Some excellent recent news from the Environmental Protection Agency for all you water-conscious landscapers out there:

WaterSense, a soggy spin of sorts on the EPA’s Energy Star program, has finally extended its reach out of the home and will now include certification for water-saving outdoor/landscaping products. Somebody alert these Hamptons homeowners, and quick. 

Many homeowners have been picking up on the five-year-old labeling system that applies to things like toilets, shower heads, bathroom sink faucets, urinals and even entire homes. (Check out my recent post about Oregon’s first WaterSense-certified home here.) Now, irrigation controllers — devices that according to the EPA, “act like a thermostat for your sprinkler system telling it when to turn on and off, use local weather and landscape conditions to tailor watering schedules to actual conditions on the site” — have joined the ranks of WaterSense-certified products and could be available as soon as spring 2012. Like existing WaterSense-labeled products, irrigation controllers are required to be independently certified to meet the EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance.

With residential landscaping claiming more than 7 billion gallons of water per day in the U.S., these weather-based irrigation controllers have the potential to help waterers save big. According to the EPA, homeowners have the potential to collectively save $410 million per year on utility bills and 110 billions gallons of water by using WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers. 

Says Sheila Frace, director of EPA’s Office of Water’s Municipal Support Division:  

As much as half of the water we use on our landscapes goes to waste due to evaporation, wind and improperly scheduled irrigation systems. WaterSense-labeled irrigation controllers are designed to do the thinking for you and apply water only when needed, to ensure a healthy landscape that doesn’t waste water.”
Next in the pipeline for WaterSense's product labeling program? The incredibly sexy world of water softeners and pre-rinse spray valves. 

Via [EPA] via [Jetson Green]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

EPA WaterSense program steps outside
The EPA unrolls WaterSense labeling for irrigation controllers, the first outdoor product eligible for certification in a program that previously focused only o