U.S. Water News Online
LAS VEGAS -- With the valley now well into the fifth
consecutive year of drought, the Southern Nevada Water Authority
(SNWA) is still out to save some water. Last month, the Water
Authority invited more than 40 exhibitors from across the country to
Cox Pavilion to bring some water saving ideas with them.
The expo featured a variety of water-friendly innovations,
including everything from waterless toilet fixtures to Internet-based
home irrigation systems. The purpose of the show, according to the
Water Authority, was to encourage and educate businesses on new
opportunities to conserve water.
"This is a business to business event," says Doug Bennett,
conservation manager for the SNWA. "The expo will introduce
businesses to some of the latest water-saving innovations ... We
wanted homebuilders, architects, plumbing contractors, landscape
contractors and property managers ... We think those people are the
people that will have the greatest impact of transforming the
marketplace ... the kind of people that can influence a larger
According to the Water Authority, outdoor water conservation is
where the big savings still lie because landscape irrigation is the
most susceptible to waste water. The SNWA notes that water used
indoors goes back into the sanitary sewer, where it eventually gets
treated, cleaned, and then returned for credit to the Colorado River.
Outdoor water, however, evaporates, and eventually transpires back
into the atmosphere.
Irrigation control systems are now being technologically
perfected. Older timed-systems, according to Bennett, could only do
one thing at a time.
"The idea of these smart controllers is that they have the ability
to adjust," Bennett says, "depending on the season of the year and
the actual weather that day. It's a fairly new concept. It's been
around for about a decade or two, but it has always been super
expensive, targeted only at parks and golf courses. But now it's
going to be the type of product that can be installed in a
Some of the new irrigation systems can be accessed from the
Internet, allowing a homeowner more freedom to control their water
systems. The new devices also have the ability to water automatically
based on the weather and the season and watering schedules which
require compliance, such as in Southern Nevada.
The systems can range in price from as low as $100 to more than
$1,000. Bennett says prices will drop more rapidly, however, the
faster consumers embrace the new products.
The expo also had its share of exhibitors showing new ways to save
water with new plumbing fixtures and appliances.
The water-savvy toilet was exhibited at numerous booths. Products
included the two flush toilet (designed with a choice of alternate
flush modes for a greater or lesser output depending on the need),
the water-less toilet and the minimal water high-powered flush
Other indoor innovations included more efficient shower heads and
Bennett says the SNWA is also hoping the expo got the word out to
companies that didn't know this technology was even available.
"We know there is a lot of exciting new technology out there, but
it can't succeed in the marketplace if people don't know it exists,"
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