By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC
President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter
Today, few vestiges remain of the time when Southern California was the old west of the movies – a place where cowboys and vaqueros rode herd on thousands of cattle, western legends such as Joaquin Murrieta and Wyatt Earp learned to ride and shoot and stage coaches thundered down the dusty trail that is today’s historic Route 66.
Water became the civilizing force for our region as well as the resource that enabled hundreds of thousands of people to attain the American Dream of homeownership in what was once considered a mere desert and is now one of the most desirable destinations for homebuyers. This is in large part due to efforts such the Friday, August 12, 2016 10th Annual San Bernardino County Water Conference presented by the Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter at the Ontario Convention Center which brought together government officials, premier water experts, water technology manufacturers, business leaders and community stakeholders to engage and address California’s current and future water challenges to keep our environment, economy and communities as healthy as they can be.
And these new partnerships and solutions are seeing results. New homes built to today’s standards use far less water than homes built 20 years ago and will use even less water in the future according to the recently-released second edition of the California Homebuilding Foundation (CHF) study Water Use in the California Residential Home prepared by ConSol, a nationally recognized consultant on energy solutions for building professionals. The study examined historical standards on water flow for internal home use as well as water used for landscaping, and compared them to standards used today. The study found that homes built after 2009 reduced indoor water use by 20 percent, saving more than 15,000 gallons of water per year when compared to homes built in 1990. New homes being built to 2011 standards further reduce indoor water use by 21 percent, saving more than 12,000 gallons per year.
According to the report “California has made great progress in reducing internal water use in newly constructed homes” and reported that new three-bedroom single family homes with four occupants will us an estimated 46,500 gallons per year for internal use, representing a savings of over 47,000 gallons for homes built in 1980.
In addition, new technologies available to homeowners such as showerheads that release only two gallons of water per minute and low-flow toilet facilities that use only 1.28 gallons per flush are available to homeowners who want to save money and conserve our most precious resource by retrofitting existing homes with new faucets, kitchen appliances and washing machines.
The study also found that landscaping accounts for 57 percent of total household water use and that efforts such as the California Department of Water Resources’ Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance will help save an additional 26,000 gallons of water per year.
These results serve to ensure that future homebuyers and homeowners will be able to make what is for most Americans the biggest and best investment they will ever make and enjoy comfort and a quality of life that our early pioneers could only dream of. More importantly, the San Bernardino County Water Conference serves as a example of how home building industry successfully creates partnerships to address and resolve issues before they become problems and ensure that the doors to the American Dream of homeownership will continue to be open for generations of our children and neighbors.
The BIA Baldy View Chapter seeks to advance the opportunity to attain the American Dream of home ownership. For additional information on homebuying, home improvements or the benefits of homeownership, go to www.biabuild.com on the web.