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Builder: “Building Industry Experts Express Concern for Future of Water”

Jun 11, 2021

Builder Magazine recently posted a great feature on “Building Industry Experts Express Concern for the Future of Water” about the challenges the building industry will be facing with water availability. The availability and cost of water could have a dramatic effect on the HERS® industry.

The article quotes Craig Karn, a longtime member of the NAHB’s Environmental Issues Committee who currently chairs its Water Issues Task Group. He says “Water is becoming economically unavailable. What we’re seeing across the West are increasing costs and, in some cases, just lack of availability of water. Tap fees are going through the roof.”

In the story, Mr. Karn pointed to the city of Thornton, Colorado, which recently proposed to increase tap fees by 62%. “That’s $40,000 a door just to have the right to have water.”

Housing industry leaders are beginning to sound the alarm about higher water fees, and the potential for the availability of water to constrain growth in the years ahead.

This is not a regional issue specific to western states. Some of the fastest growing new home markets in the country are also in areas with extremely stressed water resources. According to the World Resources Institute, a Washington, D.C.– based global research group, regions facing high or extremely high water stress in the U.S. provides a form-fitting overlay to some of the fastest growing new-home markets (see chart below).


While the availability and cost of water will present a challenge to future home building growth, it offers an exciting opportunity for HERS® Raters.

Both the building and rating industry is responding to this challenge. Builder recognized those builders leading the way to the construction of water efficiency homes and featured RESNET HERSH20® water efficiency rating program.

The feature quotes Ryan Meres, RESNET’s Program Director, “There’s a real possibility that in some of these jurisdictions that are growing so fast and who have limited water resources that they’re going to get to a point where they have to put a moratorium on building or require that homes meet a very stringent water efficiency standard.  That’s one of the places where we see HERSH2O® could be a good fit because it’s performance-based. They could set a target to say, ‘If you want to build here, you have to hit a HERSH2O® score of 50 or less.”

To download the Builder story click on https://www.builderonline.com/building/building-industry-experts-express-concern-for-the-future-of-water_o

Now is the time for HERS® Raters to become prepared to meet this coming challenge and opportunity by becoming HERSH20 raters.

To learn how you can become certified go to RESNET Water Efficiency Rating System.