Natural Resources Defense Council BUILDING GREEN FROM PRINCIPLE TO PRACTICE
Home Build Your Business Case Set Your Budget and Goals Adopt a Whole-Building Approach Apply Sustainable Building Strategies Capitalize on Your Achievement
MAXIMIZING WATER EFFICIENCY

Buildings in the United States consume 38 billion gallons of potable (safe-to-drink) water per day -- more than 80 percent of the water provided by municipal water systems.

Whether water shortages are a growing problem in your area, or you're looking for ways to cut your water-related costs, green building offers a range of strategies for reducing expenses related to your landscaping, fixtures, appliances and HVAC system.

Outside, you can reduce or eliminate the use of potable water for irrigation -- without sacrificing beauty or design -- by landscaping with native plants and watering greenery from an on-site rainwater cistern.

Inside, you can cut the use of potable water by as much as 40 percent with water-efficient or waterless fixtures. You can also cut water costs -- and ease the demand on local water supplies -- by using stormwater or recycled gray water to flush toilets and provide make-up water for cooling towers or for custodial purposes.
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TOP THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Choosing Your Site
Maximizing Water Efficiency
Saving Energy
Making Smart Use of Materials and Resources
Safeguarding Indoor Environmental Quality
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RESOURCE CENTER
Detailed Strategies: Maximize Water Efficiency »

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