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WaterSense: Meets EPA Critera WaterSense Seal An EPA Partnership Program

The WaterSense Current Fall 2015

Issue XXXVI, Fall 2015

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation's water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water.The WaterSense Current is a quarterly update dedicated to news and events relatedto WaterSense.

In This Issue:

2015 WaterSense Award Winners Make a Difference Every Day

Excellence Award

EPA also gave awards to six WaterSense partners for demonstrating excellence in specific program areas during 2014:

  • Colorado Springs Utilities (Colorado) for strategic collaboration.
  • Denver Water (Colorado) for promoting WaterSense labeled products.
  • Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District and New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services for education and outreach.
  • Municipal Water District of Orange County (California) for Sprinkler Spruce-Up activities.
  • Puget Sound Energy (Washington) for promoting the water-energy nexus.

It takes more than just a label to save 1.1 trillion gallons of water and $21.7 billion in water and energy bills since 2006—WaterSense partners make the difference every day by creating, rebating, communicating, and educating consumers about water-efficient products and practices. On October 8, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored four WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award winners and seven WaterSense Partners of the Year during the WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition.

Promotional Partners of the Year: City of Charlottesville (Virginia), Cobb County Water System (Georgia), Murray City Corporation (Utah), Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Dallas (Texas)

Manufacturer Partner of the Year: The Toro Company

Licensed Certification Provider Partner of the Year: Energy Inspectors Corporation

Professional Certifying Organization Partner of the Year: Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership

This year’s four Sustained Excellence Award winners were honored for their efforts to create, communicate, rebate, and educate consumers about WaterSense labeled products homes, and programs in 2014.

Kohler Co.


In order to earn its third consecutive Sustained Excellence Award from WaterSense, manufacturer partner Kohler Co. teamed up with retailer partner and fellow Sustained Excellence honoree The Home Depot to discount WaterSense labeled toilets and showerheads in drought-stricken California. But that wasn’t the only place Kohler drove home the benefits of WaterSense labeled products. Kohler took its toilets on the road, promoting WaterSense labeled models at nearly 200 events during its Trust the Flush campaign bus tour. In addition, Kohler promoted WaterSense labeled products at the Green Builder Media’s VISION House® in INNOVENTIONS at Walt Disney World’s Epcot in Orlando, Florida, which attracted more than 200,000 visitors.

Delta Faucet Company

Three-time Manufacturer Partner of the Year Delta Faucet Company earned its first WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award for its collaborative efforts to promote water efficiency and WaterSense labeled products in 2014. The manufacturer met quarterly with major retail chains to develop and execute strategic plans that promoted WaterSense labeled products. In 2014, Delta introduced its WaterSense labeled FlushIQ® toilet, equipped with leak and overflow protection, as well as two different WaterSense labeled faucets that were recognized for their design excellence.

KB Home

KB Home earned its first Sustained Excellence Award after receiving the Builder Partner of the Year designation for four years. The company built 96 WaterSense labeled homes in 2014, an increase of 60 percent from 2013. It also introduced five new communities in which all homes will be designed to earn the WaterSense label. The builder also constructed homes that feature water-efficient products that go above and beyond WaterSense criteria by using graywater recycling systems and other water-efficient fixtures and appliances.

The Home Depot

Three-time Retailer Partner of the Year The Home Depot earned its first Sustained Excellence Award. During a five-week campaign for Fix a Leak Week 2014, various Home Depot stores collaborated with other WaterSense partners on events to educate customers about finding and fixing leaks and to distribute kits with WaterSense labeled products. The company also partnered with AmeriCorps and the State of California by giving away more than 30,000 water conservation kits to drought-affected households in cities such as Porterville, California.

Learn more about the 2015 WaterSense Sustained Excellence Award winners, Partners of the Year, and Excellence Award winners.

Make the Switch to Shower Better

Shower Better

The shower represents all-important “me time” where we wake up, wind down, or get ready to tackle the day. But there’s more to this soapy ritual than relaxation—showering accounts for 1.2 trillion gallons of water used nationwide annually. During Energy Action Month this October, EPA is challenging consumers to shower better by switching to WaterSense labeled showerheads to save water, as well as the energy required to pump, heat, treat, and deliver water to their fixtures.

By switching to a WaterSense labeled showerhead, you can save energy, water, and money while enjoying the same level of coverage you’ve come to expect. That’s because showerheads that have earned the WaterSense label are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and meet EPA’s performance criteria for spray force and water coverage. With WaterSense labeled showerheads, you can have the same powerful shower you want, with the added satisfaction of savings.

To put it in perspective, a WaterSense labeled showerhead will save you 4 gallons of water every time you enjoy a shower. Switching just one showerhead in your home to a WaterSense labeled model can save your family more than 2,900 gallons of water each year—that’s more than five times the amount of water you would save annually if you each shortened every shower by one minute. Your family can also save enough electricity to power your home for 13 days per year and reduce utility bills by nearly $70 annually.

For even more shower savings, the WaterSense Rebate Finder serves as a one-stop shop for nationwide rebate offers on WaterSense labeled showerheads and other plumbing fixtures. The choice is simple—make your energy-saving action this month a switch to shower better.

