Written by IAPMO 3:43 pm IAPMO R&T - WaterSense, Industry News

U.S. EPA Recognized 34 Awardees for Their Promotion of WaterSense® in 2022

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized 34 awardees for their promotion of WaterSense® and water efficiency in 2021. Award winners include utilities, manufacturers, builders, a retailer, and other organizations that promote and sell WaterSense labeled products, build WaterSense labeled homes, and operate WaterSense labeled certification programs. The awardees initiated a variety of new programs, outreach, and education activities to engage customers and promote water conservation with WaterSense; they were honored during the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas.

2022 Sustained Excellence Award Winners

  • Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department Water Conservation Office combined the Your Better Yard campaign with its H2GrOw Native Plant Collection promotion to encourage water-efficient landscapes. Athens-Clarke shared design plans and WaterSense Your Better Yard tools to help local gardeners create water-smart landscapes that meet their lifestyles.
  • Citrus County (Florida) Utilities promoted the American Water Works Association’s Drop Savers Poster Contest, where students made posters with the theme “Fixing Leaks Saves Water.” Citrus County and Keep Citrus County Beautiful also distributed 1,500 brochures to businesses and libraries to promote a list of leak-fixing activities during their 26th annual Save Our Waters Week.
  • The City of Charlottesville (Virginia) created a Home Scavenger Hunt to help members of the community get to know their water fixtures, identify any WaterSense labeled models, and complete a worksheet to help them check for leaks. The City also created a River Scavenger Hunt with yard signs along a one-mile stretch of the river walk with tips about finding and fixing leaks.
  • The City of Plano (Texas) hosted virtual events, including a Fix a Leak workshop in partnership with the Plano Neighborhood Services Department and a three-part Sprinkler Spruce-Up webinar series. By summer, Plano was able to return to in-person education with a Sprinkler Fair in both June and July, and held its ninth annual WaterWise Landscape Tour in person and via video.
  • City of Sacramento (California) Department of Utilities incentivized residents to save water use by doubling the amounts of their turf conversion, irrigation upgrade, and toilet rebates. The City also wrapped up its RE-DO the LOO pilot program, which provided a labor reimbursement for WaterSense labeled toilets installed in multifamily properties within Sacramento’s disadvantaged areas.
  • Cobb County (Georgia) Water System developed an instructional video on how to use your water meter to find silent leaks. During the Wonder of Water Weekend, Cobb County Water System also promoted Fix a Leak Week by providing information on the 10-Minute Challenge to find and fix leaks, giving away WaterSense labeled showerheads, and demonstrating how to replace them.
  • Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) in California promoted Fix a Leak Week with a Don’t Spring a Leak online workshop that had over 150 virtual attendees. In addition, IRWD sponsored a photo contest, which involved 600 people fixing leaks, and hosted 10 RightScape workshops with nearly 900 attendees, along with Sprinkler Spruce-Up and Control Your Controller workshops.
  • KB Home built over 1,000 homes that earned the WaterSense label in 2021 alone, which represented 10 percent of all homes constructed by the company that year. KB also earned the WaterSense label for 77 percent of the homes they built in Las Vegas, reducing the impacts of new development in an area prone to water shortages.
  • Kohler introduced eight new tank-type toilets, over 40 new bathroom faucets, and over 70 showerheads that all earned the WaterSense label. Kohler@Home, a digital experience showcasing new products and innovations plus sessions focused on sustainability and water conservation, attracted over 17,000 attendees.
  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District promoted Fix a Leak Week by making the 10-Minute Challenge the topic of its 2021 High School Video Contest. Students were asked to create a video public service announcement showing how families can take the 10-Minute Challenge to check for leaks, save water, and reduce their water bill.
  • Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership, as a professional certifying organization partner (PCO), promoted its WaterSense labeled Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) class to residents in Sonoma, Marin, and Mendocino counties during California’s dry season at three “Drought Drop-By” events by 14 different water utilities. In 2021, PCOs including Sonoma-Marin that use QWEL issued a total of 561 certifications—a 33 percent increase from 2020.
  • Upper San Gabriel Valley (California) Municipal Water District promoted Fix a Leak Week, Shower Better, Sprinkler Spruce-Up, Save Water at Home, Find an Irrigation Pro, and “bath hacks.” The Upper District also produced a “12 Days of Conservation Christmas” video featuring WaterSense labeled devices, water-saving techniques, and drought-tolerant plants set to the 12 Days of Christmas tune.

