2021 Partner of
Year Awards
Partners Made It Possible

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WaterSense and its more than 2,000 utility, manufacturer, retail, builder, and other
organizational partners promote water-efficient products, homes, and programs to
consumers and businesses across the country. Over the past 15 years, WaterSense
partners have helped Americans save more than 5.3 trillion gallons of water. The U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pleased to recognize 12 Partners of the Year
in particular for making water savings possible in 2020, despite the challenges posed
by the COVID-19 pandemic.
City of Durham Water Management
After winning several Excellence Awards in previous years, the City of
Durham (North Carolina) Water Management department earned its first
Partner of the Year Award thanks to its creativity during COVID-19. During
Fix a Leak Week 2020, for example, the City built on the popularity of the
Stranger Things television series and made "Leaky Things" parody videos featuring the Wayne Drop character.
Prior to that and before restrictions were imposed, Durham Water Management held its popular social media
contest, "Where's Wayne Wednesday," during which followers were asked to guess the location of mascot Wayne
Drop for a chance at free WaterSense labeled showerheads and faucet aerators.
Prior to the pandemic, Durham Water Management was able to participate in
six public outreach events, reaching more than 250 people. Once restrictions
started, the City quickly pivoted, offering four virtual educational events,
including two teacher workshops and school science club presentations.
They shared the lessons they learned from these efforts during a WaterSense
roundtable on how partners pivoted for the pandemic. In August 2020, Durham
participated in the Wyland National Mayor's Challenge for Water Conservation
and engaged more than 1,800 consumers through Twitter and Facebook posts.
Durham Water Management's toilet rebate program incentivized customers
to purchase nearly 900 toilets in 2020! In January, Durham encouraged	"Leaky Things" parody video,
the local ABC-TV affiliate to run a story about its WaterSense toilet rebate
program highlighting the savings that WaterSense toilets can achieve. The department continued to work with
Waste Reduction Partners to offer water auditing services to larger non-residential customers throughout the
year. Durham focused its efforts on hotels, and Waste Reduction Partners was able to qualify two hotels for
WaterSense labeled toilet rebates through this program. The City also completed 75 residential and commercial
water use assessments before the pandemic, and in the process, provided 85 WaterSense labeled showerheads
and 94 aerators to customers, in lieu of in-person water use assessments, nearly 60 phone consultations were
completed during the remainder of 2020.
PHONE (866) WTR-SENS (987-7367) WEBSITE www.epa.gov/watersense EMAIL vratersense@epa.gov
EPA-832-F-21 -035
October 2021

2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Winners
The Regional Water Authority (California) won its first Partner of the Year Award,
thanks to its commitment to water-saving outreach and education. The Authority's
Water Efficiency Program serves 19 water providers across the Sacramento
region, and in 2020 the program helped those entities promote WaterSense's
monthly themes for Fix a Leak Week, water-smart landscaping, Sprinkler Spruce-
Up, and saving water at home. To make it easier for local agencies to incorporate
WaterSense into their outreach efforts, the Authority created an online shareable library of customized
WaterSense tools, including campaign materials and social media posts.
The Authority found several creative ways to engage residents during the pandemic. Through the Water Spots
Video contest, local middle and high school students created public service announcements (PSAs) with a
water efficiency theme. The contest received 90 video submissions, and the winning PSA was played during the
"coming attractions" on six different movie theater screens viewed by over 140,000 people! To reach a younger
audience, the Regional Water Authority funds several exhibits, which include examples of WaterSense labeled
products and promote water efficiency, in Sacramento's new Museum of Science and Curiosity.
The Regional Water Authority partnered with WaterSense manufacturer partner Rachio in 2020 to offer a rebate
for Rachio's WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers. The Authority also worked with a research firm to conduct
two focus groups with residential water customers to explore attitudes, benefits, and barriers to finding and fixing
household leaks, which helped the Authority refine its materials for 2020.
Big Bear Lake Department of Water and Power
The City of Big Bear Lake (California) Department of Water and Power had another big
year in saving water, earning its second WaterSense Partner of the Year Award. The
department participated in many WaterSense campaigns, from Fix a Leak Week to
Sprinkler Spruce-Up and Your Better Bathroom to WaterSense "bath hacks." Promotion
for these campaigns included press releases and radio and print ads reaching
more than 11,000 customers. In addition to WaterSense campaigns, Big Bear Lake
promoted Smart Irrigation Month, California Native Plant Week, World Toilet Day, Water
Professionals Awareness Week, Groundwater Awareness Week, and World Water Day.
