Neat article here summarizing a speech by Mary Ann Dickinson, grand poobah of the Alliance for Water Efficiency, on water conservation as envisioned by the American Institute of Architects Vision 2020 initiative. According to Mary Ann, about 50 percent of household use is for outdoors (for Texas, it’s about 31 percent), 14 percent for toilets, 12 percent for laundry, 9 percent for showers, 8 percent for faucets, 5 percent for leaks, 1 percent for baths, and another 1 percent for dishwashing. Indoor water use in a new home requires about 35 gallons per person per day (guess that means I need to stop making comments that Big-D and her hubarama must not take many showers. Well shucks.).
The feds currently require that toilets flush no more than 1.6 gallons per flush, showerheads spew no more than 2.5 gallons a minute, top-loading washers gurgle no more than 9.5 gallons per cycle per cubic foot of laundry (I’ll have to ask the bride what a cubic foot of laundry looks like...), front-loading washers gurgle no more than 6.5 gallons per cycle per cubic foot of laundry, and dishwashers dish out no more than 6.5 gallons per cycle (soon to be 5 gallons in May 2013).
Mary Ann discussed a vision for the future: indoor residential use of 20 gallons per person per day (that means Big-D doesn’t wash her dishes anymore...). This could be achieved with toilets at 1.28 gallons per flush, showerheads at 2 gallons per minute, toploaders at 6 gallons and front loaders at 4.5 gallons, and dishwashers at 5 gallons.
Mary Ann noted that there are no national outdoor irrigation standards. She thinks this needs to happen as well as national gray water treatment standards the development of affordable (and easily maintained) residential graywater systems. She also thinks that in-home dashboards should be developed that shows water and energy data from smart meters (I would love-love-love this).
bonus post-within-a-post post! (my my you get value at this blog!):
So how do our choices stack up? Our dual flush toilets (0.8 gallons for #1 and 1.6 gallons for #2) should, according to the manufacturer, average out at 1.1 gallons. Our showerhead comes in at 2 gallons. Our dishwasher of choice comes in at 2.95 gallons. We haven’t made a final choice on a washing machine yet, but the one we’re thinking of (a front loader, of course) comes in at 2.6 gallons. Mary Ann would be proud of us, yes she would. 2020 is HERE.
Our current showerhead (in our apartment) spits at us at an amazing (and very doable) 1.5 gallons. But I don't think I can convince the bride of this...