WaterSense 2011 Partners of the Year
On October 5, 2011, EPA announced the 2011 WaterSense Partners of the Year at the annual WaterSense Awards Banquet, co-sponsored with the Alliance for Water Efficiency. The banquet, held at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference Expo in Las Vegas, also celebrated an important milestone for WaterSense: the program's fifth anniversary.
Since the program's launch, WaterSense labeled products have helped consumers save a total of 125 billion gallons of water and $2 billion in water and energy bills. That's due to the efforts of more than 2,200 WaterSense partners who have brought more than 4,000 plumbing products to the marketplace and educated thousands of consumers on the benefits of WaterSense labeled products.
The 2011 Partners of the Year represent the best of WaterSense's six partner categories—including two new ones this year, Builder Partner and Licensed Certification Provider of the Year — who have made great strides in increasing water efficiency and awareness of the WaterSense label across the country. And the winners are…
WaterSense Excellence Awards recognize a second group of partners whose support of WaterSense stood out in one or more of the Partner of the Year evaluation categories. This year, the following organizations made noteworthy strides in the following areas:
For Excellence in WaterSense Labeled Product Promotions:
- American Water
For Excellence in Strategic Collaboration:
- Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
- Lowe's Companies, Inc.
For Excellence in Education and Outreach:
- City of Dallas Water Utilities
Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events:
- Kohler Co.
- Moen Incorporated
- Niagara Conservation Corp
Learn about the Partners of the Year (PDF) (4 pp, 524K, About PDF) and Excellence Award Winners (PDF) (1 pg, 100K, About PDF), read the EPA press release, and view photos from the 2011 WaterSense Awards Banquet.
2011 Promotional Partner of the Year:
Cobb County Water System
Cobb County Water Systemin suburban Atlanta, a 2009 WaterSense Partner of the Year, stepped up its water-efficiency efforts in 2010 by introducing thousands of consumers to WaterSense, promoting WaterSense labeled new homes, and training irrigation professionals.
The water system, which serves 680,000 residents, gave 75 WaterSense-related presentations in 2010 and coordinated with other WaterSense partners to host a We're for Water educational event at the Georgia Aquarium, featuring a fun and engaging Plinko game with WaterSense's "Check, Twist, and Replace" messaging.
To support WaterSense labeled new homes, Cobb County Water System chaired a committee to regionalize the guidance for the outdoor portion of the WaterSense New Homes Specification and trained local irrigation and landscape professionals on WaterSense new homes criteria. Working with the Georgia Homebuilders Association and the Metro Atlanta Home Builders Association, Cobb County's efforts were vital to educating the Atlanta builder community on the WaterSense specification.
These outreach efforts have resulted in growing consumer awareness. A 2010 online survey showed that more than 80 percent of respondents were familiar with WaterSense, compared to just 10 percent a few years ago. And awareness isn't the only measure of success; Cobb County saw per capita water use drop from 126 gallons per person per day in 2005, when it began its water efficiency program, to 113 gallons per person per day in 2010.
2011 Manufacturer Partner of the Year:
Delta Faucet Company
Delta Faucet Companycontinued its commitment to help WaterSense increase the number of labeled products―including the first WaterSense labeled showerheads―in the marketplace last year. By the end of 2010, nearly 40 percent of the company's showerhead shipments and more than 85 percent of its lavatory faucets were WaterSense labeled. More than two-thirds of Delta Faucet Company's products from the Delta®, Brizo®, and Peerless® faucet brands now offer WaterSense labeled options, making it easy for consumers to save water with style.
Delta Faucet Company played an integral role in the WaterSense showerhead specification development process by leading the effort to develop testing equipment and procedures to certify WaterSense labeled showerheads. The company developed a methodology to verify water-efficient showerhead performance and water savings to ensure that WaterSense labeled showerheads meet users' performance expectations.
The company also supplemented its product development work with widespread promotion of water-efficient products and practices. An email campaign promoted the release of the WaterSense showerhead specification, while a new "Green at Delta" section of the company website provided customers with access to WaterSense labeled products. In addition, during WaterSense's Fix a Leak Week, Paul Patton, a senior product development manager with Delta Faucet Company, appeared on a local TV show to encourage consumers to fix household leaks.
Not only is Delta Faucet Company producing and promoting WaterSense labeled showerheads, but these products also are earning accolades. One of the company's water-efficient showerheads received the Building Products magazine's 2010 Green Product Award for being one of the best new eco-friendly products for the home.
2011 Retail/Distributor Partner of the Year:
The Home Depot
The Home Depotcalculates that it helped its customers save 27 billion gallons of water and $174 million on water utility bills in 2010 by offering a complete line of WaterSense labeled products. The Home Depot was the first major retailer to sell only WaterSense labeled lavatory faucets, and it now sells WaterSense labeled products in all of its 2,000 retail locations across the United States. More than two-thirds of its bathroom fixture stock carries the WaterSense label.
