Water Efficiency

Photo: Ospr3yy. License: CC BY-SA 3.0

For years, the U.S. has taken water for granted. Low prices and a lack of regulation have led to massive waste, poor infrastructure, and the illusion that we have an endless supply.

But that mindset is changing. We’ve seen drought in the Southwest U.S., water rationing in California, dwindling aquifers, and contaminated water supplies. These problems are not going to be solved by drilling deeper wells.

Water-saving appliances, improved wastewater treatment, and higher performance goals can all mitigate the damage. Here you’ll find resources on products and strategies you need to achieve these goals.

Water Efficiency

Deep Dives

Get up to speed on complex topics. You can also earn CEUs and download PDF Spotlight Reports.


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  • Innovative Products and Technology from the Greenbuild Expo

    Feature Article

    Our product editors pick some winners from the expo floor at Greenbuild 2013 while raising questions about some materials.

  • Waste Water, Want Water

    Feature Article

    Options for small-scale, onsite wastewater treatment and reuse are improving-but can we solve a global crisis one building at a time?

  • Commercial Kitchens: Cooking Up Green Opportunities

    Feature Article

    Commercial kitchens run energy- and water-intensive equipment for long hours, sometimes even when not in use. While the challenges of saving water and energy in commercial kitchens are daunting, they're not insurmountable. Careful equipment selection and a commitment to conscientious kitchen practices can dramatically cut down on waste-and utility bills.

  • Cost-Effective Green Retrofits: Opportunities for Savings in Existing Buildings

    Feature Article

    Between lighting, water use, mechanical systems, the building envelope, and occupant health, existing buildings are rife with cost-effective retrofits and operational opportunities that also offer environmental benefits. Improvements range from the painfully obvious to the more complex and involved.

Quick Takes

Jump straight to the essentials with these short explanations of green building concepts.


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  • Invasive Plants

    Primer

    In the quest for a balanced ecosystem it is important to choose native species and avoid invasive plants. Invasive species can put a strain on water usage and can take space and resources away from native plants.

  • Power Flushing With Pressure-Assist Toilets

    Primer

    Many of today's best-performing low-flow toilets enhance their flush with air pressure to force water into the bowl at high speed.

  • Combined Sewer Overflow

    Primer

    Combined sewer overflows (CSOs) occur in municipalities with older wastewater systems that carry both sanitary wastewater and stormwater; eliminating CSOs involves investment in wastewater infrastructure and reducing stormwater flows.

  • Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater

    Primer

    Constructed wetlands, when used to treat wastewater, can keep nitrogen and phosphorous from the water supply and cut costs by controlling the size of drainfields.

Product Guidance

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Perspective

Thought-provoking opinions from the most trusted minds in sustainability.


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Learning Resources

A wide range of education options, with automatic reporting for AIA and GBCI.


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  • Innovative Products and Technology from the Greenbuild Expo

    Feature Article

    Our product editors pick some winners from the expo floor at Greenbuild 2013 while raising questions about some materials.

  • Waste Water, Want Water

    Feature Article

    Options for small-scale, onsite wastewater treatment and reuse are improving-but can we solve a global crisis one building at a time?

  • Cost-Effective Green Retrofits: Opportunities for Savings in Existing Buildings

    Feature Article

    Between lighting, water use, mechanical systems, the building envelope, and occupant health, existing buildings are rife with cost-effective retrofits and operational opportunities that also offer environmental benefits. Improvements range from the painfully obvious to the more complex and involved.

Just For Fun

Something weird happens every April at BuildingGreen...


  • Check if your spelling is correct, or try removing filters.
  • Remove quotes around phrases to match each word individually: "blue drop" will match less than blue drop.
  • You can require or exclude terms using + and -: big +blue drop will require a match on blue while big blue -drop will exclude results that contain drop.