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.
2018 WaterSense Partners of the Year
On October 4, 2018, the 2018 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 Exposition. Exit
Since the program began in 2006, WaterSense labeled products have helped Americans save 2.7 trillion gallons of water and $63.8 billion in water and energy bills. In 2017 alone, WaterSense labeled products saved 631 billion gallons of water. By working together, WaterSense partners across the country continue to make a difference every day.
WaterSense recognizes nine Sustained Excellence Award winners, four WaterSense Partners of the Year, and eight Excellence Award winners for helping to advance and promote WaterSense and water efficiency throughout 2017.
2018 WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award Winners:
- American Standard - Part of LIXIL
- Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department
- City of Charlottesville (Virginia)
- Cobb County (Georgia) Water System
- Delta Faucet Company
- Energy Inspectors Corporation
- KB Home
- Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District
- Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership
2018 WaterSense Partners of the Year:
- City of Fort Worth (Texas)
- City of Plano (Texas)
- Citrus County (Florida) Utilities
- The Broward Water Partnership
2018 WaterSense Excellence Award Winners:
- City of Durham (North Carolina) Department of Water Management
- Sacramento (California) Suburban Water District
- City of Frisco (Texas)
- Alliance for Water Efficiency
- Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership
- The Toro Company
- Hunter Industries
- San Diego County (California) Water Authority
Learn more about:
- 2018 Sustained Excellence, and Partners of the Year winners' accomplishments (PDF)(8 pp, 981 K, About PDF)
- Excellence Award winners' accomplishments (PDF)(3pp, 657 K, About PDF)
- Award winners from previous years
2018 Sustained Excellence Award Winners
American Standard, part of the global LIXIL Corporation, received its first WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award after several years of award-winning WaterSense labeled product development and promotion. The brand’s ongoing Beauty in Motion Mobile Showroom displayed innovative WaterSense labeled commercial products in 2017, including urinals and toilets set in a real-life commercial restroom setting. The mobile showroom, which also has WaterSense labeled residential toilets and showerheads, toured 173 stops during 2017—a 27 percent increase from 2016. More than 6,700 professionals and consumers visited the exhibit, resulting in more than one million total impressions, a 64 percent increase over the previous year. For Fix a Leak Week 2017, American Standard offered free WaterSense labeled faucets as a prize for liking its leak-fixing posts on Facebook. YouTube videos, including one highlighting a family shelter renovation American Standard supported in 2017, talked about the water savings of the company’s labeled plumbing products.
“We’ve used our vast public platform to help build awareness of the WaterSense sustainability message through our government relations, marketing, public relations, and social media efforts. We’ll continue this work to enhance living spaces and truly make a positive impact on society.”
In 2017, American Standard distributed WaterSense labeled products to 11,236 U.S. retail outlets, a 34 percent increase over 2016. The American Standard Spectra+ collection, introduced in 2017, includes WaterSense labeled showerheads that were prominently featured in the 2018 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show, along with other WaterSense labeled products. American Standard’s WaterSense labeled ActiClean self-cleaning toilet was a finalist for the R&D 100 award. The brand also received multiple design awards for WaterSense labeled products, including the 2017 Beautiful Kitchens & Baths 30 Most Innovative Products, A’ Design Gold Award, GREEN GOOD DESIGN Award, and KB Culture Award.
American Standard’s website features a Water Savings Calculator to help consumers identify water-efficient products and had nine times as many visitors in 2017 compared to 2016. In 2017, American Standard more than doubled the consumer and trade media impressions it achieved to build awareness for the WaterSense message. The brand updated its e-book, How to Buy Guide for the Bathroom, featuring details on water-saving products and practices for consumers. American Standard is also actively involved in a number of trade groups and technical committees committed to promoting water-efficient technologies. Through their involvement with the Water-Efficient Products Committee for the Alliance for Water Efficiency and the Fitting Standards Development Committee, company representatives helped provide EPA with information to update WaterSense specifications.
To win its second consecutive Sustained Excellence Award, the Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department Water Conservation Office expanded its outreach efforts, reaching over 9,000 residents through events, school visits, tours, workshops, and festivals. In early 2017, Athens-Clarke County entered into a Level 2 drought. To help customers reduce their water use, the county distributed more than 250 water-saving showerheads, 500 kitchen faucet aerators, and 500 bathroom faucet aerators and discussed the benefits of WaterSense labeled products at various outreach events.
