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WaterSense: Meets EPA Critera WaterSense Seal An EPA Partnership Program

The WaterSense Current Spring 2014

Issue XXX, Spring 2014

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:

Earth Month Celebrates the "Water Planet"

There's a reason they call this the "water planet." As much as 70 percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water—making Earth Month in April the perfect time to focus on water conservation. From water-saving challenges to rides on a water cycle, WaterSense partners across the country are hosting Earth Month events to help you celebrate in water-efficient style.

In California, the Wyland Foundation kicked off its third annual National Mayor's Challenge for Water ConservationExit EPA Disclaimer on April 1, 2014. The annual event creates a friendly competition among cities nationwide to see which residents are the most "water wise." Mayors from across the country are challenging their residents to make online pledges throughout April to reduce their water use. The challenge is simple: take the online My Water PledgeExit EPA Disclaimeron behalf of your city; see how much you've pledged to save; and if your city wins, compete for prizes. Winning cities will also receive WaterSmart SoftwareExit EPA Disclaimer, a tool that helps customers understand their water use and actions they can take to use water more efficiently. The Challenge also has a Student EditionExit EPA Disclaimer with activities for students and their teachers and a chance to win prizes for their school.  

For the fourth year in a row, the Arizona Department of Water Resources, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA), and other state water conservation partners invited residents to join in the celebration of Water Awareness MonthExit EPA Disclaimer this April. The campaign website features an interactive April 2014 calendar with daily water efficiency tips, including a day dedicated to the water-saving benefits of WaterSense labeled products. Workshops and events are scheduled throughout the month, including a WaterCycle Ride where participants learn about the water cycle while cycling, walking, or jogging.

In Florida, the sunshine state is celebrating its 16th annual Water Conservation Month this April. The Florida section of the American Water Works Association and Florida's Water Management Districts are asking local governments, water utilities, and other organizations to adopt a resolution or proclamationExit EPA Disclaimer declaring April Water Conservation Month. Nearly 200 proclamations throughout four Florida water districts were declared in 2013, and more than 20 organizations—some of which are WaterSense partners—have already declared proclamations for 2014Exit EPA Disclaimer.

On Saturday, April 26, from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m, The Home Depot will host free Water Conservation Workshops at all of its 1,977 U.S. stores. This is a nationwide effort to educate and empower residents across the country to improve water efficiency inside and outside the home. Workshops will cover water-saving home improvement projects, including replacing fixtures with more efficient U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense labeled toilets, showerheads, and faucets. Workshops will also include outdoor water-saving options, such as installing drip irrigation, rotary nozzle or dual-spray sprinklers, and WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers. Local community organizations are invited to call their local stores to get involved. Residents are encouraged to attend and learn more about water-efficient solutions they can implement at home. Details can be found at workshops.homedepot.comExit EPA Disclaimer.

Looking for ways to celebrate Earth Month? Visit the EPA WaterSense Facebook page and pledge to take simple actionsExit EPA Disclaimer to save water this April and year-round. When you're done, share  your commitment with your social media network to encourage your friends and neighbors to do the same!

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Bring Your Sprinkler System Out of Hibernation With a
Springtime "Spruce–Up"

With spring on its way, now is the perfect time to get your irrigation system off the snooze button with a little "sprinkler spruce-up" to ensure that it is operating efficiently and saving both water and money. Residential outdoor water use across the United States amounts to 9 billion gallons of water per day, mainly for landscape irrigation.

  • Inspect your system for damage, such as broken, clogged, or missing sprinkler heads.
  • Connect sprinkler heads tightly to pipes or hoses to prevent leaks and puddles in your landscape that can harm your plants.
  • Direct your sprinklers away from driveways and sidewalks to water only your lawn and plants.
  • Select a seasonally appropriate watering schedule that meets your landscape’s minimum needs. Better yet, install a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller, which uses local weather data so your system waters only when necessary.