2022 Promotional Partners of the Year

  • Big Bear Lake (California) Department of Water and Power collaborated with the Sierra Club and local experts to host a virtual Xeriscape Garden Tour to promote drought-tolerant, native plants and reduction and reuse of water sources to reduce the need for irrigation. As part of the tour, an eight-part webinar series was broadcast live and made available on Big Bear’s YouTube channel.
  • City of Durham (North Carolina) Water Management department created an online virtual scavenger hunt for Fix a Leak Week, with the theme “Leaks can run, but they can’t hide.” Participants navigated through the website to track down clues and solve 10 different riddles as they learned about the department and WaterSense labeled products.
  • City of Fort Worth (Texas) launched a minor plumbing leak repair program in 2021 called SmartRepair. Qualifying low-income homeowners could receive repairs or replacement toilets and fixtures. City of Fort Worth-contracted plumbers used WaterSense labeled fixtures and repaired plumbing in nearly 50 homes, resulting in an estimated yearly savings of 821,200 gallons of water.
  • City of Round Rock (Texas) focused on outdoor water use; for Smart Irrigation Month they offered free irrigation check-ups for homeowners and held free weekly workshops to educate residents on ways to maximize efficiency of their irrigation systems and make simple repairs. The City also offers incentives for WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers and spray sprinkler bodies.
  • Harris-Galveston Subsidence District (Texas) collaborated with other organizations to launch a promotional campaign for the Water My Yard program with an EPA grant. The program supplied customized recommendations to users each week on how much water was needed for their specific area using data from an extensive network of weather stations combined with local plant water needs.
  • Houston Public Works (HPW) expanded its participation in Fix a Leak Week by partnering with the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth to host two virtual workshops focused on indoor and outdoor leaks. HPW’s Showerhead Swap initiative provided free WaterSense labeled models to customers who brought in their old ones, giving away nearly 500 water- and energy-saving showerheads.
  • Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District launched a pilot commercial, industrial, and institutional (CII) audit program in 2021 to provide in-depth indoor water inspections for schools, municipal properties, and office buildings.They also donated nearly 200 WaterSense labeled showerheads to the Energy Resource Center to install in low-income housing.
  • Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership created a series of three “Drought Drop-By” events to educate residents on water shortages and distributed more than 10,000 drought kits with leak detection tablets, WaterSense labeled showerheads and aerators, shower timers, and water-saving tips in buckets that could be taken home and used to capture and reuse water while it heats up.

2022 Manufacturer Partner of the Year

  • Niagara® launched a suite of over 100 new WaterSense labeled toilets designed for distribution through a wholesale channel with features and benefits for builders, remodelers, and plumbing professionals. Niagara employees and representative agencies trained plumbers and contractors on WaterSense labeled products and how to encourage their customers to install these products.

2022 Retailer Partner of the Year

  • The Home Depot continued to make a wide range of WaterSense labeled products available to customers. In 2021, 100 percent of the toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads sold in U.S. Home Depot stores were WaterSense labeled models. The retailer helped to save an estimated 66 billion gallons of water by selling WaterSense labeled products in 2021.

2022 Builder Partner of the Year

  • Fulton Homes closed on 609 WaterSense labeled homes in 2021, nearly double the number it built in 2020! This represented nearly 80 percent of the total new houses that Fulton Homes closed on in 2021. In addition, all homes built by Fulton Homes in 2021 included WaterSense labeled plumbing products

2022 Excellence Award Winners

WaterSense also recognized 11 partners that excelled in a particular aspect of the program, and here are this year’s winners:

  • Walnut Valley (California) Water District; Tarrant (Texas) Regional Water District; Department of Water, County of Kaua‘i (Hawaii); and American Water won Excellence in Education and Outreach.
  • G3, Green Gardens Group (Los Angeles) received Excellence in WaterSense Promotion and Outreach.
  • Rancho California Water District won Excellence in Outreach and Collaboration.
  • Santa Clarita Valley (California) Water Agency earned Excellence in Promoting the EPA Multifamily Water Score.
  • The Broward Water Partnership (Florida) received Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products.
  • Smart Rain and Sloan Valve Company won Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products in the Marketplace.
  • The Toro Company received Excellence in Engagement and Outreach.

Learn more about all this year’s winners by visiting the WaterSense website.

Last modified: January 16, 2024