Dr. James White to Keynote at Next Generation Water Summit

Dr. James White, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, University of Colorado at Boulder will address the Next Generation Water Summit on June 12th in Santa Fe, NM. Dr. White’s keynote address, “Climate Change – The Tipping Point and the Economic Impact”, will begin at 8:15am in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

Dr. James White
Dr. James White

Dr. White started the INSTAAR Stable Isotope Lab in 1989. In recent years, his ice core research has helped to show that large climate changes tend to occur in the natural system as abrupt and rapid shifts in mode probably driven by internal adjustments in the Earth climate system, rather than slow and gradual adjustments to changing external conditions, such as the amount of energy received from the sun. He has been described as a generous mentor, gifted teacher and a serious man of science who leavens his lectures with humor, promotes discussion and listens as well as enlightens.

Climate change is going to impact our water supply, both the demand side and the supply side of the equation.  “A changing climate presents a host of problems for us as we seek to create a sustainable society for the future. We need to not only know what lies ahead, but how fast that new reality will come at us, and continually ask ourselves if we are adequately prepared to face the challenges”, stated Dr. White.

Other keynote speakers include: Paula Kehoe, Director of Water Resources, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will give the address on June 13th and U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), a long-time advocate for New Mexico’s acequias and traditional lands, will give the keynote address on June 14th.

Over the 3 days of the Summit, 50+ sessions will be held.  A few of these include: “Forest Restoration—How to Pay for It” by Dr. Jonathan Overpeck, Dean of the School of Sustainability, University of Michigan; “WaterSense 2.0 and Water Rating Systems” by Jonah Schein of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); “Permitting Sustainability” by Art Ludwig, founder of Oasis Designs; “Colorado River Basin States Water Efficiency Scorecard” by Mary Ann Dickinson of the Alliance of Water Efficiency; “Latest in Irrigation Technology” by Brent Mecham of the Irrigation Association; and “Irrigation Water Budgets: A Comparative Review” by Dr. Rolston St. Hilaire, department head, New Mexico State University.

Next Generation Water Summit logo
Next Generation Water Summit logo

Additionally, there will be 7 water certification courses held pre- and post-Summit and 4 technical workshops during the Summit. To see the full lineup of speakers, workshops and to register visit: www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com.

Hosts of the Next Generation Water Summit will be the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce; Green Builder® Coalition; City of Santa Fe; the Alliance for Water Efficiency, KUELWater, and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Major sponsors include the Turner Foundation and Phyn. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media partner.

About the Next Generation Water Summit
The Next Generation Water Summit brings together the building and development community, water reuse professionals and water policymakers in a collaborative setting to share best practices and learn about innovative water conservation and water reuse techniques that can be used to comply with water conservation restrictions spreading across the southwest.

U.S. Rep. Luján to Keynote at Next Generation Water Summit

Ben Ray Lujan

U.S. Representative Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) will address the Next Generation Water Summit on Friday, June 14th in Santa Fe, NM.  Congressman Luján’s keynote address will begin at 8:15 am in the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

Congressman Luján began serving in the U.S. Congress as a Representative from New Mexico in 2008. Congressman Luján has worked to create good-paying jobs in New Mexico, increase access to affordable, quality health care, protect New Mexico’s natural resources, build a clean energy economy, and restore checks and balances in our government. He is a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, sitting on the Health Subcommittee, Consumer Protection & Commerce Subcommittee, and the Communications & Technology Subcommittee.

Luján is a long-time advocate for New Mexico’s acequias and traditional lands. He continually works to ensure adequate funding for these cultural assets through both the legislation he has authored and through the Farm Bill. He also supports rural farming and ranching by securing grants to help food-producing communities advance entrepreneurship. “One of my earliest memories is helping tend the acequia on my family’s small farm in Nambé, and I know that water is one of our most precious resources in both New Mexico and in the West. I introduced the Acequia Conservation Program Eligibility Act to help ensure that water conservation is a chief goal as we live, work, and plan for our communities’ futures. I am encouraged that we are holding the Next Generation Water Summit in Santa Fe to work on the solutions that are necessary for our survival,” Rep. Luján recently stated.