If you're not the do-it-yourself type, go with a pro. Look for an irrigation professional certified through a WaterSense labeled program to audit your sprinkler system. Learn more about maintaining a water-smart yard, finding a certified irrigation professional, or view a list of WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers.

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WaterSense Partners Chase Down Water–Wasting Leaks

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Georgia runners of all ages chased down a running toilet at the Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District's Water Drop Dash 5k Race and Water Festival.

From March 17 to 23, 2014, WaterSense partners held more than 50 events across more than 15 U.S. states and Canada in celebration of EPA's sixth annual Fix a Leak Week. The national awareness campaign encourages Americans to help put a stop to the more than 1 trillion gallons of water lost annually due to household leaks. In honor of this year's "Chasing Leaks" theme, partners held a variety of road races and race-themed events, inspiring consumers to chase down water-wasting culprits.

From coast to coast, WaterSense partners set the pace for water savings by educating hundreds of homeowners about the importance of nipping drips inside and out. Here are a few examples of how partners helped consumers catch running toilets and compete for water savings:

  • To kick off Fix a Leak Week, the City of Santa Rosa, California, hit the ground running with the city's third annual St. Patrick's Day 5kExit EPA Disclaimer. Adding a little extra "green" to the race, the city's Water-Use Efficiency Team hosted a booth with giveaways, activities, and water efficiency tips.
  • The Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA) held its fourth annual One for Water 4-MilerExit EPA Disclaimer race on March 22, 2014. Runners raced alongside AMWUA's life-sized toilet mascot, Leaky "Loo" McFlapper and Flo the WaterSense spokesgallon.  The event also featured a family fun festival, which promoted finding and fixing leaks indoors and out.
  • The City of Charlottesville, Virginia, once again hosted the Fix a Leak Week Family 5kExit EPA Disclaimer, featuring activities, water-saving tips, and a prize for catching its own running toilet mascot. To help participants learn how to do it themselves, the event held a demonstration on how to fix leaks.
  • In Utah, the City of St. George and Washington County Water Conservancy District partnered with the Spectrum 10kExit EPA Disclaimer and entered a runner dressed in a toilet costume. Race packets contained Fix a Leak Week information, and the two organizations hosted an informational booth where participants could pledge to fix household leaks. 
  • The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District's second annual Water Drop Dash 5k Race and Water FestivalExit EPA Disclaimer offered a children's fun run and a 5k race along the Chattahoochee River. The festivities culminated with water conservation education and activities at the Water Festival.
  • Colorado Springs Utilities' water conservation mascot Dewey the Drop hosted an educational boothExit EPA Disclaimer at the local Jack Quinn's running club weekly 5k run. Participants and visitors received toilet leak-detection dye tablets and information about fixing leaks around the home.
  • WasteWater Education in Benzonia, Michigan, held a "virtual" Golden Plunger Relay RaceExit EPA Disclaimer on Twitter. Users formed Twitter "teams" competing to see which online group could achieve the highest number of retweets, or the greatest Twittersphere distance covered, for a prize. The Twitter user posting the most original screenshot of where a Golden Plunger was sighted also won a prize. The inaugural winnersExit EPA Disclaimer were AMWUA's "Fix a Leak Week Arizona" campaign and the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington.

The EPA WaterSense Facebook mapExit EPA Disclaimer tracked these events and more. Learn ways you can continue to chase leaks year-round by checking out tips for finding and fixing leaks inside and out.

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Two–Time WaterSense Partners of the Year Continue Fostering Collaboration

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The Home Depot reminded Times Square visitors to look for the WaterSense label at its Earth Day Celebration in 2012.

WaterSense manufacturer partner Delta Faucet Company and WaterSense retail partner The Home Depot each earned their second WaterSense Partner of the Year award in 2013 for working with other partners to promote WaterSense. The two even collaborated with each other on The Home Depot's 2012 Earth Day Celebration in New York City to demonstrate the benefits of WaterSense labeled products. Delta provided WaterSense labeled faucets in the event's model home for the second year in a row, while The Home Depot featured WaterSense labeled toilets and faucets at their booth and displayed the WaterSense logo on two large, digital signs overlooking Times Square.

