The Real Deal Miami

EPA expands water conservation program

September 17, 2009 08:27AM

The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling out an expanded national plan encouraging homebuilders to create more water-efficient landscapes. WaterSense, the EPA’s existing conservation program, will expand to include voluntary labels for newly built homes that follow a set of EPA guidelines of acceptable outdoor water use. Homes will be eligible for certification if they consume 20 percent less water than the average home. The new plan will be similar to programs in states like Florida, where financial incentives are already available to homeowners. Several companies and trade groups, such as Scotts Miracle-Gro and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, have expressed outrage over the new plan, claiming that it demonizes grass. “It puts a label on grass as bad — that it’s not something to be used,” Kris Kiser, executive vice president of Outdoor Power Equipment, said.