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Don't Miss the April EPA Stakeholder Meeting on Urban Landscape Irrigation Products

By Jodie Carter, regional editor

The final meeting of The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Stakeholder Meeting on Urban Landscape Irrigation Products is April 13 to 14 at the Renaissance Hotel in Seattle, Wash. The stakeholder meetings are part of the EPA's effort to create a voluntary program to promote water-efficient landscape irrigation. The first meeting was held in Washington, D.C. in October 2003; the second in Austin, TX in January. The April meeting will focus on residential, commercial and institutional products. Representatives include water purveyors, the California Landscape Contractors Association, irrigation contractors, irrigation consultants and manufacturers and distributors.

Water Shortages

It's a stark fact--according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) more than 36 states expect water shortages over the next ten years, even without considering potential drought conditions. In order to mitigate the imposing shortages, the EPA is planning a national program to promote water-efficient products to consumers.

"Water is one of our nation's most precious national resources--wise water use is something all Americans can put into practice to help protect the quality and quantity of our country's water supply," said assistant administrator Water Mehan III in a statement on the EPA's Website. "Together with our partners in the public and private sectors we will strive to build a national voluntary market-based program for promoting water efficient products."

Using water-efficient products can reduce home water use up to 30 percent and water-efficient products for commercial use can save up to 20 percent. The problem is in educating all consumers (residential, commercial and industrial) and making them aware of the products available and where they can purchase them.

A first step is the water efficient product labeling program based on the EPA's highly successful ENERGY STAR program, a government-backed program to protect the environment through superior energy efficiency. There is significant support for product labeling from a broad range of stakeholders including water systems, manufacturers, retailers, municipalities, states, water industry organizations and environmental groups. In July, 2003 over 100 state and local water officials, environmental organizations, and businesses organizations expressed support for a national water-efficient product labeling program.

In exploring a national market enhancement program for water-efficient products, the EPA anticipates that, under the highly successful Energy Star products program, manufacturers will voluntarily have their products tested to meet efficiency and other performance standards to ensure that the labeled products meet environmental goals while fulfilling consumer needs. The types of products the EPA will consider evaluating could include landscape irrigation, and plumbing products and appliances.

Irrigation Conservation Tips

Irrigating techniques used with automatic irrigation systems are most likely the single largest use of water in a superintendent of landscape contractor's facility. Achieve dramatic increases in water efficiency by using proper irrigation and scheduling techniques, such as cycling sprinklers, detect and repair all leaks irrigation systems. Use properly treated wastewater for irrigation where available. Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day and don't water on windy days. These techniques will also reduce impact on rivers, lakes, and streams by reducing non-point source pollution.

To register for the EPA's April stakeholder meeting or for more tips on water efficiency log on the EPA Website at http://www.epa.gov/owm/water-efficiency/products_program.htm.

Source: www.epa.gov


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June 27, 2019, 2:02 am PDT

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