Congressman Luján’s Friday keynote address will be free to attend. Registration is requested, however, and can be done at www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com. Attendees who are only interested in hearing his address are encouraged to choose the Friday-only (No CEUs) option.

Experts scheduled to present June 12th – 13th during the Summit include: Dr. Rolston St. Hilaire, Professor & Department Head at New Mexico State University; Dr. Nirit Bernstein of the Israeli Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences; Kyle Pickett, Co-Founder & COO, Urban Fabrick, Inc.; and Bill Hoffman of H.W. Hoffman & Associates. June 14th will be New Mexico Day, and includes a raffle of a 200 gallon rainbarrel, kids’ fun events, a tour of Santa Fe Community College’s new greenhouse facility, a “Careers in Water” track, and many how-to workshops. For more information on the rest of the Summit, please visit www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com. 

The Next Generation Water Summit brings together the building and development community, water reuse professionals and water policymakers in a collaborative setting to share best practices and learn about innovative water conservation and water reuse techniques that can be used to comply with water conservation restrictions spreading across the southwest.

Hosts of the Next Generation Water Summit will be the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce; Green Builder® Coalition; City of Santa Fe; KUELWater; the Alliance for Water Efficiency, and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Major sponsors include Turner Foundation and Phyn. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media partner.

3rd Annual Next Generation Water Summit Workshops Announced

The Next Generation Water Summit is pleased to announce a very broad range of pre-and post-Summit water workshops. Several of the workshops will start prior to the Summit on June 5th and continue after the Summit through June 25th.

The workshops include: Greywater Basics, Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® Verifier and Consultant training, Commercial Water Auditor Training, Hotel Water Audits, QWEL Landscape training, and several others. This is the first time several of these courses will be presented in New Mexico and are open to professionals and students.

The Commercial Restaurant Water Auditor class, held June 7th and June 10th, is the first of its kind anywhere in the country. This class is being taught by Bill Hoffman, and those who attend and successfully pass the test will become a Commercial Restaurant Water Auditor. The City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office will assist in the recruitment of restaurants to be audited and will use the auditors that successfully complete this workshop. A test and a sample audit will be performed as part of the class.

“The Summit always represents an educational opportunity for those interested in a water career,” stated Christine Chavez, Manager of the Water Conservation Office for the City of Santa Fe. “This year we are especially excited to see the rollout of our Commercial Restaurant Audit Program. Saving water is always important in Santa Fe, and this class expands our conservation programs into the commercial restaurant sector. We will support this program with rebates and promotions to hopefully audit over 200 restaurants during the next 12-18 months,” she concluded.

The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® Verifier course, occurring June 5th through the 7th, provides in-depth and practical experience in performing residential water assessments for new and existing residential properties. This class is required to become a WERS Verifier. The WERS Consultant course, held concurrently on June 5th and 6th, is also being offered and plumbers, builders, irrigation professionals and water reuse professionals are eligible to attend this professional designation course.

Greywater Basics, scheduled for June 24th and 25th, will cover how to build and maintain a Greywater system and includes a field trip to view a working system. This course is intended for both plumbers and homeowners.

The Hotel Audit class will also be instructed by Bill Hoffman and will follow the Restaurant Audit class. It will focus on appliances and water-features not included in the restaurant workshop (e.g. cooling towers, laundry facilities, swimming pools and spas, etc.). This class will be held June 11th.

The Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) professional certification provides landscape professionals and others education on local water supply, sustainable landscaping, soils, landscape water budgets, irrigation system components and maintenance, irrigation system audits, and scheduling and controller programming. An audit and an exam is included in this class. This class is scheduled for June 17th – 21st.

“Water workshops and water certification courses are part of the Next Generation Water Summit every year, and this year we have the broadest array of workshops we have ever had,” stated Doug Pushard, co-chair of this year’s Summit. The ability to earn valuable Continuing Education Credits or new water certifications is an important part of the mission of the NGWS.

Detailed information about these workshops can be found at: www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com.

