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watersense-label-300x230By Rachel Gossen

A recent study conducted by GMP Research Inc., and commissioned by Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI), has found that only 6.7 percent of toilets nationwide are certified WaterSense toilets. WaterSense is a label, created in 2006 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to signify when a plumbing product is water efficient, and uses 20 percent less water than the federal standard.

Current federal requirements come from the 1992 Energy Policy Act, stating that new toilets can only use up to 1.6 gallons of water per flush. Older model toilets generally use between 3 and 5 gallons per flush. For a family of four, replacing a 1.6 gallon toilet with a WaterSense 1.2 gallon toilet will save 2,000 gallons a year, while also lowering the cost of water bills. By replacing older toilets, faucets and showers across America, the United States would save 3 billion gallons of water a day, according to PMI.

Surprisingly, the study found that the states with the most WaterSense products installed are New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. PMI says that the drought-stricken Southern and West Coast states tend to have higher WaterSense showerhead and faucet installations, while Midwest and New England states have more toilet installations.

With water efficiency becoming a popular topic in states suffering from the drought, such as California and Arizona, PMI hopes the U.S. government will create stronger rebates and incentives for consumers to install WaterSense plumbing products. Barbara Higgins, PMI CEO and executive director, said in a press release that the future is now and it is time to switch to water efficient products. “Just as you wouldn’t use a 20-year-old cellphone, it doesn’t make sense to use 20-year-old plumbing technology. Using WaterSense products is common sense. Start saving more water today.”

For more information on water efficient plumbing, visit safeplumbing.org.

by Michelle De Blasi and Chris Davey

DamFor those individuals who are not directly engaged in an industry, it is difficult to know and understand the day-to-day complexities involved in developing and implementing an effective policy regime. The loudest voices seem to be the ones heard, but they do not necessarily reflect the positions of those most affected by the policies being proposed. This is particularly true in the energy industry, resulting in a major challenge for implementing a reasonable, balanced and long-term energy policy. Read more

former Canyon Trading Post

By Daisy Vargas

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has just announced a $45,000 Brownfields grant to Angel’s Corner, Inc. to remove asbestos and lead-based paint from the former Canyon Trading Post site in Coconino County. Read more

Posted by greenlivingaz

by Maria Fabiola PortilloForest Photo by Betsy D. Warner

While many may associate the southwestern U.S. with only miles of arid desert land, Arizona is actually home to six national forests that include snowcapped mountains, lakes and rivers. In Arizona, where extensive droughts and increasing demand place pressure on limited water supplies, healthy forests are essential as they allow for more water to flow through aquifers, streams and rivers. We turned to experts on forest conservation to explain just how important forests are to Arizona and its inhabitants. Read more

by David Schaller

Navajo Generating Station

In his recently acclaimed 2013 treatise “A Great Aridness,” William deBuys states emphatically that energy “is the most underreported story in the looming water crisis of the Southwest and the nation.” If so, how does energy fit into our feature theme of Living with Less Water? Read more

MCI Commuter Coach

By Amber Starr

America’s third largest provider of bus, rail and light rail transit-New Jersey Transit, recently purchased 772 clean diesel commuter coaches through an agreement with Motor Coach Industries. The $395 million agreement will begin the six year delivery of the clean diesel commuter coaches in 2016. New Jersey’s coach fleet is one of the largest in North America with the acquisition allowing New Jersey to improve air quality throughout the region.

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Leonard Dicaprio is named a Messenger of Peace by United Nations.

By Roxanne Bowers

Leonardo DiCaprio’s accomplishments include two Golden Globes, five Academy Award nominations and numerous efforts in environmental conservation. The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation recently announced they have marked over $15 million in grant money donated to environmental conservation organizations.

This $15 million donation is one of many in DiCaprio’s multi-year efforts towards protecting the environment. The grant money will go to over 30 different organizations that are working to protect the environment. “The destruction of our planet continues at a pace we can no longer afford to ignore,” he said. Read more