Sen. Udall to Keynote “Solutions Day” at Next Generation Water Summit

U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) will address the Next Generation Water Summit on May 1st in Santa Fe, NM.  His keynote address will begin at 8:15 am at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center.

Senator UdallSenator Udall began serving as U.S. Senator from New Mexico in 2009, after two decades of public service as U.S. Representative and State Attorney General. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he wrote and passed legislation to establish a national renewable electricity standard, which spurred the creation of good jobs, reinvigorated the economy, and reduced global warming emissions.

Energy has been a priority of Udall’s career in Washington, with water becoming more and more important due to population growth and changing climate patterns in the Southwest. “In New Mexico, we know that water is life – and we know that we don’t have water to waste. I’m grateful for the essential work being done across our state to encourage conservation and innovation, and Santa Fe is the perfect place to bring together stakeholders to chart a more sustainable path forward at the Next Generation Water Summit. Together, we can find solutions to secure New Mexico’s water future, as well as the rest of the West,” Senator Udall recently stated.

The Summit is being held April 29 – May 1, 2018. This unique water and water reuse event will feature builders presenting on Net Zero Water Houses and Near Net Zero Water houses. These Southwestern builders will also address both how and why reducing water consumption is the right thing to do to sustain the homebuilding industry in the Southwest. Finally, water professionals from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Utah will discuss and collaborate on distinctive conservation and reuse initiatives within their states.

A limited number of attendees will also be able to register for one of two charrettes. The charrettes are a new feature at this year’s Summit, with only 80 total slots available. The professionally moderated, half-day charrettes will take place on Tuesday, May 1. White papers will be produced and distributed to all Summit attendees, not just those who participate in the charrettes. Prospective attendees will not want to delay registering for this rare opportunity. Early bird registration expires on March 22. For more information on the rest of the Summit, please visit www.NextGenerationWaterSummit.com.

Hosts of the Next Generation Water Summit include the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, Green Builder® Coalition, City of Santa Fe, the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association, and The Alliance for Water Efficiency. Major sponsors include Vulcan, a Paul G. Allen Company; and Uponor. Santa Fe Community College is the official education sponsor, and Green Builder® Media is the national media partner.

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.

Two Charrettes Highlight Next Generation Water Summit

A limited number of attendees will be able to register for one of two charrettes at the upcoming Next Generation Water Summit. The charrettes are a new feature at this year’s Summit, with only 80 total slots available. The professionally moderated, half-day charrettes will take place on Tuesday, May 1. White papers will be produced and distributed to all Summit attendees, not just those who participate in the charrettes.

Next Generation Water Summit logo

The first charrette will try to solve a hypothetical challenge: How to implement a mandated 50% reduction in urban water usage without crippling the building industry. Aimed at the building community, this discussion will utilize a diverse set of perspectives in order to entertain a complete examination of this challenge. A few of the attendees scheduled to participate include: Darrel McMaster, Founder, Sustainable Homes, Inc. (Texas); Mike Collignon, Executive Director, Green Builder® Coalition; Darrell Lehman, President & CEO, Triconic, LLC; and Kim Shanahan, Executive Director, Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association.

“The purpose of this charrette is to contemplate the integration of significant water conservation into the design/build process,” said Collignon. “I’m looking forward to the suggestions on managing customer expectations in different geographies.”

The second charrette will compile best water reuse practices and mistakes in the southwest. As many in the water industry know, alternate water sources (i.e. rainwater, greywater, blackwater and stormwater) are often managed by different entities, and practices can vary from state to state. This charrette will bring together state experts from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah to share ideas and find common paths to success. A few of the attendees scheduled to participate include: Dr. Robert Mace, Chief Water Policy Officer, Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University; Doug Pushard, Founder, HarvestH2o; Peter Mayer, Principal and Founder, WaterDM; and Carol M. Ward-Morris, Assistant Director, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.

Mayer asked, “Can urban water use be optimized in the American southwest? With a panel of experts representing the entire region, this charrette will consider the range of feasible water efficiency, reuse, and cooperative opportunities.”

Prospective attendees will not want to delay registering for this unique opportunity, as seats are limited. Early bird registration expires on March 7, so people are encouraged to sign up now. For more information on the rest of 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 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.

