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WaterSense Awards

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WaterSense partners contribute to the program's success by enhancing the market for water–efficient products, practices, and services.  Each year WaterSense recognizes those partners who have gone above and beyond in supporting WaterSense.  The winners are announced at a Partner of the Year awards luncheon at the annual WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada.

2019 WaterSense Partners of the Year

Logo for 2019 WaterSense Partner of the Year AwardsOn October 3, 2019, the 2019 WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award winners, Partners of the Year, and Excellence Award winners were announced at the WaterSense and Alliance for Water Efficiency Awards Luncheon. The luncheon was held at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and ExpositionExit.

WaterSense and its more than 2,000 utility, manufacturer, retail, builder, and other organizational partners provide consumers and businesses with water-efficient products, homes, and programs to help them defeat water waste. Since 2006, WaterSense partners have helped save 3.4 trillion gallons of water.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to recognize nine Sustained Excellence, three Partner of the Year Award winners, and 13 Excellence Award winners for helping to advance specific aspects of the WaterSense program in 2018 and contributing to an annual savings of 725 billion gallons of water!

2019 WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award Winners:

2019 WaterSense Partners of the Year:

2019 WaterSense Excellence Award Winners:

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2019 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department

Logo for Athens Clarke Public UtlitiesAthens-Clarke County (ACC) Public Utilities Department achieved Sustained Excellence in 2018 for the third year in a row by creatively educating both consumers and commercial entities about saving water. Starting with Fix a Leak Week in March, ACC enlisted an “edutainer” to visit four schools and present to 1,115 students and 83 adults who used magic and humor to teach water conservation, even juggling “leeks” to encourage finding and fixing leaks. The utility gave additional leak presentations to 395 people and distributed information on WaterSense labeled toilets. Next, the annual Athens Water Festival featured Flo, the WaterSense “spokesgallon,” in its Water Avenger theme. Participants completed educational activities to collect “infinite stones” that spelled out “WATER;” once they did, the 1,000 participants received a refrigerator magnet stone featuring the WaterSense logo!

An “edutainer,” posing with WaterSense spokesgallon, Flo.An “edutainer,” posing with WaterSense spokesgallon, Flo.ACC’s commercial conservation program, Certified Blue, supplied 37 businesses with WaterSense labeled toilets, faucet aerators, and pre-rinse spray valves as needed in 2018. The utility participated in a restaurant panel at the 2018 WaterSmart Innovations Conference and discussed the logistics of implementing a restaurant conservation program and commercial water-saving best management practices. ACC also continued its partnership with the Water Research Foundation to determine water-use metrics in different commercial building types.

In other outreach efforts, the utility shared information on Fix a Leak Week, Sprinkler Spruce-Up, and the Imagine a Day Without Water campaign with local listeners during several interviews on National Public Radio station WUGA. To promote outdoor water savings, ACC collaborated with other WaterSense partners on the monthly Twitter #LandscapeChat that resulted in 13,600 impressions. ACC worked with the local Department of Motor Vehicles to show water conservation educational videos to a captive audience of 82,500 viewers. Finally, ACC continued its successful Little Lily Pad Hop Project in 33 classrooms, reaching 1,331 students’ families by sending home the Little Lily character with care packages full of WaterSense and water-saving materials.

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City of Charlottesville (Virginia)

City of Charlottesville logoFor the fifth year in a row, the City of Charlottesville is being recognized by WaterSense for inspiring its community to save water; this year its Water Conservation Program (WCP) earned its second Sustained Excellence Award. One of many incentives the City promoted to encourage water savings was Virginia’s statewide tax-free weekend for WaterSense labeled products in August 2018. The WCP also participated in Charlottesville’s first-ever Employee Bazaar, where municipal employees learned about water conservation, the City’s WaterSense labeled product rebates, and free fixtures.

The Charlottesville WCP distributed 433 water conservation kits to residents with WaterSense labeled showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilet rebate information to residents. It organized the Sixth Annual Fix a Leak Week Family 5K race. Using the WaterSense “bath hack” videos and Your Better Bathroom campaign for inspiration, the City created its own videos to show residents how to improve their bathrooms using WaterSense labeled products. To encourage outdoor water savings, the Charlottesville WCP bought advertising space to appear on in response to current or forecasted weather conditions in local zip codes, helping consumers in the area avoid wasting water when irrigating their landscapes. Over the summer, the advertisements received more than 287,000 impressions and 1,000 clicks!