During Fix A Leak Week 2017, Athens-Clarke County hosted a Fire Up the Hydrant “Tappy Hour” event at a local brewery. Local artists painted 20 hydrants during the campaign and residents voted for their favorite. The winner was announced during the “Tappy Hour,” where 300 attendees learned about WaterSense and water conservation. Utility customers were also encouraged to “Take the 10 Minute WaterSense Challenge” by following a simple leak checklist included with their water bill. The utility reached 82,000 visitors at its local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as well, by creating a Fix a Leak Week video that played as DMV visitors waited in line. Athens-Clarke County also held a Ripple Effect film festival during Fix a Leak Week, where local filmmakers showed short videos they created on how to find and fix leaks. Over 400 people attended this event and received WaterSense labeled products as giveaways.
For Sprinkler Spruce-Up 2017, Athens-Clarke County hosted three workshops with a total of 75 attendees explaining the benefits of drip irrigation. The county hosted additional workshops throughout the course of the year on water-smart gardening and irrigation for landscape professionals. The county also integrated WaterSense outreach and messaging into its participation in the National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, organized by the Wyland Foundation, which encourages cities to compete on consumer water reductions. More than 8,000 Athens-Clarke County customers pledged to reduce their water use during 2017’s challenge, making the county one of five national winners of the Challenge across the United States.
The City of Charlottesville, a three-time Promotional Partner of the Year, has earned its first Sustained Excellence Award, demonstrating both a consistent program and its experience in 2017 with the region’s first significant drought in 10 years. With the help of WaterSense “When in Drought” tools, Charlottesville blanketed the area with water conservation messages and water use restriction notices, including magnets on city vehicles, a television ad, yard signs on public lands, and various traditional and social media platforms. Drought-related postcards and flyers created by Charlottesville staff were sent to citizens and helped dramatically increase traffic to the City’s water conservation website, from 1,400 views when restrictions were first posted to nearly 4,000 at the height of the campaign. On Facebook, the City initiated #WaterTipWednesday posts focused on outdoor watering, and it timed outdoor water messaging to coincide with weather conditions using targeted ads on the weather.com app that garnered over 287,000 impressions in the Charlottesville area. Some of these strategies have been maintained since the drought status ended.
“Participation in the EPA WaterSense program has allowed us to expand and enhance our water conservation programs, and the easy access to its messaging tools has been extremely helpful with our public education and outreach efforts.”
During Fix a Leak Week, Charlottesville hosted its annual Fix a Leak Family 5k race. The City created radio ads, flyers, posters, bill inserts, online and print ads, and social media outreach to encourage participation. A total of 144 racers registered—a new high for the race—and all attendees received a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator, a leak detection dye tablet, and a personalized “Detect and Chase Down Leaks” checklist. A local radio show host dressed up as a “running toilet,” and racers chased him to “catch the leak.” Conservation tips and resources to find local rebates on WaterSense labeled toilets and other products informed all attendees how to save water beyond finding and fixing leaks.
Throughout the year, Charlottesville distributed water conservation kits—which included a WaterSense labeled showerhead and faucet aerator, leak detection dye tablets, a WaterSense labeled toilet rebate pamphlet, and installation materials—to anyone who visited Charlottesville’s City Hall or attended promotional events such as the University of Virginia Eco-Fair and an Earth Week Expo. The City supported a project in which 48 university students swapped out their old showerheads with WaterSense labeled models. In total, the City estimates it distributed over 1,500 WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and 600 WaterSense labeled showerheads during 2017.
Cobb County Water System received its second Sustained Excellence Award for its continued promotion of water efficiency and WaterSense campaigns. With the area under Level 2 drought for most of 2017, Cobb County created the Drought Busters campaign, which spoofed the Ghost Busters theme song and catch phrases in short videos to promote WaterSense labeled products and water-saving practices. Tappy Turtle, Cobb County’s water conservation mascot, also encouraged citizens to combat drought by taking the We’re for Water Pledge. The Drought Busters video series received over 200 views on YouTube and included a contest for consumers to video themselves fixing leaks, along with a special fixing leaks video series during Fix a Leak Week 2017. In addition to the videos, Cobb County partnered with Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District on the Fix a Leak Week Water Drop Dash race and distributed kits to students during Fix a Leak Week to help them check for leaks at home, along with a variety of other student education activities.
“Cobb County Water has been a WaterSense partner since the program was established. It has been the cornerstone of our water efficiency efforts. Participating in national campaigns and directing customers to third-party tested and labeled products allow us to maximize our staff efforts. It has been integral in creating a culture of conservation in Cobb County.”
To help multifamily property owners track and improve water use, the utility promoted the EPA Water Score, explaining the benefits and how to use the tool during the Atlanta Apartment Association Manager Forum. In October 2017, Cobb County hosted a forum with stakeholders to discuss potential changes to the WaterSense New Homes program. The utility also collaborated with the local electricity provider, Cobb EMC, to promote the water-energy connection and WaterSense labeled showerheads to reduce water and energy use. Cobb County Water System and Cobb EMC also supported a project to install WaterSense labeled fixtures and energy-saving appliances for a local family in need, helping to decrease the family’s annual water use by 60 percent.
Cobb County piloted a Septic Pump Out Party with a local homeowners association and Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District in October 2017. The 78 homeowners who attended the event received WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and showerheads, along with leak detection tablets, toilet diverter clips, and tank displacement bags, while promoting the utility’s WaterSense labeled toilet rebate program. In 2017 alone, Cobb County rebated 2,288 WaterSense labeled toilets and approximately 250 WaterSense labeled showerheads.
Delta Faucet Company achieved its fourth Sustained Excellence Award, continuing its tradition of producing and promoting water-saving technologies and products. In 2017, Delta Faucet wrote a proposal that eventually helped WaterSense incorporate rain showers into a recent revision of the WaterSense labeled showerhead specification. The Company also continued its collaboration with the American Water Works Association, including the local Indiana chapter, to promote the WaterSense program to water districts, and offered a promotion on repair parts to encourage more plumbers to find and fix leaks during Fix a Leak Week 2017.
During the same year, Delta brand showerheads were put on display at Lowe’s Home Improvement and The Home Depot, showcasing WaterSense labeled products within major retailers. Additionally, all Delta® toilets have earned the WaterSense label. The Brizo® brand, featuring WaterSense labeled faucets and showerheads, continued to win multiple awards in 2017 for design and water-saving properties.
In other activities, Delta Faucet Company continued to show its commitment to educating customers about water efficiency. The company hosted more than 825 showroom associates and other industry professionals in a hotel that has Delta WaterSense labeled H2Okinetic® showerheads installed, so guests could get a firsthand experience with a high-performing showerhead that conserves water. The event even incorporated WaterSense labeled products as part of the educational experience during breakout sessions while onsite at Delta Faucet Company headquarters. The company also offered six continuing education unit (CEU) courses, including a course on Water Delivery Solutions for Green Building. At the Brizo|Delta Chicago Showroom, an estimated 3,100 influencers and customers received training last year.
Beyond training and education, the Delta brand once again was a sponsor for HGTV’s Dream Home, where four influential bloggers wrote about their experience using WaterSense labeled products, generating 1.8 million impressions. The brand also collaborated with the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian® Design Museum to introduce the Delta Sphere—a concept faucet focused on returning to the elements and centered around sustainability. Delta Sphere was displayed with many WaterSense labeled products at a launch event for more than 100 media and influencers, who helped build awareness not only around the concept faucet, but around the company’s overall innovative spirit and commitment to water efficiency.
Energy Inspectors Corporation earned its first Sustained Excellence Award, after receiving four Licensed Certification Provider Partner of the Year Awards in previous years. Energy Inspectors worked closely with WaterSense builder partner KB Home to inspect and certify 170 homes in 2017 that earned the WaterSense label. By getting involved with builders early in the planning process, Energy Inspectors helps implement water-efficient design aspects into the initial home construction and mitigates expenses down the road. It also looked for ways to incorporate other green building ratings into new homes, including ENERGY STAR, LEED, and Green Point Rated systems.
