WaterSense Releases Draft Landscape Water Budget Tool

To assist home builders, landscape professionals, and irrigation partners in meeting the outdoor criteria of a future WaterSense specification for new homes, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed a tool to help guide them through the water budget calculations of the draft specification for water-efficient, single-family new homes. The landscape water budget tool will help determine:

•The amount of water the designed landscape is allowed (budgeted) based on EPA criteria.

•How much water the designed landscape requires based on climate, plant type, and irrigation system efficiency.

•Whether the designed landscape meets the budgeted amount.

EPA is inviting all interested parties to provide comments on this new tool, specifically recommendations on data sources and sources of local reference evapotranspiration (ETo). To read the budget tool and approach strategy, visit http://www.epa.gov/watersense/specs/waterbudget_tool.htm. Send comments or suggestions to watersense-newhomes@erg.com. The public comment period ends on Dec. 19.

The Draft Water-Efficient Single-Family New Home Specification and public comments are available at http://www.epa.gov/watersense/specs/homes.htm. EPA plans to issue a second draft of the Water-Efficient Single Family New Home Specification in early 2009.