Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership Wins National Award by Barry Dugan Oct 8, 2018 Member Submitted News The Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnership (Partnership), a group of North Bay water utilities, has once again been recognized with national awards for its water-saving efforts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Partnership its second consecutive Sustained Excellence Award for continuing to improve its irrigation-professional training program by upgrading its curriculum and training materials. The Partnership also received a 2018 Excellence Award for its outreach efforts that included promoting the use of water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators for homes and businesses. The Partnership was awarded two of the 21 WaterSense awards that were handed out today at the WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas for helping Americans to save water, energy, and money. This is the fifth year in a row that the Partnership has received awards for its water efficiency efforts. The Partnership is a three-time WaterSense Partner of the Year award winner and this year earned a second Sustained Excellence Award. SMWSP is the parent organization for the WaterSense labeled Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper (QWEL) professional certification program, which has helped certify more than 2,000 individuals to date through 16 organizations that offer the QWEL program. “This award and the continued acknowledgement of the QWEL program is gratifying and speaks to the value of the Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnership and our partners’ willingness to collaborate with all sectors of the community,” said Windsor Town Councilmember Mark Millan, chair of the Partnership’s Water Advisory Committee. “The QWEL program continues to grow and thrive and we are very proud of the work we have accomplished in achieving greater water-use efficiency in both theory and practice.” The Partnership received its fourth Excellence Award this year for promoting WaterSense labelled faucets and aerators during 115 commercial water-use audits that were performed. In addition the Partnership offered free Water Smart Home Evaluations to more than 3,000 homes in 2017, and provided free WaterSense labelled shower heads and aerators. Since 2006, the Sonoma-Marin Water Saving Partnership and more than 1,900 other WaterSense partners have helped consumers save more than 2.7 trillion gallons of water, or more than the amount used by all U.S. households for nearly 100 days. In addition to water savings, WaterSense labeled products and homes have helped reduce the amount of energy needed to heat, pump, and treat water by 367 billion kilowatt hours—which is enough to power more than 34.1 million homes for a year—and save $63.8 billion in water and energy bills. “Through innovation and commitment, our partners are helping to transform the marketplace for water-efficient, high-performing products and homes,” said Veronica Blette, WaterSense program manager. “The WaterSense Sustained Excellence, Partner of the Year, and Excellence Award winners are leading the charge to save water, energy, and money for future generations.” The Partnership will continue to offer educational resources, programs and incentives to aid our communities in meeting water use efficiency requirements in the future. For more information about the Partnership, QWEL, or available water conservation rebate programs, please visit www.savingwaterpartnership.org or contact Carrie Pollard at Carrie.Pollard@scwa.ca.gov. For more information about WaterSense, visit www.epa.gov/watersense. The Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership represents 11 water utilities in Sonoma and Marin counties that have joined together to provide a regional approach to water-use efficiency. The utilities are the Cities of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, Cotati; North Marin, Valley of the Moon and Marin Municipal Water Districts, Town of Windsor, California American Water, and Sonoma Water (formerly Sonoma County Water Agency).