“Participation in the EPA WaterSense program continues to support the expansion and enhancement of our water conservation programs. Easy access to its messaging tools has been extremely helpful with our public education and outreach efforts.
Paul Oberdorfer, Interim Deputy City Manager of Operations, City of Charlottesville 

Given its proximity to the University of Virginia (UVA), the Charlottesville WCP collaborated with the campus’ Sustainability Office on community events and water conservation outreach to students. At the University’s Earth Week Expo, the WCP had students try to install their own WaterSense labeled faucet aerator on its demonstration faucet. To save water in a complex of apartments rented by UVA students, WCP rebated 45 WaterSense labeled toilets and provided the management with fixtures to replace all the showerheads and faucet aerators with WaterSense labeled models. It is estimated that this retrofit and the WaterSense labeled toilet rebates issued in 2018 will save more than 60 million gallons of water per year!

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Citrus County (Florida) Utilities

Logo for Citrus CountyAfter achieving Partner of the Year three years in a row, Citrus County Utilities earned a Sustained Excellence Award for 2018. The County held two Irrigation 101 workshops for 78 homeowners that had never had an irrigation system before. The workshop highlighted WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers and proper programming. Pre- and post-surveys determined that attendee knowledge about irrigation controllers increased from 69 percent to 98 percent. Similarly, Citrus County gave a 101 presentation about the benefits of WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers at a new homeowner event in the Terra Vista Community and distributed rebate applications, 48 WaterSense labeled faucet aerators, and 17 showerheads.

Citrus County Utilities’ Schedule a Specialist (SAS) customer assistance program provided 277 residential irrigation system walk-throughs in 2018. The county has calculated that SAS participants from the previous year achieved a 25 percent decrease in water use in 2018—more than 19 million gallons! Citrus County also offered free irrigation evaluations in collaboration with Southwest Florida Water Management District and Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority. Personalized invitations were mailed to customers that averaged more than 24,000 gallons annually, and the utility completed 32 evaluations in 2018.

To broaden its reach, Citrus County promoted water conservation and WaterSense labeled products in its own newsletter, the Citrus County Chronicle newspaper, Greenbelt Gazette, and the Citrus County Chronicle home show. For Fix a Leak Week, the utility hosted its annual water conservation expo, where it distributed 57 faucet aerators and 34 showerheads to 76 attendees. Additionally, Citrus County distributed 865 “Get a Handle on Leaks” cards and toilet leak tablets and during Fix a Leak Week sent a mailing to 594 residents whose 24-hour water meter readings indicated possible leaks.

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Cobb County (Georgia) Water System

Cobb County logoThird time’s a charm for Cobb County (Georgia) Water System, which won its third Sustained Excellence Award—and eighth award overall—for its continued commitment to promoting WaterSense and water efficiency. In 2018, Cobb County added a commercial toilet incentive and issued rebates for more than 1,000 toilets. Additionally, the County issued over 1,500 residential toilet rebates and distributed 300 WaterSense labeled showerheads, 400 faucet aerators, and 150 indoor water conservation kits throughout the year.

Screenshot of “Your Worst Bathroom Nightmares!” PSA promoting WaterSense labeled showerheads.Screenshot of “Your Worst Bathroom Nightmares!” PSA promoting WaterSense labeled showerheads.To expand its water conservation outreach, Cobb County created a new YouTube series, “Tappy Turtle Productions,” which promotes WaterSense campaigns in short videos inspired by famous movies and pop culture. One of the more popular videos, “Your Worst Bathroom Nightmares!” is a 30-second public service announcement (PSA) parodying the classic movie Psycho, featuring an inefficient showerhead being replaced with a WaterSense labeled model. This video reached more than 2,000 people via Facebook promotion. Each video included ads promoting WaterSense labeled products to viewers.

Cobb County Water System upped its social media outreach game with “Turtle Tip Tuesday,” “Whadda You Know about H2O Wednesday,” and “Fun Fact Friday,” which received 137,401 impressions on Twitter alone. The utility also attended many community events to reach more than 77,000 residents with WaterSense messaging. And Cobb County continued with its impressive school outreach in 2018 by providing water conservation programming to more than 7,000 preschool through high school students.

