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

The June 13th keynote address will be given by Radhika Fox, Chief Executive Officer of the US Water Alliance. A national non-profit, the Alliance educates the nation on the value of water, accelerates the adoption of One Water policies and programs, and celebrates innovation in water management. Radhika will discuss how all water (i.e. rainwater, greywater, blackwater) will figure into our future solutions.

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.

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.

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.

New Mexico Allows WERS Program for Sustainable Building Tax Credit Compliance

February 24, 2016 – Since 2009, the state of New Mexico has offered a sustainable building tax credit to its builders. It has been a strong driver of sustainable homebuilding throughout the state. The program, operated by Build Green New Mexico, is both very popular and lucrative, with a maximum tax credit of $13,000 per house. So it was no surprise that the program ran out of money well ahead of schedule. When the state legislature was asked to extend the tax credit, state politicians stipulated that the water efficiency requirement be increased.

Starting on January 1, 2017, an “owner of a building in New Mexico that has been constructed, renovated or manufactured to be a sustainable residential building and that receives certification… may receive a certificate of eligibility for a new sustainable building tax credit”. When the owner files their documentation, they will be allowed to attach a WERS report to show compliance with the new water efficiency requirement. The WERS program joins Build Green New Mexico and LEED for Homes as compliance paths for water.

Kim Shanahan, Executive Officer of the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, was a big proponent of WERS’ inclusion in the tax credit extension. “The original language in the legislation simply said a new home had to meet EPA WaterSense. But WaterSense only measures products and only few products at that. We knew we needed something that could account for all water usage, no matter the product labeling, and for both inside and outside the house. The WERS tool does exactly that,” Shanahan explained.

“The state’s decision to include the WERS program is a testament to how comprehensive and robust WERS is, and it really legitimizes the 2+ years of work the development group has put into WERS” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “We look forward to supporting all New Mexican homebuilders who choose to utilize this compliance path.” The inaugural WERS training course will take place March 8-10 at the Santa Fe Community College. To enroll in the class, please contact Amanda Hatherly.

Since February 2014, The Coalition has helped develop the WERS program for new and existing residential properties. It was first used in November 2015 to help a New Mexico homebuilder save significant time and money on his pursuit of a local building permit.

WERS Program Helps Homebuilder Save Thousands on Building Permit Fees

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December 17, 2015 – When homebuilder Bill Roth of Modern Design + Construction, Inc. recently submitted a building permit application, he had to declare how much water his latest project would use. This is part of an alternative “Plan B” permitting process for homebuilders in Santa Fe, NM.  Under this plan, homeowners can commit to using less water annually than the average home, in trade for a lower permit fee based on their reduced water consumption.  Accurately demonstrating the projected water use of a new home in your permit application has been a challenge… until now. This time, Roth had something new that enabled his application to get accepted in the blink of an eye, while saving his client approximately $2,000.

The Water Efficiency Rating Score, or WERS (www.wers.us), is a predictive, performance-based approach to residential water efficiency and water resource management. The WERS is the culmination of calculations that consider the loading from principal plumbing fixtures, clothes washers, structural waste, and outdoor water management. Potential rainwater and greywater catchment are also calculated. Applicable for both new and existing single-family and multifamily residential properties, it uses a scoring scale of zero to 100, with zero being the most desirable and 100 representing the baseline home.

Using the WERS program, Roth had his house plans analyzed by David Dunlap of Tierra Concepts. The preliminary report included everything Roth needed for his permit application.  According to Dunlap, “Having an analytical model like WERS, to clearly show the predicted water consumption for a new home, makes compliance with the city Plan B water program simple for everyone. This building permit application, using the WERS report, marks a huge step forward in water conservation efforts.”

All exterior water usage will be supplied through the use of reclaimed water. According to Roth, those systems will cost around $6,000. By leveraging the WERS program to prove he would not need potable water for the exterior, he was able to secure a significantly lower tap fee. “It was the equivalent of a 30% rebate. In Santa Fe, real savings can be had immediately,” said Roth.

“This project represents the first use of the WERS program in the market. Certification won’t occur until the project is completed, but this represents a significant moment for residential water efficiency”, said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “The financial savings achieved by this project are eye-catching and just another reason for homeowners to make water efficient choices.”