Tools & Calculators

EPA Water Budget

In December 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released the final version of its voluntary WaterSense specification for newly constructed single-family homes and townhomes. The specification defines criteria for indoor and outdoor water-use efficiency that new homes must meet to qualify for the WaterSense label.


To meet the Landscape Design Criteria (Section 4.1.1), builders must comply with one of the following options:

  • Option 1 – Design the landscaped area using the WaterSense Water Budget Tool.
  • Option 2 – Turfgrass may not exceed 40 percent of the landscaped area.

The water budget approach allows green industry professionals to:

  • Calculate a regionally appropriate amount of water for use in the landscape.
  • Take into account plant type and water needs, precipitation and irrigation system design, and water application.
  • Design a site-specific, sustainable landscape that matches the water budget.

Water Budget Resources

Use the following tools for irrigation professionals to position yourself as a resource to homebuilders and the landscape industry: