WaterSense

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WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) program designed to encourage water efficiency in the United States through the use of a special label on consumer products. It was launched in June 2006.[1]

Background[edit]

WaterSense is a partnership program sponsored by EPA with the goal of protecting the future of the U.S. water supply. By promoting and enhancing the market for water efficient products and services, WaterSense makes every drop count by leveraging relationships with key utility, manufacturer and retail partners across the U.S.

WaterSense is not a regulatory program, but rather a voluntary program. EPA develops specifications for water efficient products through a public process. If a manufacturer makes a product that meets those specifications, the product is eligible for third-party testing to ensure the stated efficiency and performance criteria have been met. If the product passes the test, the manufacturer is rewarded with the right to put the WaterSense label on that product.[2]

WaterSense makes it easy for consumers to differentiate among products that use less water and reinforces that saving water is easy and often does not require a major lifestyle change.

Products[edit]

Toilets, bathroom sink faucets (and accessories), flushing urinals, single family new homes, showerheads and irrigation professionals who have undergone training by WaterSense-labeled certification programs are all products/services that are readily available to consumers.

Products that seek the WaterSense label must:

  • Achieve national water savings
  • Provide measurable results
  • Perform as well as or better than similar products in the same category
  • Be water-efficient, using at least 20 percent less water than EPA's fixture-specific water use baseline.[3]

Partners[edit]

To help get products on shelves and spread the word about WaterSense, EPA recruits partners in several different categories including:

  • Utilities, communities, state and local governments
  • Manufacturers
  • Retailers and distributors
  • Organizations that provide qualified certification programs
  • Certified professionals
  • Non-profit organizations and trade associations.

Partner responsibilities include:

  • Promoting WaterSense as well as water efficiency
  • Adhering to WaterSense partner logo guidelines
  • Providing annual data
  • Granting EPA rights to use partner name on the Agency website or alongside other program promotional efforts.

WaterSense also utilizes promotional partners who endorse and publicize the program among their constituents. Promotional partners include utilities, state and local governments, trade associations, and other non-governmental organizations. Landscape irrigation professionals who are certified by WaterSense-labeled certification programs can also become partners.[4]

Specifications[edit]

EPA’s first specification, released in January 2007, was written for WaterSense-labeled toilets. Final specifications have also been written for bathroom sink faucets, flushing urinals, new single family homes, showerheads and certification programs for irrigation professionals.[1]

The Agency issued revised draft specifications for landscape irrigation controllers in January 2011.[5]

Specifications for pre-rinse spray valves and water softeners are under development as of 2011.[6][7]

Awards[edit]

In 2008, the EPA initiated its WaterSense Partners of the Year award, designed to recognize organizations and individuals who did the most in the previous year to promote water efficiency and saving water.[8] The awards have four categories: promotional partner of the year; manufacturer partner of the year; retailer and distributor partner of the year; and, irrigation partner of the year. In 2010, the awards were expanded to include Excellence Awards, which recognize additional organizations and individuals whose WaterSense support stood out in one or more of the evaluation categories.[9] In 2013, WaterSense added an additional category to recognize partners for exemplary efforts with WaterSense initiatives called the Sustained Excellence Awards.


Year Award Organization
2013 Sustained Excellence Award Kohler Co.
2013 Sustained Excellence Award Lowe's Companies, Inc.
2013 Promotional Partner of the Year Athens-Clarke County Public Utilities Department
2013 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Delta Faucet Company
2013 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Niagara Conservation
2013 Retailer Partner of the Year The Home Depot
2013 Builder Partner of the Year KB Home
2013 Professional Certifying Organization Partner of the Year the Irrigation Association
2013 Irrigation Partner of the Year John Taylor
2013 Excellence Award for Promoting WaterSense Labeled Products City of Boulder Public Works/Utilities, Colorado
2013 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Colorado Springs Utilities, Colorado
2013 Excellence Award for Outreach and Education Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
2013 Excellence Award for Outreach and Education Town of Sharon, Massachusetts
2013 Excellence Award for Promotion Sonoma–Marin Water Saving Partnership, California
2013 Excellence Award for Construction of Affordable WaterSense Labeled New Homes Habitat For Humanity of Metro Denver, Colorado
2012 Promotional Partner of the Year Colorado Springs Utilities
2012 Manufacturer Partner of the Year American Standard Brands
2012 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Kohler Co.
2012 Retail/Distributor Partner of the Year Lowe's Companies, Inc.
2012 Builder Partner of the Year KB Home
2012 Excellence Award for Fix a Leak Week Activities Arizona Municipal Water Users Association (AMWUA)
2012 Excellence Award for Fix a Leak Week Activities New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (NMOSE)
2012 Excellence Award for Outreach and Education American Water
2012 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE)
2012 Excellence Award for Employee Education The Home Depot
2011 Promotional Partner of the Year Cobb County Water System
2011 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Delta Faucet Company
2011 Retail/Distributor Partner of the Year The Home Depot
2011 Irrigation Partner of the Year Christopher Curry
2011 Builder Partner of the Year KB Home
2011 Licensed Certification Provider Partner of the Year Energy Inspectors Corporation
2011 Excellence Award for WaterSense Labeled Product Promotions American Water
2011 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
2011 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Lowe's Companies, Inc.
2011 Excellence Award for Education and Outreach City of Dallas Water Utilities
2011 Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events Kohler Co.
2011 Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events Moen Incorporated
2011 Excellence Award for Participation and Collaboration in Promotional Events Niagara Conservation
2010 Retailer/Distributor Partner of the Year Lowe's Companies, Inc.
2010 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Moen Incorporated
2010 Promotional Partner of the Year Cascade Water Alliance
2010 Irrigation Partner of the Year Judy Benson
2010 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
2010 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Drains Plus, Inc.
2010 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Kohler Co.
2010 Excellence Award for Strategic Collaboration Robert Dobson
2010 Excellence Award for Labeled Products in the Marketplace Caroma
2010 Excellence Award for Demonstrated Results Bryan Condray
2009 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Kohler Co.
2009 Retailer/Distributor Partner of the Year Lowe's Companies, Inc.
2009 Promotional Partner of the Year Cobb County Water System
2009 Irrigation Partner of the Year Brian Vinchesi
2008 Promotional Partner of the Year The Saving Water Partnership
2008 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Kohler Co.
2008 Retailer/Distributor Partner of the Year Ferguson
2008 Irrigation Partner of the Year Timothy Malooly
2008 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Kohler Co.

References[edit]

External links[edit]