Mega Drought Means Mega Savings

By Alexander Ruggie

Sustainability is now a buzzword in conversations from Washington hallways to unfinished ones in new construction projects around the country. The drive to build a home which can live as a standalone energy efficient, grid-negative unit is becoming very attractive to builders, because one step down the road will be a savvy homeowner that doesn’t want to pay the power, gas, or water company anything at all. For potential homeowners today, the concept of purchasing a home that is already grid neutral is a huge plus because it saves them from the costs of making it so further down the road. Technology that already exists today can help residents who live in water deprived areas such as the Southwestern United States. This technology is being implemented in new home building projects which saves not only water but also money for homeowners, cities, states, and the federal government alike.

Water Catchment Systems

Water catchment systems are not new technology by any means, but they are being employed with zeal today that has not been seen since homes were made of hardened sunbaked clay bricks. A water catchment system can range in size depending upon a homeowner’s needs, but they typically range from a barrel to a subterranean swimming pool. These systems are great not only for storing rainwater, but they are also amazingly efficient when used in conjunction with a water recycling system too.

Water Recycling Systems 

Recycling of gray water is a critical step in alleviating the water woes of places like the Southwestern United States because they make existing water supplies last longer by using the water more than once. Much of the water that is used by homeowners is actually for watering lawns and cleaning dishes and one’s self rather than for drinking. With a water recycling system, the water that is essentially clean after you use a shower or other activity would then be captured before it went to the sewer, so that it can be treated and saved for future use. One of these potential future uses is irrigation.


Landscaping is undergoing an industry shift as homes are built with stone yards and desert-friendly plants in what is now being termed xeriscaping. This essentially amounts to putting drought tolerant and naturally occurring flora in yards rather than grass and water hogging plants and trees. When used in combination with water-efficient drip landscaping technology, a xeriscaped yard can give homeowners a huge return on their earth friendly investment and that is getting the attention of builders who want to capture this eco-conscious demographic. All told, there are even more water efficient technologies than listed in this article, and day-by-day they are growing not only in popularity with homeowners, but also builders trying to reach this market as well. With droughts around the world verging on the status of apocalyptic, both homeowners and builders alike are taking these new technologies to heart and to the bank.

Alexander Ruggie is the public relations director for 911 Restoration, a home restoration company that specializes in disaster recovery and water damage solutions. Have an idea for a guest blog for Construction Today? Contact or

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