Next Step in Sustainability: Requiring Homes to Recycle Water

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Throughout the past several decades, cities throughout the world have adapted specific protocols to convert their energy systems towards a more reliable and sustainable source of energy: renewables.Lancaster, California was one of the first municipalities to push the envelope on sustainability by requiring homes to be solar-ready, as part of the city’s mayor, Mayor Rex Parris’ goal of becoming a net-zero city.He has now taken his sustainability goals one step further by addressing water consumption in new homes. Beginning in 2015, all new residential construction in Lancaster, a city of approximately 158,000, will be required to have “recycle-ready” plumbing.More than 80 percent of the water used in the typical home is not used for drinking. That being said, new water systems will recycle what is considered the gray water in the home, as well as the heat in that water, and will re-use it for non-potable uses, such as for irrigation or toilet water.The need for built-in water conservation is growing, especially in the parched Western U.S. California is now in its third year of sustained drought. Ongoing water issues are forcing municipalities to examine every point in the water system, in some cases compelling them to invest in smart water meters and upgraded water-efficiency programs.

Learn more about the water recycling system and how it’s working for the city so far.Read more about the role of water in power systems and power generation.

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