Make plans now to attend the 2018 Next Generation Water Summit. It will return to the Santa Fe Convention Center in Santa Fe, NM on April 29, 30 and May 1, 2018. Sunday, April 29th will once again be free and open to the general public. The professional sessions will be held on Monday, April 30th and Tuesday, May 1st.
“We have been overwhelmed by the positive response from those who attended the 2017 Next Generation Water Summit,” exclaimed Summit Co-Chair and Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Glenn Schiffbauer. “Here in Santa Fe, it’s really been ebullient. Equally impressive has been the interest from those that have heard about the Summit and want to know about next year. We’re looking forward to making 2018’s Next Generation Water Summit even better.”
Sponsorships and exhibit booths will be available once again. More details to come, so stay tuned to this space!
For a first-time event, the inaugural Next Generation Water Summit was considered by many to be a huge success. A total of 138 people registered for the event, which took place over the course of 3 days in early June at the Santa Fe Convention Center in Santa Fe, NM.
Attendees could choose from 39 sessions, many of which were grouped into one of three tracks: Builders, Developers & Architects; Water Professionals; and Policy. Topics ranged from rainwater, greywater, blackwater, stormwater, water rights, irrigation, water efficiency, building codes, land use and leak detection. The first day of the event was a Sunday, and was free for anyone to attend. 12 sessions were offered, in addition to the myriad of exhibitor booths one could visit in the Green Expo, hosted by the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce. On Monday, Ed Mazria delivered a rousing keynote that had attendee Michelle Maddaus saying, “That was the best keynote I have ever seen, and I have seen a ton of keynotes over the years! Everyone kept talking about it, too.” Not to be outdone, Mary Ann Dickinson gave an excellent keynote on Tuesday morning, getting everyone focused on solutions for the challenges ahead.
The attendees represented 8 states plus the District of Columbia, and all 4 mainland United States time zones. “We’ve set a good foundation for next year’s Summit,” said Mike Collignon, Co-Chair of the Next Generation Water Summit. “While we’ll look to increase attendance, we’re proud of our first-year numbers. Many attendees enjoyed the intimate nature of the Summit, pointing out that it helped foster in-depth conversations.”
Vulcan, Inc. was a Sustaining Sponsor; Uponor, Evolve Technologies and Aquamate were the Educational Track Sponsors; Horizons Sustainable Financial Services was the Mayor’s Reception sponsor; Niagara Conservation was the Keynote Sponsor; Santa Fe County was the Networking Tables Sponsor and Environmental Services was the Bag Sponsor.
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.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.