The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized its first WaterSense Partners of the Year on October 9 in Las Vegas, NV. The four organizations and individuals chosen represent the best of WaterSense’s four partner categories, according to the Agency. The awards recognize their efforts for increasing water efficiency across the United States.
Promotional Partner of the Year: The Saving Water Partnership
In 2000, Seattle Public Utilities and 17 other local utilities formed the Saving Water Partnership to promote efficient water use in Seattle and King County, WA. In 2007, the Saving Water Partnership incorporated WaterSense labeled products and outreach into its local water efficiency campaign through public service announcements, outreach to plumbers, and public events.
Manufacturer Partner of the Year: Kohler Co.
Kohler contributed to building the WaterSense “buzz” through its active promotion of WaterSense labeled products on the trade show circuit, on its Web site, and through publicity events, including the Charmin Holiday Restrooms in New York City’s Times Square. In partnership with Procter & Gamble, Kohler provided 20 WaterSense labeled toilets in luxurious portable restrooms strategically placed for shoppers in one of Manhattan’s busiest areas during the 2007 holiday season. As a result, an estimated 500,000 visitors in Times Square experienced firsthand the high performing, water efficient WaterSense labeled toilets.
Retailer/Distributor Partner of the Year: Ferguson
The company uses point of purchase displays and has made an effort to work with municipalities to stay abreast of rebate programs. Ferguson has educated its staff of 22,000 associates in 1,400 service centers located in all 50 states about the benefits of water efficiency and WaterSense labeled products.
Irrigation Partner of the Year: Timothy Malooly
Malooly has worked as a practitioner in the irrigation industry for 26 years and is president of two Minnesota-based irrigation firms: Irrigation Consultants & Control, Inc., an irrigation design, consulting and technology company, and Irrigation By Design, Inc., an irrigation installation and service company. These companies have been responsible for design and/or installation of water-efficient irrigation systems for a variety of projects, including the first residential project to receive Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, Russia’s Grizzly Coast exhibit at the Minnesota Zoological Garden, and master planned community projects such as the Spirit of Brandtjen Farm in Lakeville, MN.
Looking To 2009
EPA announced the first annual WaterSense awards program in February 2008, with applications due in April 2008. The new awards program was designed to recognize WaterSense partners who helped advance the overall mission of WaterSense; increased awareness of the WaterSense brand in a measurable way; and demonstrated overall excellence in the water efficiency arena.
Later this year, WaterSense will announce 2009 Partner of the Year categories, eligibility requirements, and evaluation criteria. After evaluating the 2008 application submissions, EPA may revise the evaluation criteria for 2009, but they are likely to be similar to those used in 2008.