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Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District

Logo for Metro North GAThe Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District completed another great year of water conservation outreach to capture its second Sustained Excellence Award. The District expanded its outreach through the My Drop Counts campaign by including a business pledge asking building owners and tenants to take specific steps to reduce water use; 12 businesses took the new pledge in 2018. To promote outdoor water efficiency, the District promoted a tongue-in-cheek “Society of Intentionally Dry Lawns” as part of a campaign to encourage significant reduction or elimination of outdoor water use and served as a presenting sponsor for the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Native Plant Sale.

“We are honored to be recognized for our outreach work with the WaterSense program. In recent years, metro Atlanta’s population has grown by leaps and bounds, and yet our water use has declined, thanks in large part to this program.”
Charlotte Nash, Chairman of the Metro Water District

In September 2018, Metro Georgia Water District participated in DragonCon to promote WaterSense and water conservation messaging. The District handed out children’s activity books featuring WaterSense and wrote water-saving messages on hidden rocks for participants to find during the event. To help promote the Imagine a Day Without Water campaign, the District collaborated with Caribou Coffee to offer discounts for customers who answered the question, “What would you miss if there were no water today?”

As part of its collaboration efforts, Metro Georgia Water District once again coordinated with utilities to host the Water Drop Dash 5k and Water Festival in honor of Fix a Leak Week 2018. With 11 participating utilities and over 800 registered participants in 2018, the grand total has climbed to 3,600 runners over the past six years who have learned about the importance of finding and fixing household leaks. And to promote its WaterSense labeled toilet rebate throughout the year, the District collaborated with The Home Depot to develop materials that highlighted WaterSense labeled toilets available at stores in the region. Between 2008 when the program began and 2018, more than 135,000 old, inefficient toilets were replaced through the rebate program!

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American Standard, Part of LIXIL

American Standard LogoFor the second year in a row, American Standard, part of LIXIL Americas, has won a WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award, in part for its Beauty in Motion Tour, a “showroom on wheels” that displays several of the company’s innovative WaterSense labeled products. Making 101 stops that resulted in over two million impressions, the Beauty in Motion Tour achieved a 91 percent increase in consumer exposure over the previous year. American Standard also added several new WaterSense labeled toilets and faucets to its line of labeled products that are sold in 11,000 stores across the United States, making water savings accessible to consumers.

American Standard’s “showroom on wheels” features many of its WaterSense labeled products.American Standard’s “showroom on wheels” features many of its WaterSense labeled products.Another innovative tool to help support water efficiency is the brand’s water-saving calculator found on the American Standard website, which features WaterSense labeled products. In just six months, the website has received more than 700 unique visitors and approximately 950 page views. The company has also published several articles highlighting WaterSense. These articles have garnered over 300 million impressions in newspaper real estate sections and other publications.

American Standard’s devoted special projects team comprised of 24 participants is dedicated to promoting WaterSense to designers and other key players in the project chain. The company also maintains a training team of eight dedicated professionals who educate customers on WaterSense and the importance of water efficiency. To further promote the importance of saving water beyond its own fixtures, American Standard participated in the 2018 Fix a Leak Week Twitter party and shared its knowledge on finding and fixing leaks through its social media channels.

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Delta Faucet Company

“Delta Faucet Company strives to produce and promote innovative kitchen and bath products that help conserve water without sacrificing performance. With that goal in mind, we are honored to receive the WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award for the fifth consecutive year as it demonstrates our steadfast commitment to not only improving water efficiency, but also educating consumers and trade professionals on the benefits of the WaterSense program.”
Ken Roberts, Delta Faucet Company President

Delta Faucet LogoDelta Faucet Company achieved its fifth Sustained Excellence Award, continuing its commitment to producing and promoting water-saving technologies and products. In 2018, all the company’s toilet models were considered high-efficiency, and about two-thirds of showering products had earned the WaterSense label. Delta Faucet also assisted WaterSense with revisions to its showerhead specification by proposing test methods for “raincan” showerheads that spray straight down.

