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Water: Water Efficiency Leaders Award

Water Efficiency Leader Awards

EPA would like to thank all of the organizations and individuals that applied in 2008. While we were only able to recognize a select few, we were pleased to see such a strong field of applicants who are setting a high standard for water efficient business practices.

2008 was the third year of awards. Recognition was awarded in five categories in 2008: Water Utility, Corporate/Industry, Individual, Nongovernmental Organization, and Government.

2008 Press Release

Water Utility
Pinellas County Utilities (Clearwater, FL) - Pinellas County Utilities provides water, wastewater, and solid waste services for the most densely populated county in Florida, Pinellas County. Pinellas County has become one of the most water efficient per capita at 89 gallons per person per day (gpd), versus the national average of 134 gpd. Since 1991, including the past five years for which this award is given, per capita efficiency has improved over 40 percent. Water efficiency is an integral part of daily operations including noted programs such as C.H.A.M.P., Conservation Hotel and Motel Program; Commercial-Industrial Water Use Program; Ultra Low Flow Toilet Program; Alternate Water Sources Rebate Program focused on irrigation. Together with other programs the comprehensive approach includes reclaimed water and water efficiency, includes all sectors of the local economy, and utilizes education and outreach as well as rebates and technical assistance.

Acequia (Austin, TX) – Acequia specializes in landscape irrigation for commercial real estate. Realizing the difficulties of sustaining water savings across a large portfolio of properties, Acequia’s self-challenge was a 20 percent reduction in client’s irrigation water use across a portfolio of properties, sustained at least five years. That goal was exceeded with a 54 percent sustained average reduction over nearly 70 properties beginning in 2002. Acequia is recognized for establishment of a measured baseline for every property, in which that same data become integral to the overall management process as well as documentation of water savings. Successful management of a wide range of information, over a wide range of best management practices, across a large portfolio of properties serves as demonstration of the potentials nationally, using a management process able to deliver water savings year after year.

PepsiCo (Purchase, NY) – PepsiCo is recognized for cumulative and on-going accomplishments across many of its name brand names such as Tropicana, Gatorade, Quaker, Frito-Lay (a 2007 Water Efficiency Leader winner), and Pepsi-Cola North America. PepsiCo is on target to reduce water consumption per unit of production by 20 percent by 2015. US projects add up to 800 million gallons of water saved, 2 billion gallon internationally. PepsiCo’s activities are expansive including water re-use through on-site wastewater/process water reclamation; water efficiency through process optimization and process alteration; modifying maintenance tasks; procuring key materials that are delivered more water efficiently; top down corporate commitment with bottom up reporting; and growing a corporate knowledge base able to be shared across all brands.

Commissioner Robert J. Hunter (Atlanta, GA) – The City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management, Commissioner Robert J. Hunter is awarded the 2008 Water Efficiency Leader award for leadership during the 2007-2008 droughts. When the state initially declared Level 2 drought, the City of Atlanta proactively moved to Level 3 restrictions, in which the state later declared Level 4 drought. Under Commissioner Hunter’s leadership and encouragement the City Council doubled the rate on irrigation water, and the City limited landscape exceptions and eliminated exceptions for newly installed sod. Enforcement was also increased. Commissioner Hunter also invited Atlanta’s 50 largest water customers to join and learn about water saving options, in which all 50 cut their water consumption up to 45 percent. Other solutions including irrigating trees using water to flush fire hydrants in partnership with Trees Atlanta (a non-profit), high efficiency toilet rebate programs, and training area plumbers on water saving devices will extent the short-term water reductions into long-term reductions.

Nongovernmental Organization
Homewise, Inc (Santa Fe, NM) – Homewise helps working New Mexicans become successful homeowners. In 2005 Homewise initiated its Watersmart Progam, which as of May 2008 had helped 595 households reduce water use by an estimated 64%. Water efficiency includes major appliances, bathroom fixtures, water catchment and irrigation, rain barrels, and water leak repairs. Homewise provides homeowners with high volume product discounts, consumer information, product ordering and installation assistance, and notably low interest loans by which the homeowners purchase water saving appliances and devices. As homeowners pay off their loan, the funds are used for other homeowner loans. Homewise is recognized for smartly mixing consumer information, on-site homeowner installation assistance, marketing, and consumer lending into a unified program that addresses all sources of homeowner water consumption.

Orange County Water District (Orange County, CA) - Orange County Water District is recognized for success, and in fact world leadership, in wastewater purification for groundwater replenishment. Recognition is given for technical success but especially for the decade plus effort to educate the public from day one. The payoff for Southern California is a drought proof supply of safe water with capacity up to 500,000 people, half the energy otherwise used to pump water from Northern California (enough energy saved to power 21,000 homes), an underground seawall barrier that protects the public’s water supply from seawater contamination, and a pathway to ensuring future economic development. The triple purification process of microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet and hydrogen peroxide treatment produces water able to meet, and in some cases, exceed state and federal drinking water standards.

2006 list of winners
2007 list of winners


Bob Rose
Water Policy Staff
1200 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Mail Code 4101M
Washington, D.C. 20460

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