In a workshop Sept. 11 at The Remodeling Show in Baltimore, Rob Zimmerman of Kohler Co. listed his top six strategies to conserve water:
    1. Install the most water-efficient fixtures, faucets and appliances.

    2. Install low-water landscapes.

    3. Collect and use rainwater for outdoor use.

    4. Minimize the length of water supply lines.

    5. Insulate hot water pipes.

    6. Consider greywater only if absolutely necessary.
Zimmerman is Kohler’s senior staff engineer for water conservation initiatives. He presented his material in tandem with interior designer Jamie Gibbs.

The workshop took place on the trade show floor on a stage divided into three parts that could present that many workshops simultaneously. Sponsors for the area, known as the Kitchen-Bath Showcase, included Kohler (Platinum), Sterling (Gold) and Bath & Kitchen Pro magazine (Silver).

At least half of Zimmerman’s strategies hinted at his potential areas of concern for water-saving products. These are:
  • Drainline carry. Even though a California study on high-efficiency toilets suggests this won’t be a problem, isolated problems are likely.

  • Cross connections. Systems for potable water and rainwater/graywater in the same building must be kept separate.

  • New equipment. New products that require filtration or ultra-violet disinfection must be maintained properly. Homeowners, many of whom forget to change their furnace filters, must adjust their habits if new products are to provide lasting effectiveness.

  • Building designs. The quest for efficiency may constrain a building’s size and shape. Multifamily and neighborhood designs may become more common.