With over 90 in-house field raters, Energy Inspectors can closely control the quality of their inspections. In 2017, they trained 12 raters on the WaterSense specification. Each inspector attends a full day, in-person training, completes field inspection tool training, and participates in a mentoring process. Energy Inspectors also developed a comprehensive training video for raters to use as a reference during onsite inspections.
Energy Inspectors regularly recruits new builders to the WaterSense program as it inspects over 60,000 homes each year. In California, they encouraged the use of WaterSense labeled products in high-profile projects to address the growing water supply issues. Energy Inspectors also works closely with utilities to create energy- and water-saving strategies, including rebates and other incentives for WaterSense labeled products and homes. They actively promote WaterSense by displaying the logo prominently on the company website, including WaterSense in every email, and promoting builder partner accomplishments.
As the leading builder of WaterSense labeled homes, KB Home earned its fourth Sustained Excellence Award. In 2017, KB Home built 170 new homes that met the WaterSense criteria and included WaterSense labeled fixtures in all the homes it built. In total, nearly 1,000 KB Homes have met the WaterSense specification, and more than 500,000 WaterSense labeled fixtures have been installed in the company’s new homes.
In addition to WaterSense labeled products, a Landscaping Guide was created for all KB Home divisions, with a directive to showcase drought-resistant and native plants at all KB model homes. KB also undertook companywide employee awareness training focused on WaterSense and other corporate sustainability initiatives. The KB Home Studio team and sales staff learned about the benefits of water-efficient products and other water-saving measures, and the company continued to encourage subcontractors who work on KB homes to be trained in water efficiency.
“Water conservation is a growing imperative for homebuilders and homeowners alike. KB Home is pleased to have been the first national builder to adopt the WaterSense efficiency standard and to continue to support the important water conservation goals of the WaterSense program with every home we build.”
KB Home collaborated with a number of organizations throughout 2017. Working with the Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET), KB promoted the Home Energy Rating System water efficiency rating index (HERSH2O), and it piloted a new watering monitoring system under development to educate homeowners on their water use. KB also partnered with the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres, to promote the Connect the Drops campaign advancing resilient water solutions in California, and with the Southern Nevada Water Authority to promote the utility’s Water Smart Home Program of incentives for water-efficient devices and landscaping.
The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District continued its tradition of collaboration on water conservation with its 55 member utilities, earning its first Sustained Excellence Award. For its local utility members, the Metro Water District provided tool kits to promote Fix a Leak Week, Sprinkler Spruce-Up, Your Better Bathroom, and Shower Better using WaterSense materials. The Metro Water District also launched a technical assistance program to help its member utilities promote its Pre-Rinse Spray Valve Replacement Program, Toilet Replacement Program, and Commercial Water Audits, and it worked with The Home Depot to help promote its member utilities’ toilet rebates in their stores.
The Metro Water District focused its 2017 outreach efforts on training residents and real estate agents how septic systems relate to water efficiency, including hosting a septic tank pump-out and educational event with the Cobb County (Georgia) Water Planning District called Be a Party Pooper, which promoted water-efficient practices and WaterSense labeled products to homeowners. The training encouraged agents to use WaterSense as a selling point when showing area homes to prospective buyers. The Metro Water District also continued to host the fifth annual Water Drop Dash 5k race and water festival during Fix a Leak Week 2017, and over 600 runners participated.
The Metro Water District also updated its Household Water Audit assessment in 2017, providing information on WaterSense labeled toilets, showerheads, and faucets, along with irrigation timers. Residents who applied for a toilet rebate also received an assessment to look for other water-saving opportunities. In October, the Metro Water District participated in the U.S. Water Alliance’s event, Imagine a Day Without Water, and it developed tent cards for local restaurants to display on tables promoting the importance of saving water and encouraging customers to choose water-efficient fixtures.
The Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (SMSWP), a “parent” professional certifying organization that allows other organizations to certify irrigation professionals using its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) program, earned its second Sustained Excellence Award. During 2017, SMSWP restructured its program, and worked with a group of 21 water use efficiency and landscape experts to revise the QWEL curriculum and develop a new reference manual and training materials. The program launched a new QWEL website with a curriculum page that includes WaterSense information. The Partnership also sent promotional emails throughout the year to nearly 1,000 QWEL certified professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area to encourage them to participate in WaterSense. To date, SMSWP and the organizations that have adopted the QWEL program have certified more than 2,500 irrigation professionals.
