Environment Matters Podcast
EPA Region 3
Topic: WaterSense Conservation Program
Date: August 12, 2008
Sound of running water.
Host: How would you like to save money on your next water bill while conserving one of life's essential liquid assets?
Hi, I'm Lena Kim of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Mid-Atlantic region, and welcome to Environment Matters – our new series of podcasts.
H20…Water…Agua…The thirst quencher. Any way you say it, you need it. We all do.
The Earth might seem like it has abundant water, but guess what? Only one percent is available for human use. And while the population increases and the demand on freshwater resources is expected to escalate, the supply of freshwater remains constant.
Ken Pantuck of EPA's water protection division says we can no longer take water for granted.
Ken: Benjamin Franklin said it well, when he said, "We know the worth of water when the well runs dry." In the United States, it is predicted that at least 36 states will experience some shortage by the year 2013 where residents’ water usage may be restricted.
The good news is… if you conserve water, you're also going to be saving energy and money at the same time and that's where the WaterSense program can really help out.
Host: WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by EPA. It makes it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment. Just look for the WaterSense label -- a blue and green waterdrop -- to choose quality, water-efficient products that don't require changes in your lifestyle.
Ken: You know, Lena, the bathroom is the perfect location to start applying your WaterSense knowledge. Here in the United States we use up to 70 percent of our water indoors, and toilets account for nearly 30 percent of that. You can actually save more than 11,000 gallons of water a year if you give your bathroom a simple makeover by installing a WaterSense labeled high-efficiency toilet and faucet, or faucet accessories.
Host: Manufacturers of water-using products can have their products tested to see if they meet EPA’s water efficiency and performance specifications or criteria. Those that pass earn the WaterSense label. For instance, there are more than 120 toilets of all different types and models that have earned the WaterSense label.
And if you're still not convinced about the value of WaterSense products, here's something you should know -- if all inefficient toilets in American homes were converted to WaterSense labeled toilets, we would save enough water to equal 15 days of flow over Niagara Falls. Now that's a huge savings!
Ken: Yes it is. And the WaterSense program's website offers other useful information and tips on ways you can save water and money on your next water utility bill.
Another easy fix is replacing the existing screen -- called an aerator -- which is at the tip of the faucet with a WaterSense aerator. So if you're not ready to go out and buy new WaterSense-labeled faucets, then this is a simple, inexpensive solution to conserve water and save money.
Host: So the next time you're out shopping for toilets, faucets, or faucet aerators, whether you're at a plumbing product supplier, or a hardware store, or at any retail store, just look for the WaterSense label -- the blue and green water drop.
And if you don't see WaterSense labeled products, ask a salesperson or a store manager how to order them. EPA's Website has a list of all the products. The site links to our partners -- many of them are national chain stores -- who sell the products directly.
And Ken, how can we get children involved in being conscientious about water usage?
Ken: The WaterSense Website has a link to some exciting new educational materials to learn about water conservation. Some of the things that you can find out there are tips for parents and teachers. Our very own water droplet game and even take a WaterSense pledge.
Host: For more information about the WaterSense program and products that have earned the WaterSense label, go to EPA's Web site at www.epa.gov/watersense. That's w-a-t-e-r-s-e-n-s-e.
There, you can pick up useful tips on how to save water every day in your home. Remember, it just makes WaterSense.
Thanks for joining us on Environment Matters, our new series of podcasts.
Sound of drainning water.