In 2020, Big Bear Lake expanded its rebate program that includes incentives for WaterSense labeled toilets,
irrigation controllers, and spray sprinkler bodies. They implemented an expanded WaterSense outdoor product
rebate program, collecting proof of installation through photos via email rather than through in-person surveys,
due to pandemic restrictions. Customers could receive $100 per WaterSense labeled smart irrigation controller
installed and up to $2 per spray sprinkler body replaced with a WaterSense labeled model. The department also
has two rebate options for toilets, offering individual incentives up to $100. Additionally, Big Bear Lake gave away
hundreds of WaterSense labeled aerators and showerheads to residents throughout the year.
To promote the value of water among children, Big Bear Lake conducted an Imagine a Day Wthout Water art
contest for local students to win prizes with their illustrations. To further engage and educate children, Big Bear
Lake distributed WaterSmart conservation kits to local fifth grade students with WaterSense labeled showerheads
and faucet aerators. Much of Big Bear Lake's promotion was done via its social media channels, with more than
30 social posts featuring WaterSense reaching more than 2,000 people, along with eight radio ads that ran more
than 200 times.
Irvine Ranch Water District
Irvine Ranch Water District (IRWD) pushed through the challenges of 2020 to win its second
WaterSense Partner of the Year Award. To kick off Fix a Leak Week, the California-based
District hosted a Don't Spring a Leak virtual workshop for 60 attendees. More than 300
customers participated in the District's Fix a Leak Sweepstakes by submitting photos of
themselves repairing leaks, or by completing online training and a quiz. IRWD promoted and
Regional Water Authority
Regional Water Authority
Service, Quality,Community
Irvine Ranch

2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Winners
provided rebate funding for WaterSense labeled products, which resulted in issuing rebates for 32 toilets and over
800 weather-based irrigation controllers in 2020.
To promote outdoor water savings, IRWD hosted a Sprinkler Spruce-Up webinar to educate customers about
irrigation maintenance and a Control Your Controller virtual workshop to teach customers the basics of sprinkler
timers and control techniques. Additionally, IRWD held nine RightScape workshops on climate-appropriate
landscaping for more than 700 participants. The District's humorous "Evolve Your Yard" campaign, featuring the
antics of a clumsy Tyrannosaurus Rex, was promoted through social media, theaters, and local newspapers for
more than four million impressions. Throughout the year, IRWD's Juan Garcia, a certified irrigation professional,
continued his "Ask Juan" newsletter column.
The District's Home Water Check-Up and Commercial, Industrial
and Institutional Site Evaluation programs completed more than
175 in-person leak-check visits and tele-visits in 2020. During the
pandemic, IRWD staff modified WaterSense's Landscape Checklist to
help customers conduct their own irrigation audits while at home and
offered help via phone calls and video conferencing. In partnership
with Southern California Edison, SoCalGas, and Rachio, IRWD also
offered a residential direct installation program for WaterSense labeled
weather-based irrigation controllers. IRWD's WaterStar Business
Recognition Program acknowledged two local companies in 2020 and
distributed showerheads and faucet aerators at no cost to qualifying
organizations, along with a $300 rebate on WaterSense labeled toilets.
IRWD Fix a Leak Week workshop.
Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District
The Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District took their water conservation
partnerships to new heights in 2020—and took home their second WaterSense
Partner of the Year Award in a row. Before COVID-19 restrictions were in place,
Northern Water Northern Water offered three classes for the community in partnership with the
Irrigation Association: Drip Design, Installation, and Maintenance; Alternative
Water Source and Supply; and a class to become a Certified Landscape Irrigation Auditor. Eighty people
participated in these classes. Northern Colorado Water also partnered with the Sonoran Institute and others
to host Growing Water Smart workshops, which were conducted virtually for 60 attendees. These workshops
covered how water efficiency can be factored into planning for new development needed to respond to intense
growth in the region and thus reduce pressure on local water supplies.
