The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Peter Raabe, American Rivers, 919-286-2469 Angela Dicianno, American Rivers, 202-347-7550 x3103

American Rivers Applauds Unveiling of Nation's First Water-efficient Home

Commends EPA and Vanguard Homes for promoting smart use of water and the WaterSense label

CHAPEL HILL, N. Carolina

American Rivers, the nation's leading river conservation
organization, today applauded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
and Vanguard Homes for unveiling the nation's first water-efficient
home. The WaterSense labeled home is the nation's first certified to be
around 20 percent more water efficient than standard homes across the

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect
the future of our nation's water supply by promoting water efficiency
and enhancing the market for water-efficient products, programs, and
practices. The WaterSense label helps consumers identify
water-efficient products, just as the EnergyStar label promotes
energy-efficient products. American Rivers has been an active partner
with the WaterSense program serving as the only non-profit organization
on its founding steering committee; supporting increased funding from
its current budget of $1 million to $7.5 million (Energy Star is funded
at $50 million); and advocating for the incorporation of stormwater
management criteria into its WaterSense New Homes program.

American Rivers recently released the report, "Hidden Reservoir: why
water efficiency is the best solution for the Southeast," calling on
local governments and utilities to implement water efficient policies.
Water efficiency is cost-effective, proven and timely and this
WaterSense-labeled home is another great example of that.

Peter Raabe, southeast director for government affairs and outreach for American Rivers, made the following statement:

"This water efficient home unveiled in Chapel Hill today is the home
of the future. In this time of drought and economic crisis, this home
is a model for how homeowners and entire communities can save both
water and money."

"Water efficiency is not about asking people to shower once a week,
or plant a cactus. It's about doing the same things we always do, just
with less water. This home, with its low-flow showerheads, toilets, and
rainwater harvesting system is a great example."

"Local communities need to follow the lead of the EPA and Vanguard
Homes. In this time of economic uncertainty and tightening budgets,
water efficiency is the answer for local leaders who want cheap,
effective, and reliable water supply solutions. If Raleigh implemented
water efficiency it could save tens of millions of dollars. Water
efficiency measures could yield up to 20 million gallons a day, a third
of the region's current water consumption."

"The greatest promise for North Carolina's water supply is a policy
that pursues water efficiency first and takes the necessary steps to
uncover the hidden reservoirs that efficiency can provide."

"We thank the EPA and Vanguard Homes for their commitment to the
WaterSense label and for helping homeowners and communities use water
more wisely."

American Rivers is the only national organization standing up for healthy rivers so our communities can thrive. Through national advocacy, innovative solutions and our growing network of strategic partners, we protect and promote our rivers as valuable assets that are vital to our health, safety and quality of life. Founded in 1973, American Rivers has more than 65,000 members and supporters nationwide, with offices in Washington, DC and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast, California and Northwest regions.