WaterSense Labeled Homes

Delivering on Efficiency in Phoenix, Arizona

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
established WaterSense to protect the future of
the nation's water supply and to promote water-
efficient products, homes, and programs with a
simple, easy-to-identify label. WaterSense
labeled homes allow families to enjoy the
comforts of home while using less water and
energy and saving money on utility bills.

To earn the WaterSense label, homes must meet
EPA's specification criteria: they must be at least
30 percent more water-efficient than typical
new home construction, include WaterSense
labeled plumbing products, and be free of water
leaks. WaterSense labeled homes can also
include features such as: hot water that gets to
the tap faster; ENERGY STAR® certified
appliances; efficient irrigation equipment; and
water-smart landscapes that minimize or
eliminate the need for irrigation.

Why Water Efficiency Matters to
Communities and Builders

In the Southwestern United States, where
drought and water supply shortages are an
ongoing concern, using water wisely is critical.

The Phoenix area gets most of its water from the
Salt, Verde, and Colorado Rivers. The region is
naturally hot and arid and expected to become
more so due to climate change, which will
further stress water supplies. The figure on the next page shows the drought status in Maricopa
County, Arizona, between 2000 and 2023, with yellow denoting abnormally dry conditions and darker
colors indicating even greater drought intensity. Over the same period, Maricopa County's population
increased by 48 percent, representing an additional 1.5 million residents. Phoenix and regions affected
by frequent droughts need to plan communities wisely so as not to overstress water supplies.

Benefits of WaterSense Certification

For Communities/Water Agencies:

•	Preserves the ability to add new housing and
grow communities while limiting impacts on
water and infrastructure resources.

•	Achieves greater water efficiency using a whole-
house, building-science approach and system
solutions that may not be possible solely with
efficient products.

•	Encourages builders to design homes with
water-efficient features in mind, maximizing
water savings at minimal incremental cost.

For Builders:

•	Mitigates the rising cost of water and utility
connection fees.

•	Leverages support from existing communities
and investors.

•	Offers advantages in the permitting and land
entitlement processes.

•	Supports corporate disclosures and reporting.


WaterSense labeled homes can help preserve the ability to add housing in communities that are water-
or infrastructure-constrained by minimizing the impact of new construction on water resources.
Simultaneously, they can also mitigate the impact of rising costs of water and connection fees.


Maricopa County (AZ) Percent Area in U.S. Drought Monitor Categories




OOOOOOOOOO—* —1 —» —» —» —» —4 —» —'hJNJNJNJNJ

DO (Abnormally Dry) D1 (Moderate Drought) D2 (Severe Drought) H D3 (Extreme Drought) H D4 (Exceptional Drought)

Why Choose WaterSense Labeled Homes

The WaterSense label for homes provides a whole-house approach to water efficiency. The programs
that certify homes through WaterSense address specific climate and market conditions by encouraging
system and design improvements in addition to efficient products and appliances. This approach helps
maximize savings and reduce costs for the builder, the homeowner, and the community.

WaterSense labeled homes can achieve significantly more savings than homes with WaterSense
labeled plumbing products alone. Plus, WaterSense labeled homes carry the additional benefit of being
independently certified to ensure they are free of leaks and that products and systems are properly
installed to maximize savings.

Maximizing Water Savings With WaterSense Labeled Homes

The table on the next page illustrates the features that may be included under four scenarios in
Phoenix. This example uses a typical 2,400-square-foot home with an average-sized household (2.61
occupants) on a 10,000-square-foot lot that includes 5,826 square feet of conventional, irrigated turf
(unless otherwise specified). Assumptions for a typical home are based on national averages.

The baseline home includes products meeting federal efficiency standards and other features typical
of new construction. The home following the Mandatory Checklist for WaterSense Labeled Homes
includes WaterSense labeled toilets, faucets, and showerheads, but no additional water-efficient
features. The home meeting California standards is required to meet more rigorous product efficiency
criteria for certain plumbing products. Finally, the example WaterSense labeled home incorporates a
variety of water-efficient indoor and outdoor features that meet the water efficiency requirement for
WaterSense labeled homes and result in substantially more water savings.

This is just one example of a home that has earned the WaterSense label—other design configurations
could also meet the requirement. The example shows that for a hot and dry climate such as Phoenix's,
improvements in indoor water efficiency will not be sufficient to achieve the 30 percent threshold. The


home will generally need to focus on maximizing outdoor water savings (e.g., reducing turf and using
non-irrigated or natural areas to reduce irrigable landscape area) to ensure it is at least 30 percent
more water-efficient than typical new construction.


Baseline Home

Home Meeting

Home Meeting

Example WaterSense
Labeled Home in Phoenix**


1.6 gpf

1.28 gpf

1.28 gpf

1.1 gpf


2.5 gpm

2.0 gpm

1.8 gpm

1.8 gpm

Lavatory Faucets

2.2 gpm

1.5 gpm

1.2 gpm

1.2 gpm

Kitchen Faucets

2.2 gpm

2.2 gpm

1.8 gpm

1.5 gpm


5.0 gpc

5.0 gpc

5.0 gpc

3.5 gpc

Clothes Washers

6.5 IWF

6.5 IWF

6.5 IWF

4.3 IWF

Hot Water




More efficient hot water

Landscape and

Turf irrigated
with standard

fixed spray
sprinklers and

Turf irrigated with
standard fixed
spray sprinklers
and timer-based

Turf irrigated with
labeled spray
sprinkler bodies
and timer-based

20% reduction in irrigable
landscape; half of remaining
landscape converted to non-

turf design with pressure-
compensating drip irrigation;
WaterSense labeled
irrigation controller

Total Estimated
Annual Water Use

261,000 gallons

245,000 gallons

243,000 gallons

<182,000 gallons

Total Estimated
Annual Water
and Percent
Savings From

0 gallons
0% savings

16,000 gallons
3 to 9% savings

18,000 gallons
4 to 10% savings

>79,000 gallons
>30% savings

Feature meets federal
standard or common
construction practices

Feature meets
WaterSense or
ENERGY STAR criteria

Feature achieves greater efficiency
level than WaterSense product
specification criteria

gpf = gallons per flush; gpm = gallons per minute; gpc = gallons per cycle; IWF = integrated water factor
* For comparison, California product and appliance standards are considered the most efficient state requirements.
** For example purposes only. Home could qualify with a different combination of features, and a different home
with these features is not guaranteed to achieve WaterSense certification.

Learn More

Interested in learning more about WaterSense and how it can benefit your community? Visit

A m* EPA-832-F-23-002A

PHONE (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) WEBSITEwww.epa.gov/watersense EMAILwatersense@epa.gov ^5S^ClTr\ May 2023