"We know that educating consumers about the importance of water conservation and reducing water use across the country is a very big job that no one group or organization can accomplish alone," Delta Faucet Company President Paul Patton said.

In addition to their Earth Day collaboration, the two developed an exclusive line of WaterSense labeled Delta products at Home Depot stores, including toilets, bathroom sink faucets, and showerheads.

"Through the sale of over 12 million WaterSense labeled products in stores and online, The Home Depot helped customers save 35.5 billion gallons of water and over $259 million in water utility costs in 2012 alone," The Home Depot Vice President of Environmental Innovation Ron Jarvis said.

In addition to collaborating with The Home Depot, Delta launched a coast-to-coast campaign with a variety of WaterSense partners and stakeholders in celebration of Fix a Leak Week 2012. In just one week, Delta installed WaterSense labeled plumbing fixtures in 1,900 housing units in nine cities across the country, resulting in more than 7 million gallons in estimated annual water savings.

"We hoped to establish a precedent through the Fix a Leak Week tour that would benefit communities now and for generations to come," Patton said.

In support of WaterSense's Shower Better campaign, Delta teamed up with WaterSense partners Moen Incorporated and Lowe's Companies, Inc. to provide 10 percent discounts to customers purchasing Delta's then newly released WaterSense labeled showerhead models. The Home Depot also worked with manufacturers and local utilities to establish WaterSense labeled product rebates that helped customers benefit from more than $33 million in product markdowns. The increased number of product incentives contributed to a 7 percent sales increase in The Home Depot's WaterSense labeled products in 2012—double the company average compared to previous years!

Learn how Delta Faucet Company, The Home Depot, and other WaterSense Partners of the Year have helped consumers save water with WaterSense labeled products.

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Niagara Conservation Corp. Helps Consumers Finance Water Savings

Niagara Conservation Corp.'s commitment to water efficiency is evident in its employee education, partner collaboration, and social media efforts. The Texas-based manufacturer earned a 2013 Small Manufacturer Partner of the Year award in part for helping to develop a residential direct install program that offers water- and energy-efficient products that help consumers conserve water without sacrificing performance.

Niagara collaborated with utilities and trade partners such as Green Plumbers USA to create Niagara Green CityExit EPA Disclaimer. With no upfront costs, residents in participating cities can have water-efficient fixtures—including a WaterSense labeled toilet, showerhead, and faucet aerators—installed by certified Green Plumbers through this voluntary turnkey program. The cost of the fixtures and installation are paid with a small monthly fee on the customer's utility bill through the Niagara Smart Pay™ financing system. Each month, the cost savings achieved by these water-efficient fixtures are more than the monthly fee.

"As our goals are so aligned with those of WaterSense—particularly to promote water efficiency and to encourage innovation in manufacturing—we believe it is critical that our employees be knowledgeable about WaterSense and the value this partnership offers us and our customers." Niagara Conservation Corp. President Bill Cutler said.

Niagara employs a stringent training program that requires all marketing staff to become familiar with the WaterSense program and adhere to the WaterSense program mark guidelines. Their training efforts ensure consistent labeling practices.

"The WaterSense label not only helps end users identify products that save water and perform well, but also underscores to our distribution partners that they are getting the highest quality water conservation products available," Cutler said. Niagara is also working with WaterSense retail partners The Home Depot, Lowe's, HD Supply, and ACE Hardware Corp.

In addition to its partner collaborations, the company implemented online and social media strategies to promote Fix a Leak Week with a "Finding Flo" scavenger hunt. The children's activity raised awareness about wasting water while encouraging visitors to find the WaterSense spokesgallon.

Learn more about Niagara Conservation Corp. and its efforts to promote WaterSense.

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