In 2018, Delta Faucet announced its partnership with the Center for Advancement of Science in Space in collaboration with the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory to study the formation of water droplets, water flow, and pressure in microgravity to enhance the showering experience while maintaining sustainability. In support of promoting the company’s WaterSense labeled products, Delta Faucet participated in quarterly strategy meetings with Lowe’s Home Improvement and The Home Depot to collaborate on implementation of Delta Faucet products, including WaterSense labeled models.

With an impressive commitment to education, the company conducted six different Continuing Education Unit courses for more than 3,400 trade professionals and 36 e-learning courses for employees, sales representatives and customers, referencing WaterSense labeled products. For the second year in a row, the company hosted more than 800 showroom associates and other industry professionals in a hotel that has Delta WaterSense labeled H2Okinetic® showerheads installed, so guests could experience a high-performing showerhead that conserves water. At an event that invited design bloggers to its Indianapolis headquarters, the company showcased innovative water-efficient products from the Delta and Brizo brands, leveraging the influence of high-reaching tastemakers in the design space to increase the overall awareness of WaterSense. Influencers received a WaterSense labeled showerhead and shared the event experience with their followers on their respective social channels.

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Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership

Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership LogoSonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (SMSWP), a three-time Sustained Excellence Award winner, continues to make Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) certification accessible to a wider audience by offering a program that other communities and organizations can adopt to certify professionals in their area. SMSWP works closely with adopting organizations to ensure success; in 2018, six new organizations adopted the QWEL program. By the end of the year, SMSWP had issued 40 new QWEL certifications; together with its partners, they had issued more than 300!

 Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper logoIn October 2018, at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference, SMSWP provided a one-day train-the-trainer class as a pre-show workshop, allowing new certifying organizations the opportunity to learn more about WaterSense and the QWEL program. The Partnership also promoted WaterSense labeled products and campaigns in its new QWEL Quarterly newsletter. Additional outreach included social media posts, events geared toward landscape professionals, and the QWEL website, which provides a variety of materials on WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controllers and spray sprinkler bodies.

To educate landscape professionals about the WaterSense program and QWEL certification, SMSWP hosted an informational booth at the California Irrigation Institute Conference and participated in a panel, “Advancing Landscape Training in the Post Drought Era.” To further engage landscape professionals, the Partnership attended the Northern California Landscape and Nursery Show. SMSWP also provided a one-day workshop at the Localizing California Waters Conference in Yosemite, California, highlighting WaterSense to the 11 participants from the Sierra Watershed Progressive who focus on rainwater and graywater-related installations.

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KB Home

KB Home logoBuilder partner KB Home continued its tradition of leadership in water savings, winning its fifth Sustained Excellence Award and ninth WaterSense Award overall. In 2018, the builder completed 134 homes that earned the WaterSense label. Additionally, KB Home installed WaterSense labeled fixtures in all of its homes built in 2018, not just the homes that earned the WaterSense label. To date KB Home has built more than 2,000 homes that earned the WaterSense label and has installed 600,000 WaterSense labeled fixtures! The builder’s employees receive staff training and certification on both WaterSense and KB Home sustainability initiatives.

“KB Home is honored to be recognized for our leadership having been the first national builder to adopt the WaterSense efficiency standard and to build WaterSense labeled new homes. The WaterSense program plays a significant role in advancing water saving technologies and building a new future, one that is sustainable for the environment and improves the quality of life for our customers.”
Dan Bridleman, Senior Vice President, KB Home

The BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt concept home that was built in 2018 and debuted at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show and the International Builder Show earned the WaterSense label, raising WaterSense awareness to the media, consumers, and thousands of other builders. KB Home also spent much of 2018 collaborating with other stakeholders to propel water conservation forward, including helping the Residential Energy Service Network (RESNET) promote the new Home Energy Rating System H2O index for residential indoor and outdoor water usage. KB Home also worked with Ceres on its Connect the Drops campaign, which showcases the leadership of California companies to advance resilient water solutions.

KB Home has played an integral role in the stakeholder engagement process as WaterSense has worked to revamp its Homes Program and revise its new home specification. This revision aims to streamline the WaterSense labeling process and requirements for single-family and multifamily homes to increase the number of water-efficient homes available on the market.

