit the WaterSense Award Winners page for more information.
Final Specification for Urinals Released The WaterSense label is available for the first time on products specifically designed for commercial use with the introduction of flushing urinals. If all older, inefficient were replaced with WaterSense labeled models, it could save nearly 45 billion gallons of water annually. That's enough water to supply more than 450,000 households for a year! About WaterSense Labeled Urinals Find WaterSense Labeled Urinals
Fix a Leak Week Curriculum Released Learning about water efficiency can be as easy as 1-2-3 with WaterSense's recently released Fix a Leak Week curriculum. WaterSense has developed lessons for grades 3-5 that focus on saving water through finding leaks. The free resources offer step-by-step instructions for teachers and include ready-made worksheets for students. Nationwide more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year. In fact, the average home can waste 11,000 gallons of water per year, enough to fill a backyard swimming pool. But students can learn about saving water and conduct fun science experiments by sleuthing out leaks where they live and helping parents find ways to fix them.
WaterSense Begins Development of Pre-Rinse Spray Valves Specification WaterSense issues a Notification of Intent (NOI) to develop a specification for pre-rinse spray valves in order to improve water and energy efficiency. EPA has identified its approach to developing the draft specification, outlined efficiency and performance criteria, and the technical issues that still need to be resolved related to these products. Please visit the Pre-Rinse Spray Valves page for more information.
1st Annual Fix a Leak Week Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water leak from U.S. homes each year. March 16-20, 2009, marks WaterSense's first "Fix a Leak Week," a time to remind Americans of the environmental and economic benefits to fixing leaks from household plumbing fixtures and irrigation systems. Read the Press Release View EPA's Green Scene Video To kick off Fix a Leak Week, WaterSense and its partners the Arizona Department of Water Resources, City of Phoenix and Ferguson, set up a demonstration project at the home of longtime residents of Phoenix residents, Debbie and Dennis Jobin, to show how much water an American home can waste due to leaks. A display including two toilets, two faucets, and a showerhead—each slowly dripping—in the Jobin's driveway showed just how much water is lost due to leaky plumbing fixtures in a week. It all added up to more than 200 gallons of water—enough to meet the Jobin's daily drinking water needs for a whole year! Review the WaterSense Launches Fix a Leak Week in Phoenix page for more information on the demonstration and Arizona water facts.
Water Savings Continue to Increase in Program's Second Year The total water savings from all WaterSense labeled products shipped through 2008 topped more than 9 billion gallons—a considerable increase from the estimated .3 billion gallons associated with WaterSense labeled toilets shipped in 2007. Read more on how WaterSense helped save water in the WaterSense 2008 Accomplishments Report (4 pp, 796K, About PDF).
EPA Welcomes the First WaterSense Labeled Single-Family New Home! WaterSense builder partner Vanguard Homes, one of seven builders participating in the WaterSense New Homes Pilot Program, constructed the first home in the nation to meet EPA's Draft Single-Family New Home Specification in Chapel Hill, NC. The home is designed to use about 20% less water than conventional homes by including WaterSense labeled products and ENERGY STAR™ qualified appliances, as well as, water-efficient features and practices. Read the Press Release View the News Coverage
First-Ever WaterSense Partners of the Year Announced The WaterSense Partners of the Year awards program recognizes WaterSense partners who: Help advance the overall mission of WaterSense Increase awareness of the WaterSense brand in a measurable way Demonstrate overall excellence in the water-efficiency arena At the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition in Las Vega, NV, WaterSense recognized a select group of partners for their outstanding accomplishments in increasing water efficiency across the country: The Saving Water Partnership—Seattle and 17 Participating Local Water Utilities Kohler Co. Ferguson Timothy Malooly Read the press release to learn more.
WaterSense is featured on the TODAY SHOW during a segment about "greening your bathroom." During the segment, host Meredith Vieira inadvertently said that the average American household wastes 900 billion gallons per year. In fact, the average American household uses about 100,000 gallons in a year, and 11,000 gallons of that are unnecessarily wasted each year due to inefficient toilets and faucets. If every inefficient toilet in the United States was replaced by a WaterSense labeled model, it would save 640 billion gallons!