Cobb County Showers KSU With Campus-Wide Savings

KSU Students

In Georgia, four-time WaterSense Promotional Partner of the Year Cobb County Water System made a big splash for Shower Better Month in October 2014, helping Kennesaw State University (KSU) save more than 650,000 gallons of water in just six months by donating WaterSense labeled showerheads. Cobb County approached a KSU professor to help initiate the project. Working together, the two organizations saved the university water, energy, and money while enhancing its sustainability efforts.

Cobb County was seeking ways to promote Shower Better, and KSU was looking to reduce its utility bills, so finding a solution that could save both water and energy was a natural fit. Cobb County Water System offered up to $10,000 worth of free WaterSense labeled showerheads, if KSU would install them. Staff agreed but wanted students to test them before committing to a full upgrade.

The group planned a two-week pilot, which KSU Residence Life promoted through social media; the first 100 students to sign up received the new WaterSense labeled showerheads. “They had 100 percent satisfaction from the students that tested them,” Cobb County Senior Project Manager Kathy Nguyen said.

Cobb County Water System purchased 3,600 WaterSense labeled showerheads for all KSU dormitories and athletic facilities on campus. Installations took place over winter break, and when students returned in January, they all had shiny, new water-saving showerheads in their suites. Since then? “We've only gotten positive feedback,” Nguyen said. “They’ve been really happy with them.”

In the six months following the shower switch, KSU reduced dormitory water use by about 28 percent of the water used in the dorms, saving $6,500 in water bills. Learn more about Cobb County’s efforts to help consumers save water, energy, and money with WaterSense labeled products.

#WaterSavingYard Winners Beautifully Transform Their Landscapes

With persistent drought affecting many areas of the country, WaterSense’s recent #WaterSavingYard Photo Challenge showcased just how beautiful, water-efficient, and diverse low water-using landscapes can be. Several entries stood out among more than 80 submissions for their ability to demonstrate that curbing your water use doesn’t have to cost you curb appeal.

Photos were of existing low water-using landscapes or recent yard makeovers. Homeowners and professionals alike sent in their photos of transformed yards through Facebook, email, Instagram, or Twitter, and people across the country could vote on their favorite.

Pamela Kass

In San Marcos, California, Pamela Kass’ colorful collection of low water-using succulents and other drought-tolerant species sprinkled amidst rocky textures received the most “likes” on EPA’s WaterSense Facebook page, making her a fan favorite.

Judith Chaddock

Judith Chaddock of Flagstaff, Arizona, showed off the softer side of water-smart landscape design with native blooms from delicate yellow Yarrow to perky purple Coneflowers, earning her the second highest number of “likes.”

Patrick Dickinson

Following closely behind Chaddock was Patrick Dickinson of Dallas, Texas, whose best-of-both-worlds landscape featured drought-friendly plants and decorative stepping stones.

And the favorites don’t end there! There were so many outstanding submissions, EPA will be announcing additional winners in the coming months. Stay tuned for even more water-saving beauties in future issues of the WaterSense Current. But in the meantime, learn more water-smart landscaping tips and check out WaterSense’s Water-Smart Landscape Photo Gallery and Facebook albumExit EPA Disclaimerfor design inspiration in your region of the country.

Get Schooled on Water Savings—and Pass It On

Switch and Save video

Kids might have headed back to school, but they aren’t the only ones who can learn something new this fall. WaterSense has completed a series of fun and informative videos featuring Flo, the WaterSense spokesgallon, which show how you can save water year-round. From switching showerheads to checking for leaks, WaterSense has the viral videos that can inspire your friends and followers.

Just in time for Energy Action Month this October, WaterSense’s latest release, “Switch and Save,” features Flo and her feline pal, Puddles, swapping out an old showerhead with a WaterSense labeled modelExit EPA Disclaimerto save water, energy, and money. Even better, Flo is happy to learn the switch to a showerhead certified for performance enhances her shower experience.

By sharing this video on your social media networks, you can encourage your friends and family to take action to save water! Here are several more videos you can post and promote water savings throughout the year:

  • When in Drought videoWhen in Drought (or Not): WaterSense has a number of ways to help you save water for those that need it most, whether your area is experiencing drought conditions or not. Check outExit EPA Disclaimerthese easy tips for making water savings part of your daily routine, or consider a #WaterSavingYard makeover that can add curb appeal and reduce maintenance.

  • Fix a LeakFix a Leak: It only takes a minute to learn three easy steps to savings—check for leaks, twist pipe connections, and replace worn out fixtures with WaterSense labeled models. Learn moreExit EPA Disclaimerabout how to save more than 10,000 gallons per year at home by finding and fixing leaks.

  • Spruce Up videokSpruce up Your Sprinkler: Just one broken sprinkler head can waste 25,000 gallons of water in six months! Learn moreExit EPA Disclaimerabout how to inspect, direct, connect, and select your way to a more water-efficient irrigation system when it’s time to start watering again.

Droplets Answer

Visit the EPA WaterSense Facebook pageExit EPA Disclaimerfor more fun water-saving inspiration.

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