While new displays and in-aisle signage amplified The Home Depot's promotion of WaterSense labeled products, store demonstrations and customer workshops drove the message home at a personal level. To ensure that its employees understand the benefits of WaterSense labeled products, The Home Depot offers product knowledge classes, seasonal apron cards, training courses, and discussions on its internal social network. On Earth Day 2010, the company gave away nearly half a million WaterSense labeled faucet aerators as part of an attention-grabbing display in New York City's Times Square.
The Home Depot included WaterSense in its "Lowering the Cost of Maintaining Your Home" campaign, which was promoted across all of the company's social marketing vehicles. The company's website collected 1.1 billion impressions for the WaterSense program in 2010, often through visits to WaterSense educational "pods" or through the Eco Options microsite. These online efforts supported an increase in online sales of WaterSense labeled toilets by more than 500 percent last year.
2011 Irrigation Partner of the Year:
Christopher Curry, a principal at Sweeney + Associates Irrigation Design and Consulting in Orange, California, has been designing water-efficient irrigation systems for a decade. Ranging in size from small residences to large regional parks, his projects have two things in common: they take advantage of smart irrigation technology and they use watering schedules and annual water budgets.
In 2010, Curry presented Riverside, California with a drip irrigation plan for some of the city's medians. With a projected savings of one million gallons of water per year, reduced overflow into the streets, and more cost-effective installation, Riverside decided not only to install drip irrigation systems in those medians, but in all of the medians across the city.
Curry also helped the San Diego Park & Recreation Department acquire a new rotor system that uses recycled water and a central control system. The project is expected to save the city up to three million gallons of water per year on just ten acres of turf.
Curry served as a tireless advocate for WaterSense labeled certification programs for irrigation professionals last year. As a design member of the American Society of Irrigation Consultants, he promoted certification by WaterSense labeled programs and the benefits of performing audits after installing design projects. His emphasis on auditing also led Curry to participate in Irrigation Association webinars to discuss standards for irrigation efficiencies and irrigation audit guidelines, which are the backbone of the calculations used to determine water budgets.
2011 Builder Partner of the Year:
In November 2010, national builder KB Homemade history at its Springwood community in Roseville, California, when it completed construction of the first new homes built to the WaterSense New Homes Specification. In addition to committing to build every home in the Springwood community to earn the WaterSense label, KB Home quickly expanded its offerings of WaterSense labeled new homes to other communities in Florida and Texas.
Each WaterSense labeled home is designed to use 20 percent less water than a typical new home inside and out—for a family of four, that's a difference of about 50,000 gallons of water per year compared to a traditional home, or enough for nearly 2,000 loads of laundry! In addition to building the first WaterSense labeled homes, the company has incorporated WaterSense labeled products into every one of the thousands of homes it builds each year across the country.
To educate homeowners on the benefits of saving water, KB Home placed displays highlighting WaterSense in its sales offices. As part of the company's Built to Order™ program, homebuyers can select WaterSense labeled products and additional water-efficient features at the KB Home Studio—a retail-like showroom where consumers meet with personal design consultants. To further demonstrate water savings in its model homes, KB Home's Architecture Department prepared a "waterwise" landscaping guide for all its divisions, calling for mandatory implementation in every community in 2010.
2011 Licensed Certification Provider Partner of the Year:
Energy Inspectors Corporation
Energy Inspectors Corporation, a leading residential energy efficiency and construction quality assurance consultant, joined forces with WaterSense in 2010 to recruit and support WaterSense builder partners by inspecting and certifying new homes. In its first year as a WaterSense licensed certification provider partner, Energy Inspectors Corporation introduced multiple builders to the opportunities for building homes to earn the WaterSense label.
Energy Inspectors Corporation's inspector training process uses a hands-on approach: trainees are required to perform a full inspection of a model home using the WaterSense Labeled New Home Inspection Checklist. Only after a professional has gained this experience is he or she allowed to inspect a WaterSense labeled new home. The familiarity with the local climate that inspectors gain from this approach enables them to accurately evaluate outdoor components of the WaterSense new homes criteria.
Throughout 2010, Energy Inspectors Corporation stayed in close communication with fellow Partner of the Year KB Home's corporate and regional offices to discuss how the builder could integrate WaterSense into its production cycle. Energy Inspectors Corporation provided support to both KB Home's superintendents and installing trades. The partnership between Energy Inspectors Corporation and KB Home resulted in the first WaterSense labeled new home in the country and eventually an entire community of homes that will earn the WaterSense label.
Realizing the important role of plumbers and landscape irrigation professionals in the new home construction process, Energy Inspectors Corporation also presented a three-hour educational seminar with EPA to KB Home Southern California's landscape and plumbing trade professionals, providing important program information to everyone involved in creating a WaterSense labeled new home.
About the Awards Program
Learn more about the WaterSense Awards Program, including information about past winners.