The Next Generation Water Summit brings together the building and development community, water reuse professionals and water policymakers in a collaborative setting to share best practices and learn about innovative water conservation and water reuse techniques that can be used to comply with water conservation restrictions spreading across the Southwest.

Hosts of the Next Generation Water Summit are the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, Green Builder® Coalition, City of Santa Fe, the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media partner.

“Careers in Water” Track to Debut at 2019 Next Generation Water Summit

The Next Generation Water Summit always looks to provide innovative content, and 2019 is no exception. The final day of the Summit will feature a “Careers in Water” track aimed at students preparing to embark on their careers, as well as others who might be seeking a career change. The Summit will take place June 12-14 in Santa Fe, NM.

Mary Ann Dickinson will help kick off the day by participating in a panel discussing leadership roles in the water industry. “I’m thrilled to present once again at the Next Generation Water Summit,” exclaimed Dickinson. “This intimate event on sustainable water provides a great balance between deep-dive sessions and networking.”

Friday’s career track will also feature sessions on various facets of the water industry that are applicable to projects big and small, including water certifications, alternative water, irrigation and landscape. “We’re really excited to offer content that is relevant to today’s students, but we also hope they take the opportunity to network with some of the most prominent leaders in the industry,” said Doug Pushard, co-Chair, 2019 NGWS and co-founder of KUELWater.

Back by popular demand, the Summit will host one charrette for a limited number of attendees. It will take an in-depth look into the most effective and innovative water efficiency programs in the West. The Summit’s agenda also features renowned presenters, such as:

  • Dr. Jonathan Overpeck, Nobel Prize-winning author
  • Paula Kehoe, Director of Water Resources at San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
  • Dr. Nirit Bernstein, Institute of Soil Water and Environmental Sciences from the Israeli Volcani Center

They are scheduled to present on a diverse range of topics, from forest restoration to commercial water sharing to water reuse in Israel.

The Summit is a unique water and water reuse event that will feature builders presenting on Net Zero Water Houses and Near Net Zero Water houses. These Southwestern builders will host a design workshop for builders, contractors, home owners or architects that need assistance in designing net zero water dwellings.

Prospective attendees will not want to delay registering for this outstanding event, as capacity is limited. Early bird registration is available now through March 22 at the special rate of $249, so people are encouraged to register now.

For more information on the Summit, please visit www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com.

Hosts of the Next Generation Water Summit will be the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce; Green Builder® Coalition; City of Santa Fe; the Alliance for Water Efficiency, KUELWater, and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media partner.

About the Next Generation Water Summit
The Next Generation Water Summit brings together the building and development community, water reuse professionals and water policymakers in a collaborative setting to share best practices and learn about innovative water conservation and water reuse techniques that can be used to comply with water conservation restrictions spreading across the southwest.

3rd Annual Next Generation Water Summit Early Registration is Open

Early bird registration is open for the 3rd Annual Next Generation Water Summit (NGWS) to be held on June 12th – 14th, 2019 in Santa Fe, NM.

Next Generation Water Summit logo
Next Generation Water Summit logo

A few of the exciting topics that are scheduled include:

  • “Utilization of Marginal Water” by Dr. Bernstein of the Israeli Institute of Soil Water and Environmental Sciences
  • “Emerging Viruses and Bacteria due to Rising Temperatures” by Dr. Nichols, formerly of the CDC
  • “How Building Codes Save Water” by Hope Medina
  • “Irrigation Water Budgets – A Comparative Review” by Dr. St Hilaire
  • “Water Reuse Trends” by Kyle Pickett, Co-founder & COO of Urban Fabrick, Inc.

As in prior years, the Summit will be preceded by several technical training courses that offer advanced water certifications for attendees. Workshops that will be held before and during the Summit include:

  • Commercial Water Audit Verifier Training
  • Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® Verifier and Consultant Training
  • Greywater System Design

The Summit is a unique water and water reuse event that will feature builders presenting on Net Zero Water Houses and Near Net Zero Water houses.  These Southwestern builders will host a design workshop for builders, contractors, home owners or architects that need assistance in designing net zero water dwellings.

Prospective attendees will not want to delay registering for this rare opportunity, as seats are limited. Early bird registration is available now through January 15 at the special rate of $200.