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.

First WERS Class Sold Out

SFCC logo

March 3, 2016 – Santa Fe Community College’s EnergySmart Academy has announced that the inaugural WERS training course, scheduled for March 8-10, has reached capacity. In fact, there are currently two students on the waitlist. Seeing this demand, SFCC anticipates another WERS training course later in 2016.

“Santa Fe Community College is delighted that our first WERS class has had so much interest, not just from Santa Fe but around the state and nation,” said Amanda Hatherly, Director of the EnergySmart Academy.

“We figured interest in the WERS class would be strong in New Mexico, where WERS is cited in the compliance rules for the state’s extremely popular sustainable building tax credit,” said Mike Collignon, Executive Director of the Green Builder® Coalition. “Interestingly, one-third of the class attendees are from outside the state.”

Discussions are already underway to hold WERS training courses in Florida, Georgia and Illinois. “We believe there is a pent-up demand for water efficiency across the country, but it’s hard to know where to start if there are no benchmarks”, Collignon added. “The WERS program provides a snapshot of where we are, so we can better formulate a path to increased water efficiency.”

In addition to a soon-to-be-released online course component offered by SFCC, The Coalition will continue to work with SFCC and other educational partners to expand the number of in-person training opportunities across the United States. To request more information on an in-person course at SFCC, please contact Amanda Hatherly at 505-428-1805 or Amanda.hatherly@sfcc.edu.

About EnergySmart Academy
The EnergySmart Academy at Santa Fe Community College is a nationally recognized training center specializing in energy efficiency, green building and sustainable technology trainings. As well as offering Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) accredited clean energy programs, Building Performance Institute (BPI) and RESNET trainings, staff have been involved in the development of the WERS protocol and now are offering the first WERS training courses in the country. For more, visit www.sfcc.edu/nm_energysmart_academy.

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.

Evolve Technologies Joins WERS – Manufacturer Program

Evolve Technologies logo

February 16, 2016 – Improving showerhead efficiency and overall water conservation are two well-known strategies for addressing water supply issues. However, there’s a third strategy that Evolve Technologies is tackling head on: reducing behaviorally driven water waste without requiring behavior change. Their innovative ShowerStart Technology not only reduces water waste, but also enhances comfort and confidence while improving fixture quality and aesthetics.

According to a 2013 study by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), residents in the greater San Francisco Bay area generated between 1.7 and 4.9 gallons of behavioral waste per shower. (Behavioral waste is defined by the period of time a person continues to remain away from the shower after bathing temperature water has arrived.) To help curtail behavioral water waste, Evolve Technologies manufactures ShowerStart TSV and a complete line of luxury showerheads containing ShowerStart TSV that are extremely effective tools for effortlessly eliminating behavioral waste.

Due to the significant water savings enjoyed by the use of its products, Evolve Technologies is happy to support those seeking WERS certification through the WERS – Manufacturer Program. This new program offers discounts on products that conserve water, use water more efficiently and/or prevent water waste. Evolve is extending a 45% discount on their ShowerStart TSV products for those who use the code WERS45 in their online store.

“We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Green Builder® Coalition to innovatively reduce water use through the WERS program.  Water is an increasingly precious resource that must be preserved as much as it is enjoyed. Together we are enabling our communities to do both,” commented Evolve co-founder, Troy Sherman.

“Evolve Technologies is a company that goes to great lengths to help consumers save water in a comfortable and convenient way,” said Green Builder® Coalition Executive Director Mike Collignon. “This partnership, and the WERS – Manufacturer Program as a whole, are going to provide a nice suite of benefits for those moving in a more water-efficient direction.” 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.

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 building permit.

About Evolve Technologies
Evolve Technologies develops innovations that helps homeowners Enjoy More and Use Less and is dedicated to delivering meaningful water and energy savings without asking people to make behavior changes or sacrifices. Its core technology, ShowerStart, conveniently saves the water and energy used while waiting for the shower to become warm. With ShowerStart, a small thermostatic shut-off valve (TSV) is all that’s needed to save the resources homeowners don’t even realize they’re wasting. Better still, conservation occurs without changing shower feel, flow or even their morning routines.