Tucson Blooms with Less Water

May/June 2004
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2004 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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May 01, 2004
        Water is an increasingly precious resource that needs to be used more wisely, and there are energy penalties associated with heating and distributing water inefficiently (see “Are You Getting into Hot Water?”HE Sept/Oct ’03, p. 33). Using less water in the home and for landscaping outside the home lessens the energy burden on water treatment and pumping plants.The 818-acre, mixed-use Community of Civano, in the hot-dry climate of Tucson,Arizona,was built with both energy and water saving in mind (see “Civano:Green Development at Work,” HE Sept/Oct ’98, p. 21). But a recent meeting of Civano residents revealed some challenges associated with one water-saving measure—using reclaimed water for landscaping purposes.          Civano was built according to the Tucson Metropolitan Energy Commission’s Sustainable Energy Standards (SES), which require in new homes a reduction of 50% in energy used for heating and cooling compared to homes built according to the 1995 Model Engineering Code (MEC). Civano has so far met the energy efficiency challenge. Civano was built to be a sustainable community in other ways as well, by taking advantage of ...

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