Training landscapers in water efficiency, using “edutainers” to teach water conservation tips to children and encouraging consumers to buy WaterSense products are among the strategies states are using to head off – or at least, minimize - water shortages expected in the years ahead.
“Forty states anticipate experiencing fresh water shortages in certain regions within their borders over the next decade,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
The EPA recently recognized the water conservation efforts in a number of states, especially in the promotion of the WaterSense program, which has helped Americans save more than 3.4 trillion gallons of water and $84.2 billion on utility bills since 2006.
In California, the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership (SMSWP) was awarded a Sustained Excellence Award for its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) certification program. More than 2,000 landscapers have gone through the program, which helps property owners reduce their outdoor water use.”
KB Home received its fifth Sustained Excellence Award for building 134 homes that earned the WaterSense label in 2018 and installing WaterSense labeled faucets, showerheads, and toilets in more than 11,000 new homes in 2018.
The Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District hosted nine workshops covering efficient landscaping, smart outdoor water use, and leak detection and repair, including Fix a Leak Week workshops in both English and Mandarin.
KB Home built 134 homes that earned the WaterSense label and also installed WaterSense labeled faucets, showerheads, and toilets in more than 11,000 other homes it built in 2018 in 2018.
In Georgia, the Cobb County Water System was lauded for making the WaterSense program an essential component of its water efficiency efforts. “This important program makes it easy for our customers to identify and purchase water saving products,” said Cobb County Water System Director Steve McCullers. “The WaterSense label ensures the product are both efficient and high performing.”
The Athens-Clarke County (Ga.) Public Utilities Department enlisted an “edutainer” to teach water conservation tips to children and used educational activities to promote water conservation at the annual Athens Water Festival.
The Cobb County Water System created a new short video series inspired by famous movies and pop culture to promote WaterSense labeled products. The county provided over 1,500 WaterSense labeled toilet rebates and other free WaterSense labeled products.
The Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District’ My Drop Counts campaign includes a “Society of Intentionally Dry Lawns” and a pledge for building owners and tenants to reduce water waste. Twelve businesses took the pledge in 2018.
In Virginia, the City of Charlottesville rebated WaterSense labeled toilets and provided University of Virginia student apartments with WaterSense labeled showerheads and faucet aerators, which will help save an estimated 60 million gallons of water annually.
In New Jersey, American Standard, part of LIXIL, took displays of its WaterSense labeled products on the road with a “Beauty in Motion Tour” that made 101 stops and increased consumer exposure by 91% in 2018.
In Florida, Florida Citrus County Utilities offers a “Schedule a Specialist” customer service assistance program, which has helped save participants more than 19 million gallons of water.