To expand the QWEL program and vocational training opportunities to students, the Agriculture, Water, and Environmental Technology Sector of the California Community College (CCC) system adopted QWEL in early 2017 to provide the opportunity for any CCC to implement the program. SMSWP also carried out activities beyond QWEL to advance outdoor water efficiency. In 2017, SMSWP created water-smart plant cards to distribute at events. The Partnership hosted an Eco-Friendly Garden Tour that had 1,600 visitors and conducted a social media campaign to encourage end users to limit outdoor water use.
The Partnership participated in a number of pilot programs in 2017, including a Coping with Drought research project conducted by Stanford’s Water in the West, which investigated the factors that affect people’s response to drought. SMSWP also partnered with Daily Acts, Conservation Corps North Bay, and four local schools to convert 20,000 square feet of irrigated lawn and impervious surfaces into water-efficient landscapes. Through this program, 500,000 gallons of water will be saved annually.
2018 Promotional Partners of the Year
The City of Fort Worth expanded its water conservation outreach efforts through collaboration with other WaterSense partners during 2017. Fort Worth Water volunteered to partner with WaterSense on a Fix a Leak Week 2017 Hispanic outreach pilot program. The pilot program consisted of culturally-relevant outreach materials focused on finding and fixing leaks. The materials were modeled after Lotería, a Mexican game of chance played like bingo, with Fort Worth providing translations for the cards. More than 400 water conservation kits (using bags donated by American Standard) were distributed at various pop-up events throughout the community. The City continued its sponsorship of the third annual Chasing Leaks 5k race, in conjunction with the Fort Worth Runners Club, where more than 180 runners and other attendees received water conservation tips and the new bilingual materials. The City of Fort Worth attended many other community events throughout 2017 to reach over 17,000 people, including a water festival for fifth graders called Waterama.
As part of its Smart Irrigation Program, the City partnered with the Tarrant Regional Water District. Irrigation and landscape professionals conducted over 200 water audits for residents during the program. The city also partnered with the Texas Agrilife Dallas Extension to offer free water-efficient landscaping seminars with a total of 217 attendees in 2017.
The City’s SmartFlush Toilet Program promoted and distributed over 3,500 WaterSense labeled toilets to residential low-income and commercial customers. Not wanting to leave out the commercial sector, Fort Worth’s SmartWater Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Assessment Program provided free facility-wide water use assessments that promoted WaterSense labeled toilets and industry best management practices. A total of 53 audits were completed in 2017, and 32 companies have been recognized to date for their water-saving efforts with Fort Worth’s SmartWater Partner Award.
The City of Plano earned its Promotional Partner of the Year Award by promoting a variety of WaterSense campaigns and products and following up with residents to ensure they heard the message to save water. For Fix a Leak Week 2017, the City hosted a workshop showing how to find and fix household leaks; the 55 attendees, who completed a survey afterward, said they would check their toilets for leaks. The Live Green in Plano newsletter promoted fixing leaks to more than 73,000 households, and the City provided free showerheads, faucet aerators, and toilet flappers to residents. For Sprinkler Spruce-Up, the City conducted a three-part, in-person course, which 160 residents attended, and created an online module, “Water, Water Everywhere: a Guide to Sprinkler Repair,” which was accessed 6,173 times in 2017. A survey conducted after the courses found 83 percent of participants planned to check their irrigation systems.
“The City of Plano is deeply honored to be named a WaterSense Partner of the Year and very grateful for the myriad of resources WaterSense provides its partners. We are firmly committed to water conservation and look forward to our continued partnership with WaterSense, a leader in national water conservation efforts.”
Water-efficient irrigation practices were also on display at the City of Plano’s fifth annual WaterWise Landscape Tour, where more than 900 attendees visited six locations both in person and virtually, using a GIS story map with descriptions of native landscaping and efficient watering. The City had previously collaborated with WaterSense manufacturer partner Rachio on a pilot study to explore WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controller usability and water use trends, and it presented the results at the 2017 WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas. Participants in the pilot reported increased engagement with their irrigation controllers and a better understanding of efficient irrigation. The City continued observing outdoor watering habits in 2017, using advanced metering infrastructure data.