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2019 Promotional Partners of the Year

The Broward (Florida) Water Partnership

The Broward Water Partnership LogoThrough creative campaigns and outreach, The Broward Water Partnership in Florida has earned it second Promotional Partner of the Year Award. In 2018, the Partnership created three new animated mascots to promote WaterSense and saving water and produced videos featuring each mascot in both English and Spanish. The Broward Water Partnership Mascot“Prince Pre-Rinse” won the mascot naming contest.Two of the characters, Steph and Steve the Plumbers, were a big hit on social media, with nearly 48,000 Facebook views and over 100,000 views on Twitter. For the third character, meant to promote pre-rinse spray valves, the Partnership created a contest for residents to name the mascot. With over 200 entries, the top three entries won prizes donated by local businesses, and “Prince Pre-Rinse” was crowned the winner!

In addition to mascots, the Partnership ran three other campaigns on social media to promote water conservation and WaterSense labeled products. The Royal Flush, Flush with Success, and Word Scramble campaigns were designed to boost interest and participation in its WaterSense labeled toilet rebate program. A total of 2,655 rebates were issued for WaterSense labeled toilets, and over 2,700 WaterSense labeled showerheads and aerators were distributed in 2018.

To further promote its WaterSense labeled toilet rebate, Broward continued its rebate contest with 27 home improvement stores in the region. The store manager who was able to move the most issued rebates received $1,000. Additionally, the Partnership provided each store with custom displays that included floor banners, signage on toilets, and window posters. To wrap up its efforts in 2018, the Broward Water Partnership started developing a game, “Play Conservation Pays and Win!” The Partnership created the game structure, quizzes, and graphics to promote its Conservation Pays program and launched the game in February 2019.

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City of Plano (Texas)

City of Plano Water AmbassadorsCity of Plano Water AmbassadorsThe City of Plano LogoThe City of Plano earned its second Partner of the Year Award, as it continued to inspire both residents and businesses to save water. The City began a new Water Ambassador Program for several adult volunteers to promote leak detection, leak repair, efficient irrigation, and landscaping principles. The City also has a Green Business Certification Program; six small-to-medium businesses were certified in 2018, bringing the total to 43 overall.

The City of Plano increased its focus on outdoor outreach programs in 2018. For Sprinkler Spruce-Up, the City offered a three-part class series covering quick sprinkler fixes, do-it-yourself drip irrigation, and proper irrigation controller use and taught sprinkler repair on a webinar for the Utah State University Extension Service. In 2018, the City’s innovative online learning module, “Water, Water Everywhere: A Guide to Sprinkler Repair,” was accessed more than 6,000 times! The City of Plano continued to promote water-smart landscape design and WaterSense labeled outdoor fixtures, hosting its sixth annual WaterWise Landscape Tour.

Beyond its outdoor efforts, the City hosted the official kickoff event for the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation and took fourth in the competition. It also collaborated on outreach for students competing in the FIRST LEGO League regional championship, which focused on hydrodynamics to improve water efficiency and water quality. On the retail side, the City worked with The Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores on promotions and provided rebates for 1,058 WaterSense labeled toilets and 142 devices with rain/freeze sensing technology, many of those WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers, in 2018. Flo, the WaterSense “spokesgallon,” dropped by for the City’s Fix a Leak Week Workshop in March, when a plumbing expert from The Home Depot and several volunteers taught 32 residents how to detect water leaks and make simple repairs.

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Upper San Gabriel Valley (California) Municipal Water District

The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District LogoThe Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District has won its first WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for its promotional efforts in 2018. The Upper District collaborated with a number of different WaterSense partners on events and programs and encouraged all 27 of its water purveyors to become WaterSense partners. Throughout 2018, the Upper District hosted nine workshops covering efficient landscaping, outdoor water use, and leak detection and repair. In collaboration with Metropolitan Water District, City of Monrovia, and California Landscape Contractors Association, it hosted a Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance Workshop that drew nearly 100 attendees. For Fix a Leak Week, the Upper District hosted two leak detection/repair workshops in English and Mandarin to expand its reach in the community.