For more information on the Summit, please visit www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com.

Hosts of the Next Generation Water Summit will be the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce; Green Builder® Coalition; City of Santa Fe; the Alliance for Water Efficiency, KUELwater, and the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association.

About the Next Generation Water Summit
The Next Generation Water Summit brings together the building and development community, water reuse professionals and water policymakers in a collaborative setting to share best practices and learn about innovative water conservation and water reuse techniques that can be used to comply with water conservation restrictions spreading across the southwest.

Built Green Canada’s Partnership with Green Builder® Coalition Brings First Performance-Based Water Rating to Canada

Built Green CanadaBuilt Green Canada has partnered with the Green Builder® Coalition to bring performance-based water efficiency to Canada through its third-party certification programs’ water conservation section.

Though parts of Canada, and the world, are increasingly experiencing droughts, and freshwater ecosystems are shown to be under stress, water conservation in the residential building industry has not received the attention energy efficiency has, though they are both connected and significant; in this respect, the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® is a step forward.

WERS is based on measurable parameters, along with a scoring scale of zero to 100, zero being the most desirable. Indoor water use considers the main plumbing fixtures of toilets, showers, lavatory and kitchen sinks, clothes washers and structural waste. Those who run the shower for a while before getting hot water are familiar with structural waste: it refers to the amount of water wasted before usable hot water arrives at the furthest hot-water using fixture.

Meanwhile, WERS includes the ability to account for all outdoor water use, as well as reuse via rainwater, greywater and blackwater catchment calculations. Depending on the verified filtration methods for rainwater and greywater, they can be used to offset indoor water use. Additionally, any remaining unused rainwater, greywater and/or blackwater (if applicable) can be credited to potential outdoor use.

“Industry and all orders of government increasingly are focused on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) and in the residential building sector, the emphasis is on improving the energy performance of buildings,” says Built Green Canada’s chief executive officer Jenifer Christenson. “While energy efficiency is an essential component of sustainable building practices—and our programs—we want to broaden the conversation and shine a light on a more balanced approach that also includes indoor air quality, waste management, and water conservation—some of the key areas of our programs. Despite Canada’s water endowment, we are not immune to water shortages and periods of drought. Moreover, reductions in water usage will save energy, further contributing to the decrease in GHGs.”

Built Green Canada recognizes the pressure on municipalities to supply water to households: managing water demand and financing, building and repairing water infrastructure is a priority. The reduction in water usage can help lessen a number of challenges, including water shortages and increased energy consumption to pump and treat water, pollutants in water bodies, and the expansion of water and wastewater infrastructure. A focus on water conservation helps reduce the load on civic infrastructure: a reduction that can result in a significant financial savings while supporting climate mitigation targets.

WERS logo“Water shortages and droughts don’t adhere to boundaries, so taking WERS beyond the borders of the United States is a natural progression for the program,” said Mike Collignon, executive director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “I’ve long felt that the policies and incentives that can be linked to WERS are equally applicable, and potentially more essential, outside the United States. We’re excited to partner with Built Green Canada on this journey.”

The WERS tool will be Canadianized in the coming months, verifier training will occur in the spring, and Built Green is encouraging trials through 2019. Builders will earn points toward their BUILT GREEN® home certification, while being able to understand the overall performance of their projects’ water use and make smart choices on the products they incorporate into their builds—and pass along the associated benefits to their customers.

The BUILT GREEN® Single Family and Renovation programs already utilize Natural Resources Canada’s EnerGuide label, which calculates the build’s energy efficiency and helps builders and homeowners understand how the home’s energy is being used—much like WERS does for water usage.

Built Green Canada is an industry-driven, national, non-profit organization offering third-party certified programs for single family, renovations, and high density projects. Since its inception, builders have worked with Built Green to complete over 31,280 certified homes represented in Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Ontario—including the units in multi-story projects, the total is over 34,135.

