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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Methodology for the national water savings models– indoor residential and commercial/institutional products, and outdoor residential products


Since 2006, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has operated WaterSense® in partnership with manufacturers, utilities, and consumer groups. Similar to EPA’s ENERGY STAR® role for energy-efficient products, WaterSense® employs a labeling system to identify water-efficient products, homes, and services. As of 2015, the WaterSense® program can claim credit for a total savings of 1.5 trillion gallons of water and $32.6 billion in consumer water and energy bills. Savings are tracked in the National Water Savings (NWS) model that combines innovative analyses with methodologies established in the energy sector. Merging life-cycle cost and national impact analysis models, the NWS model estimates savings from a bottom-up accounting method for individual products. The model extends those savings to the national level by employing parameters such as frequency of product use by number of people and building type, product lifetime, stock accounting, and market saturation. The NWS model tracks the water and consumer monetary savings of WaterSense-labeled products for residential and commercial water use both indoors and out.

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