“Water conservation is an essential and cost-effective method for the overall sustainability of the San Gabriel Valley water supply. At Upper District, we have made this a critical component of our overall mission and take an active part in educating the public about water use efficiency. We believe that being a WaterSense partner has truly enhanced our efforts to outreach to the communities we serve.”
Upper District Board President, Ed Chavez

The Upper District hosted its annual WaterFest event in 2018 and encouraged the 3,000 attendees to take a selfie with the WaterSense promotional label. The Upper District promoted the SoCal Water$mart regional rebate program, which provided commercial and residential rebates for the following WaterSense labeled devices: premium high-efficiency toilets (65), flushing urinals (41), flushometer-valve toilets (485), and weather-based irrigation controllers (226). The Upper District’s Large Landscape Survey and Retrofit program used professionals certified by the WaterSense program to install 142 WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers at 49 landscape sites.

In 2018, the Upper District’s “Water is Life” contest encouraged students to submit artwork that represented water as a valuable resource. The contest received 170 entries from 25 different schools. The Upper District also offered water education grants of up to $1,000 for grades K-12 projects that facilitated a better understanding of water as a vital resource. Seven applicants were awarded a total of $7,128 in grants that reached nearly 1,000 students. The Upper District also provided a “Water Sustainability and Water-Efficient Gardening” presentation for a community garden group that featured WaterSense information.

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2019 Excellence in Outreach and Education

The City of Allen (Texas)

The City of Allen LogoThe City of Allen has won its first WaterSense Award for Excellence in Education and Outreach. The City collaborated with the local public library to create a drought tolerant demonstration research garden in the library’s courtyard. WaterSense information and water-saving tips were also featured in a library display case throughout the year, and a Fix a Leak Week banner was hung at City Hall in 2018. The City of Allen’s local library features a water-smart, sustainable landscape design in its courtyard.The City of Allen’s local library features a water-smart, sustainable landscape design in its courtyard.To help Allen residents learn how to landscape and save water, the City conducted a series of six landscape best management practices seminars, which had 618 attendees. To expand its reach in the community, the City of Allen created a block leader program, where residents who “adopted” their block would hand out WaterSense information and customized door hangers to educate their neighbors on water efficiency. In 2018, 27 block leaders reached 1,118 homes!

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City of Durham (North Carolina) Water Management

City of Durham Water Management LogoTeaching its residents how and why to conserve water was a top priority for the City of Durham Water Management in 2018, and as a result the City won another Excellence in Education and Outreach Award. For Fix a Leak Week, Durham Water Management attended Education Day with the Durham Bulls baseball team to teach students the importance of finding and fixing leaks. The City also had an informational table and giveaways at a local tap room, pizzeria, and farmers’ market and conducted a conservation clinic at Lowe’s Home Improvement for the month of March. Later in the year, the City of Durham Water Management featured a “make your own WaterSense button” station at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science’s Adult Summer Camp. From the Durham Latino Festival to “Barktoberfest,” the City reached thousands of residents with its outreach efforts in 2018. The City of Durham Water Management also rebated 932 WaterSense labeled toilets throughout the year.

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City of Frisco (Texas)

City of Frisco LogoThe City of Frisco won its second WaterSense Award for its 2018 Excellence in Education and Outreach. Flo toured the City of Frisco to raise awareness about WaterSense and water conservation.The City conducted more than 5,700 free sprinkler check-ups—an increase of more than 50 percent from the previous year! For Fix a Leak Week, Flo the WaterSense “spokesgallon” visited Frisco and conducted a “Flat Stanley”-style tour for kids that was covered in the local newspaper. Flo also attended a wetlands and irrigation workshop put on by the City. During Fix a Leak Week, nearly 700 leak detection tablets were distributed to residents to help identify wasteful toilet leaks. In all, the City of Frisco hosted 23 workshops on topics such as Fix a Leak Week and water conservation and attended 33 community events.

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City of Sacramento (California) Department of Utilities

The City of Sacramento Department of Utilities LogoThe City of Sacramento Department of Utilities made a splash in its community, spreading the word about saving water to demonstrate Excellence in Education and Outreach. In 2018, the department launched the Leak Free Sacramento pilot program in disadvantaged areas of the community and hired a plumber to repair leaks for those customers. The City rebated 975 high-efficiency toilets and 1,595 WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers in 2018, and more than 3,500 residents received leak inspections and free WaterSense labeled showerheads and aerators. Throughout 2018, the City of Sacramento Department of Utilities performed 566 Water Wise House Calls to help customers identify ways to save water. Residents were also encouraged to “break up” with their lawn as part of the department’s turf replacement program.