The City of Plano promoted its WaterSense labeled toilet rebate program by collaborating with The Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement, and awarded 1,105 toilet rebates to residents in 2017 alone. The City also provided rebates for 167 rain/freeze sensors and nine pressure-reducing valves. To help residents save even more water, the City distributed free WaterSense labeled showerheads and faucet aerators, shower timers, toilet leak detection dye tablets, toilet flappers, soil moisture meters, plumbing tape, and rain gauges to residents throughout the year at classes and events.
Citrus County Utilities earned its third WaterSense Promotional Partner of the Year Award for its expanded outreach at events, in classrooms, and with partners in the community. To promote Fix a Leak Week 2017, the utility hosted the 10th annual Water Conservation Expo through a partnership with Sugarmill Woods homeowner associations (HOAs) and the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Citrus County also boosted promotion of its year-round Schedule a Specialist program during Fix a Leak Week. This customer assistance program provided one-on-one, in-home education sessions on how to save water at home, and each participant received WaterSense labeled products and information. The utility had the attention of local government, with the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners issuing a Fix a Leak Week proclamation.
Citrus County Utilities attended a number of events to promote its WaterSense labeled product rebates for toilets and irrigation controllers. The utility created We’re for Water and Shower Better photo frames displaying quote bubbles featuring how people planned to save water. Visitors received the “Introducing the WaterSense Label” fact sheet and WaterSense labeled showerheads as giveaways. The utility distributed 572 free WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and 272 showerheads. The utility also participated in HOA events, where it gave presentations on WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers and distributed free aerators and showerheads. Citrus County also partnered with the Southwest Florida Water Management District and Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority on a free irrigation evaluation program. In 2017, 34 evaluations were completed, of which 14 participants had a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller installed. Program participants who installed WaterSense labeled controllers have shown a 48 percent average decrease in water use, compared to a 36 percent decrease for those that had an irrigation evaluation but did not install labeled controllers.
The third annual Citrus County We’re for Water Classroom Challenge for 3rd through 5th graders had 29 classrooms from six different schools participate. Students tested 593 toilets and identified 90 leaks, and 363 student families completed a five-question survey included on their challenge worksheets; 287 respondents indicated they would choose a WaterSense labeled model when replacing their toilets.
The Broward Water Partnership is a collaborative of 18 municipalities and water utilities in Broward County, Florida, that works to promote water conservation and the WaterSense program. Since its inception in 2011, the Broward Water Partnership, through its Conservation Pays program, has helped save nearly two billion gallons of water. Its creative outreach and educational efforts in 2017 earned the Partnership the WaterSense Promotional Partner of the Year Award.
“In Broward County, we emphasize water conservation as the most cost-effective measure to ensure the sustainability of future water supplies. We are so honored that our efforts do not go unseen and pledge to continue to prioritize water conservation and support the WaterSense message.”
Among several creative promotional initiatives, the Partnership created a series of YouTube videos about Broward’s toilet rebate program and water-saving devices to explain and streamline the rebate process for residents. Broward also collaborated with local big box stores to promote the rebate program, giving incentives to store managers who submitted the most rebates. More than 2,600 toilet rebates were awarded over the course of 2017. In addition to rebates, 2,100 showerheads, nearly 2,000 faucet aerators, and hundreds of leak detection tablets were distributed to residents for free. The Partnership also focused on restaurants through its Take the Drain off the Bottom Line campaign, through which high water users received free WaterSense labeled pre-rinse spray valves to use in their facilities. Several customers responded to the campaign outreach, and nearly 70 valves were distributed.
A telephone survey of residents in partner communities on its Conservation Pays Program revealed that while 40 percent of residents knew about the program, they were not aware of specific regional environmental issues related to water. Many residents were not aware of water shortages or the connection between water conservation and climate change. In response, the Broward Water Partnership created a climate change video that showed how a water-saving toilet could help fight climate change. The Partnership also created a video spoof of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” (entitled “Scrape it Off”), showing its toilet mascot, Sammy Save-a-Lot, scraping dishes instead of rinsing them. Sammy’s Road Trip social media campaign drove more traffic to the Partnership website with photos using the hashtag #SammySightings that were taken with kids, partners, and elected officials.