Pearl’s Premium, the Ultimate Grass, Adds WERS to its Long List of Partners

pearls-premium-logoConventional turfgrass is a large consumer of water, wasting up to 50% of our clean drinking water according to the EPA. A modern toilet uses 6 gallons per day, but your average lawn uses 2,500 gallons per day. Plus, it adds significantly to your water bill, as those who have irrigation systems are acutely aware. Your lawn can also be a cause for a higher Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)®. That’s why the Green Builder® Coalition has partnered with Pearl’s Premium via the WERS – Manufacturer Program to provide a 20% discount on their award winning mixtures of sunny, shady, and sun/shade grass seed, when buying at www.PearlsPremium.com and putting in the discount code “WERS20”.

The time for planting grass seed is now for the southern half of the country, including California. For the rest of the country, plant in the early spring, early fall or whenever soil temperatures are between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. To check your local soil temperature, go to www.PearlsPremium.com, click on the green button in the upper left corner and put in your city and state. If you are re-seeding, do not tear up the lawn. Simply spread the seeds over existing grass to out-compete the existing grass and weeds to look dark green and beautiful (like the picture below) in all 50 states, Canada and all climates worldwide:

pearls-premium-lawn

Jackson Madnick, founder and seed developer at Pearl’s Premium, said, “People in California and hot climates call it ‘The Holy Grail of Grass’ or ‘Guilt Free Grass’, not using all that water, chemicals, time, protecting health, saving money and helping to lessen climate change.” Madnick also noted it is the only grass that can earn LEED Credits (up to 6).

“In some areas of the United States, a lawn is a luxury that few can afford due to both the cost of water and the intense consumer of time: mowing weekly. In some places, it’s just environmentally irresponsible,” exclaimed Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “My hope is that people consider this product as a way to have the best of both worlds; a beautiful lawn for themselves and their family, but with a very small ecological footprint.” Collignon went on to say he planted some of Pearl’s Premium in his own backyard, and within 7 days, it sprouted and now looks great.

Pearl’s Premium becomes the fourth manufacturer to join the WERS – Manufacturer Program, following Evolve Technologies, Ecovie, and Flow-Know.

pearls premium - roots

About Pearl’s Premium
Pearl’s Premium Ultra-Low Maintenance Lawn Seed is a patented, extreme drought-tolerant grass that delivers breakthrough performance. Because it grows very slowly, it only needs to be mowed once a month, rather than weekly. It grows very deep 4-foot roots rather than 3 or 6-inch roots, so a homeowner will be able to cut turf watering by 75%. From the deep roots, it never needs lawn chemicals to out-compete most weeds and stay green year-round, so it is safer for children, animals and the elderly. Rather than chemicals for nutrients, Pearl’s Premium Grass needs small amounts of safer organic fertilizer or compost applied only once or twice a year. From the 4-foot deep roots in the ground and more surface area above the soil, this grass sequesters 8 X the carbon, pulling it out of the air to lock into the soil, to actually help lessen climate change and extreme weather. Its roots do not spread sideways, so there is no weeding of the grass out of flower or vegetable beds. It is dark green, barefoot soft, Non-GMO and fairly weed free. Pearl’s Premium has had over 300 rave reviews by experts & is sold at select Whole Foods. Pearl’s Premium gives back, donating seed to Habitat for Humanity & other causes related to children, animals & environmental education. For more info and to purchase, visit www.PearlsPremium.com or call (508) 653-0800.

Santa Barbara Eyes WERS for Administering Code Compliance

On August 14th, 2018, Santa Barbara (CA) City Council adopted an ordinance modifying water metering regulations and incentivizing ultra-high water use efficiency projects. To help assess the efficiency of multifamily projects, the City is looking to enlist the Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® as a path to administer compliance.

City of Santa Barbara sealUnder the new ordinance, developers would have more flexible water metering options by verifying their project meets ultra-high water use efficiency standards through an independent rating institution. The Public Works Director is finalizing an administrative policy for implementation of the ordinance, including standards for ultra-high water use efficiency and approval of independent rating institutions. Madeline Wood, Water Conservation Supervisor for the City of Santa Barbara, said, “We worked with local industry stakeholders to formulate a path to code compliance that both met the City’s need for conservation and the practical needs of the design/build community. After much consideration, we think this will be a good fit for all parties.”