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Irvine Ranch (California) Water District

Irvine Ranch Water District used creative outreach to promote WBICs to residents such as decorating buses.Irvine Ranch Water District used creative outreach to promote WBICs to residents.Irvine Ranch Water District won its first WaterSense award for Excellence in Education and Outreach. Its One-Stop Shop direct-install program retrofitted homes with the following in 2018: 3,485 WaterSense labeled toilets; 1,499 showerheads; 1,467 faucet aerators; and 667 weather-based irrigation controllers (WBICs). The See It From Your Lawn’s Perspective campaign used customer water use trends, focus groups, and surveys to target WBIC outreach; this effort garnered more than 28 million impressions through social media and other outreach and contributed to the distribution of 1,274 WBICs. In addition to workshops on “Rightscaping” and “Control Your Controller,” the Water District hosted Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) training for 24 participants. Irvine Ranch Water District’s newsletter featured an “Ask Juan” column, where a certified irrigation professional answered customer questions on efficient irrigation and landscaping.

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Polk County (Florida) Utilities

Polk County Utilities’ demonstration water-smart garden.Polk County Utilities’ demonstration water-smart garden.Polk County Utilities spread the word about the importance of water conservation and earned its first WaterSense Excellence in Education and Outreach Award. Polk County invited WaterSense “spokesgallon” Flo to the 7 Rivers Water Festival, encouraging attendees to take photos with her and post them to social media. The utility also had a water conservation wheel, where festival-goers answered questions to get a chance to spin and win prizes. Polk County held a water conservation calendar art contest for K-12 students and distributed 5,000 calendars with the WaterSense logo. In 2018, its demonstration garden, which is featured in the WaterSense Landscape Photo Gallery, won the Florida-Friendly Landscape Gold Level Status award for its low-maintenance design that doesn’t require any irrigation. To further outdoor water savings for residents, Polk County targeted high-volume users to offer free irrigation consultations to identify areas to save water. And on social media, YouTube, and television spots, the utility showed how to detect leaks, make irrigation system repairs, set timers, and receive rebates for WaterSense labeled products.

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Sonoma Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership

Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership LogoWaterSense promotional partner Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership (SMSWP) won its second Excellence in Education and Outreach Award—its fourth WaterSense award overall. In 2018, to support the rebuilding efforts after the California wildfires, the Partnership worked with landscape industry professionals to create eight water-efficient landscape ordinance-compliant landscape templates, which specify WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers. It also published a deck of water-smart plant cards. SMSWP educated students in classrooms, field trips, assemblies, and with materials, reaching more than 19,000 students in 2018. The Partnership conducted more than 2,300 Water Smart Home Evaluations and 36 green business audits, distributing free WaterSense labeled showerheads and faucet aerators. In 2018 alone, more than 1,500 WaterSense labeled toilets were rebated and/or replaced though SMSWP’s residential and commercial direct-install programs.

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2019 Excellence in Strategic Collaboration

Alliance for Water Efficiency

Alliance for Water Efficiency LogoThe Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) spent much of 2018 collaborating with other water conservation stakeholders to help save resources, which earned the organization yet another Excellence in Strategic Collaboration Award. AWE cosponsored three outdoor webinars with WaterSense in 2018; nearly 600 professionals attended those webinars and learned about outdoor water efficiency techniques and programs. AWE also provided input on the WaterSense Notice of Intent to develop Version 2.0 of the specification and certification requirements for WaterSense labeled homes. AWE partnered with the California Water Efficiency Partnership and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to complete an evaluation on the impacts of WaterSense labeled products and conservation efforts in the Los Angeles area. AWE and its nearly 500 members continue to support a variety of research projects that help push water conservation innovation forward.

