It’s Official - Today’s Homes Use Water Wisely


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By Ali Sahabi of Optimum Group, LLC

President, Building Industry Association (BIA) Baldy View Chapter

     One of the biggest reasons that our region over the past centuries has served as both the nations’ breadbasket and one of the most desirable destinations for homeowners and businesses is that we are able to combine two of the most important resources needed for both agricultural and economic growth: sunshine and water. Thanks to our Mediterranean climate, we bask in abundant sunshine for most of the year. Water, however, offers a more complex issue, but thanks to innovations in homebuilding over the years, today new homes consume considerably less water and use it more effectively than at any time in history. 

     According to a new special study released in October by Paul Emrath, Ph.D., of, updated data from the Water Research Foundation (WRF), the United States Department of the Interior and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB); residential water use in the United States accounts for only 8 percent of the 355,000 million gallons of water used per day nationwide. The study goes on to state that, while water use varies from state to state, the average housing unit uses only 260 gallons of water per day and almost exactly half of residential water use consists of water used outside the home for landscaping and outdoor recreation while the biggest internal users of water are toilets, followed by showers, faucets, clothes washers and leaks.

     On average, water use varies only slightly among single-family homes of different vintages, yet the new study shows that – while newer homes tend to offer more toilets and showers - they are likely to use less water thanks to more efficient toilets and showerheads.

     These water use reductions buttressed by other energy-and-resource saving innovations such as ENERGY STAR-rated appliances, tankless water heaters, and drip irrigation systems means “(f)rom a more holistic environmental perspective that considers water used for all purposes, residential use constitutes a relatively small share of the nation’s thirst.”

     So, whether you are a homebuyer weighing between choosing a new or existing home, or a homeowner considering home improvements to either reduce your overall energy and water costs or to better protect your environment; today’s new home and the innovative products available to homeowners and buyers means we are protecting our quality of life better than at any time before.

     Wildlife and fish from the countless streams and rivers that once coursed through our region sustained our native populations for centuries and provided for the many others who came to our region to call California home. At one point our region boasted the largest grape acreage and the finest citrus in the nation. Today, water is the key economic driver for a region that anchors the world’s fifth largest economy and is one of the nation’s most desirable destinations for homeowners and job creators. So as we move from the season of enjoying our outdoors to the season of giving thanks and giving gifts, we can see that innovations created by and for new home construction give us - and our communities much to be thankful for.

     We call the American home the  “the American Dream” because homeownership does far more than transform our most basic expense into what is for most Americans the biggest and best investment they will ever make – it makes our quality of life better both indoors and outdoors.

     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 on the web. For copies of the special study, visit and have a great holiday season.