Our children are the keys to a healthy and sustainable future. WaterSense proudly announces its new Kids Web site. Here, our water-efficiency hero, Flo, teaches kids why it's important to save water and how to use less. Kids can play "Test Your WaterSense," a Pac-Man-like game where they guide Flo through a maze. During the game, they'll have to dodge the villainous Water Wasters-like Sogosaurus, who doesn't care that she waters her lawn every day of the week and Drip Drip, who won't fix his leaky faucet. The site also contains helpful resources for educators committed to communicating the importance of water conservation and efficiency.
WaterSense offers simple steps and a pledge to help consumers reduce their household water use by 30% in 2008.
Less than one year after hitting the shelves, more than 100 models of high-efficiency toilets have earned the WaterSense label, offering water-conscious consumers even more choices. These toilets have been independently tested to use less than 1.28 gallons per flush—about 20% more efficient than the federal standard—while offering equal or superior performance. With so many options, WaterSense labeled toilets are available at a wide variety of price points in a broad range of colors, styles, and models. A household that replaces its older toilets with WaterSense labeled models can save more than $90 per year in reduced water costs. Find a WaterSense Labeled Toilet
The WaterSense State Challenge helps state organizations build a state network of WaterSense partners. Using this credible, national brand at the local level will provide consistency in educating the public and will amplify statewide efforts to make water efficiency a priority.
First WaterSense Accomplishments Report is Published Just after 18 months in operation, WaterSense has made some great strides in encouraging the development of water-efficient products and programs. In 2007, more than 150 models of toilets, faucets, and faucet accessories, as well as, four irrigation professional certification programs earned the WaterSense label. More than 500 partners were also welcomed into the program. Read more on how WaterSense helped save water in the WaterSense 2007 Accomplishments Report (4 pp, 452K, About PDF).
Final Specification for Bathroom Sink Faucets Released The WaterSense label is awarded to bathroom sink faucets and faucet accessories for the first time! If every household in the United States installed WaterSense labeled bathroom sink faucets or faucet accessories, we could save more than $350 million in water utility bills and more than 60 billion gallons of water annually—enough to meet public water demand in Miami for more than 150 days! About WaterSense Labeled Faucets Find WaterSense Labeled Faucets & Accessories
Final Specification for Toilets Released The WaterSense label appears on its first products—high-efficiency toilets. Replacing your older, existing toilet with a WaterSense labeled model could save 4,000 gallons per year without sacrificing performance! About WaterSense Labeled Toilets Find WaterSense Labeled Toilets
Manufacturers, Retailers & Distributors Invited to Join WaterSense With the release of the high-efficiency toilet specification, WaterSense is pleased to invite manufacturers, retailers and distributors that share a commitment to water efficiency to become program partners. For more information, including descriptions of the different types of partners, benefits of becoming a WaterSense partner, and partnership agreements, please visit the WaterSense Partners page.
2006 Accomplishments Report Published Since it's launch on June 12, 2006, WaterSense has experienced significant growth and has big plans for the future! Read more on the program's inaugural year accomplishments in the WaterSense 2006 Accomplishments Report (2 pp, 1.2MB, About PDF).
Test Your WaterSense Quiz Unveiled While water is one of the most precious resources on earth, most of us don't know much about it. Think you know everything there is to know about water? WaterSense is proud to announce its new Test Your WaterSense interactive quiz. Help guide the water efficiency hero Flo through water pipes and answer water-efficiency questions while avoiding water-wasting monsters such as Sogosaurus and Drainiac.
Certified Irrigation Professionals, Certifying Organizations & Promotional Partners Invited to Join WaterSense With the release of these first specifications, WaterSense is pleased to invite organizations that share a commitment to water efficiency to become program partners. Certified landscape irrigation professionals, professional certifying organizations, and promotional partners are the first partners eligible to join WaterSense. For more information, including descriptions of the different types of partners, benefits of becoming a WaterSense partner, and partnership agreements, please visit the WaterSense Partners page.
EPA's WaterSense Program Launched On June 12th, former Administrator Stephen Johnson announced EPA's new WaterSense program at the American Water Works Association's Annual Conference & Exposition in San Antonio, Texas. The program seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water through water-efficient products, programs, and practices. Read the press release Hear what industry leaders and stakeholders have to say about WaterSense Meet WaterSense Partners Find WaterSense Labeled Products
WaterSense holds stakeholder meetings across the country to get input on designing a national, voluntary market-based program for promoting water-efficient products.