The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense® program has presented nine Sustained Excellence Awards, 12 Partner of the Year Awards, and 13 Excellence Awards to partners for leadership promoting WaterSense and water efficiency. Together, these organizations and 2,000 other partners made it possible for consumers and businesses to save 968 billion gallons of water in 2020 alone.
WaterSense works to protect the future of the nation’s water supply by offering Americans ways to use less water with water-efficient products, homes, and services. WaterSense labeled products have helped consumers and businesses save more than 5.3 trillion gallons of water since the program began in 2006. Associated energy savings have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 242 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking 53 million cars off the road for a year.
2021 Sustained Excellence Award Winners
- Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department Water Conservation Office reached a wide audience with its “Festival in a Box,” when it mailed 180 packages of water-themed activities, a beach ball with the WaterSense logo, and fortune cookies with water-saving tips inside.
- The City of Charlottesville (Virginia) came up with variety of creative outreach, including remote conservation learning activities for kids, a commercial promoting Fix a Leak Week in March 2020 featuring a barbershop quartet, and a “What Water Means to Me” art contest.
- Cobb County (Georgia) Water System launched a series of virtual “lunch-and-learns” on Sprinkler Spruce-Up and other outdoor water-saving tips to continue to educate customers about water conservation during the pandemic.
- Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District was quick on its feet and pivoted its Fix a Leak Week 2020 Water Drop Dash 5K to a completely virtual event and invited high school and college students to design a T-shirt for the race.
- Citrus County (Florida) Utilities celebrated Shower Better in October 2020 with a display in its lobby, where customers could get free WaterSense labeled showerheads, and included information about the potential savings in its newsletter.
- The City of Plano (Texas) offered a number of creative water conservation events, from online sprinkler and garden fairs to a virtual WaterWise Landscape Tour that reach nearly 9,000 residents.
- Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (California) continued to make Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper trainings and certification accessible to a wide audience. In 2020, the Partnership expanded with online classes, virtual irrigation audits, and online test proctoring.
- Kohler Co. (Wisconsin) increased collection of WaterSense labeled fixtures by launching new WaterSense labeled products in 2020, including 14 toilets, 36 faucets, 25 showerheads, and 20 new urinal/flushometer bowls and valves.
- KB Home (California) built over 250 homes that earned the WaterSense label, representing 2.5 percent of the homes it built in 2020. KB Home also installed WaterSense labeled faucets and fixtures in all of the homes the company built in 2020!
2021 Partners of the Year
- City of Durham (North Carolina) Water Management got creative during COVID-19. Based on the Stranger Things television series, the City made “Leaky Things” parody videos featuring mascot Wayne Drop for Fix a Leak Week.
- Regional Water Authority (California) sponsored a public service announcement contest focused on water efficiency for middle and high school students, and the winning video was played in six movie theaters viewed by over 140,000 people.
- Big Bear Lake (California) Department of Water and Power made rebates for WaterSense labeled products accessible even during the pandemic. They expanded rebates for WaterSense labeled controllers and sprinkler bodies, collecting proof of installation through photos via email.
- Irvine Ranch (California) Water District completed more than 175 leak check visits in 2020. During the pandemic, they modified WaterSense’s Landscape Checklist to help customers conduct their own irrigation audits at home and offered assistance via phone calls and video conferencing.
- Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District offered in-person smart irrigation classes prior to the pandemic and hosted virtual Growing Water Smart workshops with the Sonoran Institute that educated attendees about how water efficiency can be factored into planning for new development.
- City of Sacramento (California) Department of Utilities assisted customers in disadvantaged communities with plumbing repairs, conducting leak detection over the phone, and installing 184 free WaterSense labeled toilets in multifamily properties as part of its new RE-DO the LOO campaign.
- Upper San Gabriel Valley (California) Municipal Water District pivoted its annual Conserve‐a‐palooza event into a five-week virtual campaign that celebrated its 60th anniversary with weekly water efficiency quizzes and water-savings prizes.
- The Broward Water Partnership (Florida) took the opportunity to conduct a study to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affected water use in Broward County; the study revealed new opportunities to increase outreach about WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and showerheads.
- The City of Aspen (Colorado) expanded access to certification for irrigation professionals as it pivoted in-person trainings to a virtual format when the pandemic began. The city offered classes through Zoom and allowed participants to take tests online, and also offered a Spanish language training course.
- Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc. (Utah) manufactured WaterSense labeled spray sprinkler bodies and controllers. Ninety-five percent of Orbit’s B-hyve controller models are WaterSense labeled, and 54 WaterSense labeled spray sprinkler body models joined the Orbit family of labeled products in 2020.
- The Home Depot offered a large selection of WaterSense labeled products, with 100 percent of their in-store assortment of toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads having earned the label across their nearly 2,000 outlets across the United States.
- Fulton Homes (Arizona) designed nearly 800 homes to meet WaterSense specifications; over 300 of those homes earned the WaterSense label in 2020. Fulton also provided new employees training on WaterSense and materials about WaterSense to its plumbing contractors in 2020.
2021 Excellence Award Winners
- Alliance for Water Efficiency and Metropolitan Council (Minnesota) for Excellence in Strategic Collaboration
- San Diego County Water Authority for Excellence in Collaboration and Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products
- Alameda County (California) Water District and Niagara® for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products
- City of Allen (Texas) for Excellence in Education
- Department of Water, County of Kaua‘i (Hawaii) for Excellence in Education and Outreach
- Harris-Galveston (Texas) Subsidence District for Excellence in Education and Promoting WaterSense
- Hilton Head (South Carolina) Public Service District for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense on Social Media
- Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency for Excellence in Promoting the Multifamily EPA Water Score
- California Water Efficiency Partnership for Excellence in Certification Program Growth
- G3, Green Gardens Group (California) for Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach
- The Toro Company for Excellence in Engagement and Outreach
You can learn more about this year’s award winners by visiting the WaterSense website.