As drought conditions in California continue to worsen, the construction industry’s future is uncertain. Many municipalities have suggested suspending new building projects - residential and commercial - until the state’s water crisis is under control. The theory is that the more homes or buildings being built means more people will be accessing the already strained water supply. However, builders are challenging this notion because suspending new builds will be catastrophic to their bottom lines. In response to the municipalities’ calls for a moratorium on new builds, California builders are using advanced plumbing technology to make it easier for homeowners and businesses to conserve water without forgoing convenience. So, the question that plumbers must consider is: What technologies are available to help newer homes use less water than existing properties? Thanks to advances in plumbing technology there are quite a few options to conserve water not only in new structures, but existing ones as well. All it requires is a bit of planning and a few upgrades here and there.
Beginning in April 2015, water heater manufacturers are required by the U.S. Department of Energy to meet stringent energy requirements when producing new water heaters. While these new standards come with a higher price tag to cover the increased production costs, homeowners will notice substantial water savings without a loss in water pressure or convenience.
One of the ways that builders can make new builds seem less threatening to municipal water systems is by making water-efficient kitchen and bathroom fixtures standard. These upgraded fixtures could include:
Yes, these fixtures can cost as much as $1,500 more than their traditional counterparts, but they have the potential to save billions of gallons of water every year when used in new builds across the board. The bottom line is that the drought in California is everyone’s problem. When builders, lawmakers, and property owners work together to find plumbing solutions to reduce the over usage of the water supply, everyone wins.