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San Antonio (Texas) Water System

SAWS irrigation professionals perform a residential consultation.SAWS irrigation professionals perform a residential consultation.The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) received an Excellence in Strategic Collaboration Award for working with WaterSense manufacturer partner Rachio. SAWS placed 800 smart controllers in single-family homes as part of Rachio’s pilot project to refine its dashboard application for utilities. SAWS also assisted EPA with the development of the Residential Irrigation Capacity Index that will be used during the agency’s technical evaluations of WaterSense labeled home certification methods in Version 2 of the program. SAWS consistently coordinates with the San Antonio Irrigation Association, Texas Landscape and Nursery Association, and the Green Industry Alliance to speak at their events. SAWS also performed residential irrigation consultations for 3,300 high-water-use customers, resulting in an average savings of 2,000 gallons of water per month!

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2019 Excellence in Labeled Products in the Marketplace

Niagara Conservation

Niagara Conservation LogoNiagara Conservation continued to help consumers save water with its WaterSense labeled products, earning its fourth WaterSense award, Excellence in Promoting Labeled Products in the Marketplace. Nearly 100 percent of Niagara’s toilets sold in 2018 earned the WaterSense label, as part of the organization’s effort to phase out non-WaterSense labeled products. Niagara’s new WaterSense labeled Nano Dual Flush toilet with vacuum-assist Stealth Technology uses 62 percent less water than standard models in its reduced-flush mode and is a testament to Niagara’s commitment to push the water conservation envelope by continuing to improve the efficiency and performance of its products.

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2019 Excellence in Certification Program Growth

San Diego (California) County Water Authority

San Diego County Water AuthoritySan Diego County Water Authority has achieved its second consecutive WaterSense Excellence Award in Certification Program Growth. In 2018, it offered nine Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) training series classes to more than 190 landscape professionals. Of these, 137 participants earned their QWEL certificates, bringing the region’s total certifications to nearly 700 since 2016. Five of the QWEL series were offered in English, two in Spanish, and two classes were offered in partnership with local community colleges through their horticulture programs. Additionally, the Water Authority offered two Continuing Education Unit seminars for more than 50 attendees. The Water Authority promoted QWEL training in collaboration with trade associations, faith-based organizations, and Master Gardener Associations. A total of 99 percent of surveyed program participants responded that QWEL helped them better manage landscape water efficiency, and 98 percent rated the class good or excellent.

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Excellence in Education and Public Relations

The Toro Company

Land. Water. Thrive. participants help revitalize local parks and greens spaces.Land. Water. Thrive. participants help revitalize local parks and greens spaces.The Toro Company had another stellar year promoting WaterSense and water efficiency to earn its Excellence in Education and Public Relations Award. In 2018, the company launched a new initiative—“Land. Water. Thrive.”—aimed at improving water efficiency in outdoor environments. As part of that initiative, over a two-year period, Toro is offering $1 million in grants to nonprofit organizations in the global community as part of the Greenspace Enhancement Program. In addition to sponsoring a weekly radio program, The Water Zone, Toro co-hosted the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge kick-off event to share and promote outdoor water conservation information with participating cities. Toro also continued its annual Water Is Life Art Mural Challenge calendar activity for elementary students nationwide; proceeds from calendar sales went to participating schools. The Toro Company promoted WaterSense labeled products at 31 trade shows, expos, and sales events and attended nearly 50 contractor and professional training events in 2018.

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Hunter Industries

Hunter Industries University LogoHunter Industries promoted water conservation and WaterSense through a variety of educational programs and earned an Excellence in Education and Public Relations Award. Hunter provided training programs for irrigation professionals that included WaterSense labeled product information and smart irrigation techniques. Its online training platform, Hunter University, had more than 7,000 views on its WaterSense labeled product courses. Hunter’s two webinars on irrigation practices and emerging technologies had over 360 registrants. Additionally, the Hunter Rockstar campaign, designed to incentivize stakeholders to take more courses, had more than 430 “rock star” participants! Hunter also launched an on-site irrigation designer training program that had over 60 participants in three classes in 2018. The company also continues to refine its water-saving technologies, from its 12 new WaterSense labeled spray sprinkler bodies in 2018 to the FloGuard technology that can be added to its pressure-regulated sprinkler bodies to alert homeowners when a system is using too much water.

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Past WaterSense Award Winners

Learn what previous WaterSense Partners of the Year have done to increase water efficiency and promote the WaterSense label within their respective partner categories.