The careful site layout means the home reclaims 100% of its rainwater.
Mark Boisclair The careful site layout means the home reclaims 100% of its rainwater.

March 22 marks World Water Day, an international day of recognition for the ways in which water, and its use, impact the world and those living in it as one of our most important natural resources.

But though the pace of green building has accelerated and there is awareness around the importance of conserving water, especially in light of the recent historic California drought, both American consumers and builders have been slow to install water-saving technology in homes.

Reducing water usage is more difficult in some areas of the country (take a look at our interactive map to see which regions excel, and which fall behind, in water conservation). Organizations such as WaterSense have even offered incentives of up to $1,000 for builders who construct water-saving homes. Whether it's installing products or appliances that cut down on water usage or designing a system for water-wise landscaping, there are many water-conservation solutions that builders can apply to future projects.

In honor of World Water Day, we’ve pulled together six projects that raise the bar for what it means for a home to be water efficient, plus a few products and tips to help your next project measure up to these water-saving standouts.

Six Water-Saving Homes:


KB Home Meets California's Water Challenges Head On

The Double ZeroHouse 3.0 is a living laboratory of real-world water-saving innovations.


The careful site layout means the home reclaims 100% of its rainwater.
Mark Boisclair The careful site layout means the home reclaims 100% of its rainwater.

Water-Wise Landscaping Creates a Modern Desert Oasis

Vali Homes' spec house concept in Phoenix makes water conservation in arid climates a reality, not an afterthought.


Courtesy Unity Homes

The 2015 Greenbuild Unity Home

The 2015 show home boasts sustainable design, high-performance construction, and rapid assembly at a market-ready price. The home was a collaboration among BUILDER, Unity Homes, and the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, along with support from 30 advisers, sponsors, and product contributors.

The PureBlue Home in Bristow, Va., is designed to be ultra energy- and water-efficient.
Katie Baroody The PureBlue Home in Bristow, Va., is designed to be ultra energy- and water-efficient.

PureBlue Home Ups the Ante on Water Efficiency

In its most ambitious concept home to date, Brookfield Residential explores rainwater storage and graywater recycling technologies.

Raingardens slow stormwater as it travels downhill, giving it more time to infiltrate the soil. 
Raingardens slow stormwater as it travels downhill, giving it more time to infiltrate the soil. 

Phoenix Developer Employs Desert-Friendly Landscaping

Well-planned raingardens recycle rainwater on site and capture excess runoff from nearby streets as well.

Texas Modular Home will Run on Rainwater and Sunshine Alone

A student-designed home from the 2015 Solar Decathlon offers ideas for builders in drought-prone areas and beyond.


Five Products to Help Homeowners Reduce Water Usage:


First UPC-Certified Graywater Diverter For Residential Use Now Available

The product enables homeowners in drought-stricken states to significantly reduce potable water use without sacrificing irrigation needs.

7 Water-Saving Products to Help Cut Water Use by 25%

After California's drought-related crackdown, homeowners have become more mindful of the amount of water they use every day. Here are seven building products from our sister-site EcoBuilding Pulse that can help cut down water use - and water bills.

New Technology offers Water Conservation via Smart Phone

This intelligent irrigation controller from Nexia helps users maintain landscape efficiently and remotely with minimum amount of water.

The Green Police Introduce Water Fence

Water conservation is a focal point of sustainable building today. In this video, Michael Anschel and Carl Seville check out a new system for collecting rainwater invented by 15-year-old Steven McDowell.

Tackling the Second Highest Energy Guzzler in the Home

Homeowners might not even think about their hot water heater but it is the second largest energy guzzler in most homes. Efficient water heaters will make homeowners sing in the shower--and when they get their energy bills.

This article was originally featured on our sister site, BUILDER >>