2018 Excellence in Outreach and Education
Three-time Excellence Award winner City of Durham Water Management had another excellent year of education and outreach. Many participants in each of 312 residential and commercial water use assessments received free WaterSense labeled showerheads and water-saving tips. During Fix a Leak Week in March, a banner was hung inside City Hall, materials were distributed to local students, and the department partnered with Lowe’s Home Improvement to offer conservation clinics to more than 100 residents. The City also created and posted three YouTube videos on finding and fixing common household leaks. To promote WaterSense labeled toilets, the City spread the word about its WaterSense labeled toilet rebate program and rebated over 700 WaterSense labeled models. Additionally, the department held pop-up events throughout the city to promote WaterSense’s Shower Better and Better Bathroom campaigns and distributed over 200 WaterSense labeled showerheads. The City of Durham participated in the 2017 Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. To get residents to accept the challenge, the City ran television and online ads that featured WaterSense and had nearly two million impressions. These efforts led to success, as Durham ranked sixth nationwide in the Challenge among cities of a similar size!
Over the course of 2017, Sacramento Suburban Water District (SSWD) made the promotion of WaterSense a primary initiative of its conservation and communications campaigns. SSWD used a variety of communications channels to promote water conservation and WaterSense. For Fix a Leak Week, SSWD ran full-page ads in local newspapers and geo-targeted ads on Facebook and various websites through the Google Display Network. It produced an article on how to be a Leak Detective that ran in a local paper and featured a story in its monthly bill insert, which is distributed to 40,000 customers. Fix a Leak Week graphics were also printed on billing envelopes and promoted on the front page of the SSWD website, and more than 5,700 residents received notification cards that they might have leaks in their homes. For Sprinkler Spruce-Up, SSWD raised awareness through a combined online and print advertising campaign, newspaper articles, in its monthly bill insert, and online. In addition, SSWD partnered with a local park district to develop and launch a new series of water-wise demonstration landscapes to inspire the public. The grand opening event for the Gardens at Howe Park featured a ribbon cutting ceremony, presentations by local officials, and a display of water-efficient irrigation systems including WaterSense labeled weather-based irrigation controllers.
With a variety of events, educational efforts, and workshops, the City of Frisco reached more than 30,000 people with water-saving tips. For Fix a Leak Week 2017, the Frisco City Council announced an official proclamation and ran ads on TV screens in the library, City Hall, and in the public works office building. Tips to find and fix water leaks were featured in the weekly WaterWise newsletter with a reach of more than 16,000 citizens. The City also attended a local health fair at a senior center and held two workshops during the week educating attendees on how to find and fix leaks at home. Frisco’s staff conducted several workshops that provided participants with step-by-step guidance on how to program an irrigation controller. These irrigation workshops were so popular they were later adopted by Oklahoma City and Fort Worth (Texas). For Sprinkler Spruce-Up, the City continued its Free Sprinkler System Check-Up Program, performing over 3,700 assessments and demonstrating outdoor water efficiency techniques that could reduce water use about 35 percent.
2018 Excellence in Strategic Collaboration
The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) continued its strategic collaboration with a number of organizations to promote water efficiency and WaterSense, especially when it comes to outdoor water use. AWE worked with WaterSense to provide a series of webinars focused on outdoor water efficiency, which reached approximately 400 attendees in 2017. AWE partnered with American Water, Rachio, and WaterDM to publish a report on peak day water demand that highlighted how using WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers can shift loads and reduce peak demand. AWE also collaborated with WaterDM on an analysis of Tucson and Gilbert in Arizona and determined that the positive impacts of decades-long water conservation efforts, including installation of WaterSense labeled products, were able to keep water rates significantly lower than if no water conservation measures were implemented. Additionally, AWE collaborated with several stakeholders to release a U.S. and Canadian version of an easy-to-use commercial kitchen guide designed to help managers make water-efficient decisions for their facilities.
