By Lorne LaMonica
Here in New York, water is relatively abundant compared, say, to Arizona or Nevada. However, did you know that almost 30% of New York State has experienced a moderate drought for over the last nine weeks? Right now, over 23% of the state is experiencing a moderate drought (http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_state.htm?NY,NE ). And, New York is not alone: this summer, the drought that has settled over more than half of the continental United States is the most widespread in more than half a century and it is likely to grow worse. ( http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/science/topics/drought/index.html ).
How can we do our part to use water more efficiently? We encourage everyone to learn about WaterSense, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency partnership program.
The WaterSense program seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes and services.
WaterSense brings together a variety of stakeholders to:
•Promote the value of water efficiency.
•Provide consumers easy ways to save water through product labels and information.
•Encourage innovation in manufacturing.
•Decrease water use and reduce strain on water resources and infrastructure.
The WaterSense program can help consumers make smart water choices that save money and maintain high environmental standards without compromising performance. Products and services that have earned the WaterSense label have been certified to be at least 20 percent more efficient without sacrificing performance.
If only one in every 10 homes in the United States were to install WaterSense labeled faucets or faucet accessories in their bathrooms, it could save six billion gallons of water per year, and more than $50 million in the energy costs to supply, heat, and treat that water!
The WaterSense program is making a difference. Since 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save a cumulative 287 billion gallons of water and over $4.7 billion in water and energy bills. To learn more about how you can save water and money, visit the WaterSense (http://www.epa.gov/watersense/index.html ) web site.
About the author: Lorne LaMonica is a senior Environmental Scientist with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. LaMonica has been with the EPA for over 20 years and has worked in many of EPA’s environmental programs, including its hazardous waste, NEPA, and State Revolving Fund programs. Lorne is the Region 2 Liasion for the national EPA WaterSense program, a contributing web content author, and is a Project Officer for several grants under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Pollution Prevention grants programs. Lorne works in the Pollution Prevention and Climate Change Section in EPA Region 2.