The Water Efficiency Rating Score (WERS)® is an independent rating system that evaluates water usage and conservation. Since it is a performance-based program, it would allow the City to simultaneously enforce existing conservation requirements while incentivizing new efficiency measures. At the same time, there is a certain level of flexibility for the design/build community within the program in order to help meet client needs.

“The City of Santa Barbara’s innovative spirit should be commended,” stated Mike Collignon, Chair of the WERS Development Group. “They are the first municipality to incorporate performance-based water conservation into their multifamily regulations.” Collignon also lauded the collaborative efforts of Santa Fe, NM. At the request of Santa Barbara staff, Santa Fe shared their codification experience with WERS. The City of Santa Fe has used WERS as a code requirement for single-family properties since March 2017.

The ordinance does not take effect until September 13, 2018.

Flow-Know® Becomes Third Company to Join WERS – Manufacturer Program

Gray Line Systems, maker of the Flow-Know® brand of irrigation controllers and flow sensors, is the latest manufacturer to join the WERS – Manufacturer Program.

Flow-Know® will offer a 20% discount on all the products in their online store. “Compared to indoor water use, irrigation is the larger consumer of water,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “Now that property owners can see exactly how much water is being used, they can make efficiency adjustments much sooner.”

The Flow-Know® sprinkler controller is programmed with an iPhone over the Internet. The controller is compatible with all sprinkler systems that utilize 24VAC valves. With support for 2 flow sensors, the Flow-Know® allows a property or building owner to use their iPhone to track both household/business water usage, as well as the landscape water usage, before a surprisingly high water bill arrives.

Joe Bangs, the developer of the Flow-Know technology, is frequently heard saying, “Our water utilities do a great job delivering water to our homes and businesses, but as consumers, we need on-demand, real-time consumption data to effectively manage (and improve) our water use habits. Our phones are an integral part of our lives, so it just makes sense to access our data with just a few taps in the Flow-Know app.”

Discussions with other manufacturers are ongoing, with agreements and corresponding announcements anticipated in the near future. The Coalition continues to seek additional manufacturer partners. To join the program, please contact Mike Collignon.

About Flow-Know®
Gray Line Systems is a technology development and manufacturing company based in San Antonio, Texas. The goal of the Flow-Know® product family is to produce water usage data that helps consumers conserve water and save money. To learn more, please contact Joe Bangs.

Water Rating Index Added to 2018 National Green Building Standard Draft

The Consensus Committee developing the next version of the National Green Building Standard (NGBS) approved the Water Rating Index (WRI), as recommended by the Water Task Group. The WRI will go out for public comment as part of the draft NGBS. If approved, the National Green Building Standard will include the WRI methodology as an appendix and will use the WRI as one option for meeting the water efficiency requirements of the NGBS.

“The zero to 100 rating system, patterned after the Energy Rating Index (ERI) already in code, is a simple metric that consumers and water planners can understand and something builders will use to differentiate themselves from competition. It will drive greater efficiency in water conservation just as the ERI has for energy conservation”, said Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association.

“In many areas, water is becoming the new energy,” said Craig Conner, founder of Building Quality. “The WRI is a single number representing the water efficiency of a home, including both the inside and outside water use. I expect the WRI to be used where water availability is limiting construction. The WRI can also be used to compare the costs of achieving water efficiency in homes with the cost of expanding the water supply infrastructure. In many cases, new-home water efficiency will be much less expensive than expanding the water supply and treatment infrastructure.”

The WRI proposal passed overwhelmingly, receiving a 90% majority approval from the Committee. It calls for the creation of an alternative compliance path, whereby builders receive credit for four levels of achievement in the water efficiency chapter depending on the outcome of their water rating. On a scale of 0-100, where lower is better, the following table was approved:

WRI NGBS Level
70 Bronze
60 Silver
50 Gold
40 Emerald

“This is great news for both water-efficient builders and water-conscious communities,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition and Chair of the WERS Development Group. “Builders who utilize the NGBS would be able to get the credit they deserve for their water-efficient practices, and municipalities that need to ensure their water future would have an ANSI standard to employ.”