2018 Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products
The Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (SMSWP) in Santa Rosa, California, won its fourth Excellence Award, due in part to its commitment to promoting WaterSense labeled products to both residents and businesses. During Fix a Leak Week 2017, the Partnership sponsored a “sticky note” on the front page of Santa Rosa’s The Press Democrat newspaper. SMSWP worked with the Sonoma County Green Business Program, which certifies local businesses for sustainable business practices, to distribute free WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and showerheads during 115 commercial audits completed in 2017. The Partnership continued to offer free Water Smart Home Evaluations, providing free WaterSense labeled showerheads and faucet aerators to more than 3,000 homes in 2017. SMSWP also makes DIY Home Energy and Water Savings Toolkits available at local libraries for residents to check out. Each kit contains items used to measure water and energy usage along with WaterSense labeled showerheads and aerators for residents to keep. And through its rebate program and direct installs, the Partnership encouraged replacement of more than 4,300 old, inefficient toilets with WaterSense labeled models in 2017.
2018 Excellence in Education and Public Relations
The Toro Company received its third Excellence Award—and its fourth WaterSense Award overall—for education and outreach efforts ranging from scholarships for students to attend the Irrigation Association Show, to sponsorship of the award-winning Water Zone radio show. The show discusses water-saving outdoor practices and products to an ever-growing audience of 5 million people. In 2017, Toro increased its social media activity related to water efficiency, including more than 45 posts on topics such as Fix a Leak Week and smart irrigation. The company also participated in or conducted dozens of training programs featuring WaterSense labeled products, reaching several thousand homeowners and professionals. And the WaterSmart.Toro.com website topped more than 1 million visitors since it was launched in 2015.
2018 Excellence in Labeled Products in the Marketplace
Hunter Industries became the first manufacturer to earn the WaterSense label for irrigation spray sprinkler bodies. These devices regulate pressure to minimize outdoor water waste in irrigation systems. Noticing that many contractors were reluctant to install Wi-Fi-enabled weather-based irrigation controllers, Hunter also conducted extensive research to understand the barriers to uptake of the products. Based on the results, Hunter developed a new weather-based controller that better manages the needs of contractors with flow meter connection capabilities, failure reporting, and daily watering schedule modifications based on local conditions. Several of the 19 WaterSense labeled models Hunter launched in 2017 were engineered with these water-saving features to encourage best practices for irrigation management within the complex systems that contractors encounter.
2018 Excellence in Certification Program Growth
The San Diego County Water Authority administers the WaterSense labeled Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) certification program in its 950,000-acre service area. As one of the first QWEL providers in Southern California, the Water Authority helped to greatly expand the program’s branded reach and educational outcomes. The Water Authority also serves as a member on the QWEL Advisory Board. In 2017, the Water Authority offered 12 classes for more than 200 landscape professionals. Of these,145 were QWEL certified, bringing the region’s total certifications to more than 470 since 2016. Two of San Diego’s 2017 classes were in Spanish, and three classes were offered through local college horticulture courses. The Water Authority promoted its QWEL training program in collaboration with landscape contractors, trade associations, faith-based organizations, garden clubs, adult education, and English-as-a-Second-Language programs.
Learn what previous WaterSense Partners of the Year have done to increase water efficiency and promote the WaterSense label within their respective partner categories.
- 2017 Sustained Excellence, and Partners of the Year Winners' accomplishments (PDF)(7 pp, 2 MB, About PDF) Excellence Award winners' accomplishments (PDF)(4pp, 2 MB, About PDF) - Photo Gallery
- 2016 Sustained Excellence and Partner of the Year Award Winners Fact Sheet (PDF) (7 pp, 3MB) – 2016 Excellence Award Winners Fact Sheet (PDF) (4pp, 2MB) – Photo Gallery
- 2015 Award Winners (PDF)(8 pp, 2 MB) – Photo Gallery
- 2014 Award Winners (PDF)(7 pp, 2 MB)
- 2013 Award Winners (PDF)(6 pp, 2 MB)
- 2012 Award Winners (PDF)(5 pp, 1 MB)
- 2011 Partner of the Year Award Winners (PDF)(4 pp, 535 K)
- 2011 Excellence Award Winners (PDF)(1 pg, 101 K)
- 2010 Award Winners (PDF)(4 pp, 1 MB)
- 2009 Award Winners (PDF)(4 pp, 892 K)
- 2008 Award Winners (PDF)(2 pp, 857 K)