We use trillions of gallons of water each year washing dishes and clothes, taking long showers and flushing toilets. Many cities are in danger of water shortages if current trends continue. Now's the time to cut back. Many new products not only meet the Environmental Protection Agency's WaterSense designation, but they look good in your home, too.
Reducing the amount of water you use doesn't mean you're reducing the feel of a great shower. Delta's Arzo Monitor 14 Series Tub Shower flows at 1.5 gallons per minute (gpm), less than the required flow rate of 2.0 gpm by the EPA WaterSense criteria, but still powers like a shower you're used to. It has a contemporary look with its angular shape, chrome finish and single lever handle. Also features a scald-guard. Retails for under $270. For more information, visit www.deltafaucet.com/watersense.
2: A Faucet With Attitude
This Symmons Museo bathroom faucet does what it should do conserves water with its low flow rate options of 5 gpm, 1.0 gpm, 1.5 gpm and 2.2 gpm but it does it in designer style. It's bold and contemporary, made of polished graphite and comes in chrome and nickel. For more information, visit www.symmons.com/Conserving-Water.
3: Turbo-Charged Toilet
This Carlyle II Vignette toilet by Toto with its double cyclone flush engine sounds like something Dorothy might use, doesn't it? It's high efficiency, using a mere 1.28 gallons per flush, but its cyclone engine shoots three high-speed streams of water around a uniquely designed concave rim that cleans the bowl and removes its contents quickly and effectively. The decorative one-piece design fits in with all bath decors. For more information, visit www.totousa.com.
4: Three Showers in One
Three spray modes make this Trilogy High Efficiency shower head by Toto the perfect choice if you want something a little different each time. It comes with a low-flow rate of 1.75 gpm, a clean, elegant design and a hand shower holder. Retails for $383. For more information, visit www.totousa.com.
5: Hands Free, Hassle Free
Just prepared your favorite dish, but now your hands are messy? With a simple touch, you can turn on the Addison Pull Down Kitchen Faucet with Touch20 Technology and Multi-Flow Functionality. Made from Delta, this collection of water saving technologies helps you conserve water by toggling between 1.5 gpm and, when you need more water, 2.2 gpm. The hardest part about this faucet is resisting the urge to play with the touch technology when you first install it! It's also a great faucet in homes where you need to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Retails for $550. For more information, visit www.deltafaucet.com.
6: Auto-Dispensing Washing Machines
This GE Profile SmartDispense Frontload Washer frees up valuable time and saves valuable water. Simply fill up the pedestal with your favorite detergent and fabric softener and the machine senses your load and adds the right amount of water. It's Energy Star rated and uses as little as 10 gallons of water for a small load. You'll save more than 5,800 gallons of water per year. Choose from champagne, vermillion red or pure white colors for $1,299. Now if it could only fold the laundry and put it away! For more information, visit www.ge.com.
7: More Sensible Washing Machines
Not to be outdone, Maytag will unveil its new Bravos washer in July, an Energy Star rated machine that uses an Intellifill sensor to regulate the amount of water being used and makes adjustments based on the load size and type. It has 11 wash cycles, automatic detergent and fabric softener dispensers, bleach dispenser and 4.3 cubic-foot capacity. Prices start at $549. For more information, visit www.maytag.com.
8: Water Heating on Demand
When you need hot water, most likely you run it until it's at the right temperature. Or, you have a water heater that is constantly heating water, even when it's not needed. You're wasting valuable water and energy. No more. GE's Energy Star-rated GeoSpring hybrid water heater reduces energy bills by $320 annually and lets you enjoy the hot water you need without wasting it. For more information, visit www.ge.com.
9: Recycling Rainwater
Capture rainwater and use it to water your lawn or add it to your pool. It saves water and money. Rainwater HOG's do-it-yourself rain catching system is designed by an architect to fit in small spaces around the home and catch water from your roof for use on the garden or inside the house for flushing toilets.
In New York, two HOGS will drip-irrigate a 140-square-foot garden year round (typical savings of 4,000 gallons). Six HOGs can flush a two-person household toilet in Chicago all year (savings of 6,700 gallons), or a three-person household toilet in Northern California for 80 percent of the year (saving 6,000 gallons per year). Retails for $260. For more information, visit www.rainwaterhog.com.
10: Stealth Water Saving
Using less noise and hardly any water, the Niagara Conservation's Stealth System includes the ultra high efficiency (UHET) Stealth toilet that uses only 0.8 gallons of water and a powerful hydraulic system to flush. It's EPA-Water Sense certified and is part of a three-part system that features a high efficiency, high power showerhead and an aerator. Save up to 40,000 gallons of water per year and up to $600 off utility and water bills. Retails for $325. For more information, visit www.NiagaraConservation.com.
11: Stylish Conservation
Conserve water and make sure your personal space looks good while doing it. Brizo's Virage raincan showerheads were inspired by iron work found throughout Europe. They're available in polished chrome, Venetian bronze, brilliance brushed nickel, brilliance polished nickel and brilliance brushed bronze. And while it's looking good, it's H20kinetic Technology makes you feel like you're getting a full shower yet conserves water at the same time. Choose from wall mount (2.0 gpm) or ceiling mount (2.5 gpm). For more information, visit www.brizo.com.
12: Dishing It Out, Conservatively
GE's Profile dishwasher includes 37 percent more wash jets, but it still doesn't waste water, saving 43 percent more water compared to its GE predecessors. Forget prerinsing or soaking, the Profile steam feature steams the dirt right off the dishes. Prices range from $849 to $1549. For more information, visit www.ge.com.