The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized its first two WaterSense partners for Sustained Excellence, along with seven Partners of the Year and six Excellence Award winners. The winners were recognized at the WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference in Las Vegas, Nev., on Oct. 3, 2013.
Kohler Co., a three-time WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year and two-time Excellence Award winner, became a Sustained Excellence Award winner in 2013 by continuing to drive demand across the country for WaterSense labeled products, including demonstrating its labeled toilets on Earth Day 2012 in New York City's Times Square.
Lowe's Companies, Inc., a three-time WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year and 2011 Excellence Award winner, also became a 2013 Sustained Excellence Award winner. Lowe's increased its online inventory of WaterSense labeled products, offered bilingual information about those products and developed a smartphone application to help employees find labeled product rebates for customers.
Athens-Clarke County (Georgia) Public Utilities Department was named Promotional Partner of the Year for piloting a commercial program with restaurant owners promoting the benefits of WaterSense labeled products, as well as raising consumer awareness.
Delta Faucet Company received a Large Manufacturer Partner of the Year award for its 10-city Fix a Leak Week plumbing upgrade campaign that will help low-income residents save an estimated 7 million gallons of water per year from WaterSense labeled products.
Niagara Conservation Corp. earned the WaterSense Small Manufacturer Partner of the Year award in part for working with local utilities and plumbers to develop the Niagara Green City program to promote and distribute water- and energy-efficient products.
The Home Depot, now a two-time WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year, was recognized for its efforts to promote WaterSense in all of its U.S. stores and on its "Eco Options" website featuring WaterSense labeled products and water savings calculators.
KB Home, now a three-time WaterSense Builder Partner of the Year, broke new ground in 2012 with the construction of WaterSense labeled new homes, including its first ZeroHouse 2.0 model in the Washington, D.C., metro region, which also earned the WaterSense label.
The Irrigation Association received the first WaterSense Partner of Year Award for a professional certifying organization, for encouraging professionals to become certified through its WaterSense labeled programs, promoting WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers and helping EPA with plans to label soil moisture-based control technologies.
John Taylor, president of Taylor Irrigation Service, Inc., in Houston, Texas, received the WaterSense Irrigation Partner of the Year award for overhauling his company's business model in 2012 to focus on promoting water-efficient irrigation practices and helping to promote WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers.
The EPA also recognized six WaterSense Excellence Award winners this year for their outstanding contributions in specific program areas: City of Boulder (Colorado) Public Works/Utilities Department for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products; Colorado Springs (Colorado) Utilities for Excellence in Strategic Collaboration; the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and the Town of Sharon (Massachusetts) for Excellence in Education and Outreach; the Sonoma-Marin (California) Saving Water Partnership for Excellence in Promoting WaterSense and Water-Efficient Irrigation Practices; and Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver (Colorado) for Excellence in Construction of Affordable WaterSense Labeled New Homes.
To learn more about the WaterSense Partner of the Year Awards program, visit www.epa.gov