To help encourage outdoor water savings, Northern Water awarded 13 grants in 2020 to homeowners
associations, municipalities, businesses, and districts for water-efficient landscaping projects amounting to
$145,000. WaterSense labeled irrigation products were required in order to qualify for project funding. As a result
of these projects, an estimated 500,000 gallons of water will be saved annually. To further promote outdoor water
savings, Northern Water promoted Sprinkler Spruce-Up by sharing information on the WaterSense Find a Pro tool
and promoted the EPA Water Budget Tool on social media.
Northern Water contracted with Resource Central, a
non-profit efficiency organization, to provide irrigation
auditing on commercial landscapes and in local
homeowners associations' common areas. Auditors
performed 34 onsite consultations in 2020, during
which they promoted WaterSense labeled products.
WaterSense was also featured on Northern Colorado's
blog and instagram account by describing ways
to reduce indoor water use with labeled products.
Northern Water even created a video promoting
its partnership with WaterSense, along with its
WaterSense award and fellow award winners.
"Northern Water is elated to be included in the
esteemed company of WaterSense award winners.
WaterSense is foundational to the success of
conservation and efficiency, and we are proud
to incorporate it into our programs. Water users,
stakeholders, and the environment all benefit
from the collaborative approach, and we value its
continued evolution and partnership."
—Frank Kinder, Water Efficiency Program Manager

2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Winners
City of Sacramento Department of Utilities
City of
Department of Utilities
The City of Sacramento (California) Department of Utilities was on a roll in 2020,
winning first place in the Wyland National Mayor's Water Conservation Challenge
for their size and earning their second WaterSense Partner of the Year Award in a
row. The City participated in many WaterSense campaigns, including Fix a Leak
Week, Shower Better, Your Better Bathroom, and Sprinkler Spruce-Up. The City's
Leak-Free Sacramento program continued to assist customers in disadvantaged communities and low-income
areas throughout the year, helping 27 homeowners with repairs while observing pandemic restrictions, which
meant conducting leak detection over the phone and focusing on outdoor issues. The program also repaired six
water mains and replaced an additional eight. The Leak-Free Sacramento program alone saved the City nearly
25 million gallons of water per year. Projects involved leak repairs ranging from 4.1 gallons per hour (gph) to 865
gph, and the average leak repair project was 104 gph.
To further help those in disadvantaged communities save water, the Department of Utilities Water Conservation
Office provided 184 free WaterSense labeled MaP Premium high-efficiency toilets and paid for the labor to install
them in multifamily properties as part of its new RE-DO the LOO program. The City sent more than 7,000 letters
to the top single-family water users, encouraging them to participate in a virtual Water Wise House Call, and
helped 484 customers. The City also sent over 21,000 automatic leak notification letters and conducted more
than 2,900 free leak investigations. Promoting incentives throughout the year, the City worked with its local
electric utility to offer instant rebates online for WaterSense labeled smart irrigation controllers, showerheads,
and aerators. In 2020, 873 smart irrigation controllers, 579 showerheads, 338 aerators, and 31 combo kits were
mailed to city customers between March and December. The City's turf conversion rebate had record-breaking
participation in 2020, helping customers transform 178,000 square feet of drought-tolerant landscape.
Because of the pandemic restrictions, the City pivoted and started offering webinars instead of in-person
workshops. The City held six webinars in lieu of in-person workshops and classes: "Break up with Your Lawn: the
Basics to Create a Thriving Landscape" in May; "Smart Irrigation for Trees" in June; "Get Water Smart: Irrigation
Upgrade" in July; the "Ins and Outs of Home Water Use" in September; and a tree pruning webinar in November.
In addition, they promoted Imagine a Day Without Water with one full day of webinars and drop-shipped 300 rain
barrels to customers. The City had over 1,300 people attend its webinars live and over 4,000 later watched the
Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
The Upper San Gabriel Valley (California) Municipal Water District has once
again earned a WaterSense Partner of the Year Award for its continued water
conservation work, even as it pivoted its outreach in response to pandemic
restrictions. The Upper District participated in and promoted WaterSense
campaigns including Fix a Leak Week, Shower Better, Sprinkler Spruce-Up, Save
Water at Home, We're for Water, and Find an irrigation Pro. It also produced a
promotional video for residents and businesses, "What is WaterSense," in English,
Spanish, and Mandarin.
The Upper District pivoted its Conserve-a-palooza
event into a five-week virtual campaign to celebrate its
60th anniversary during the pandemic. The campaign
featured weekly water efficiency quizzes and raffles for
various prizes, including WaterSense labeled weather-
based irrigation controllers. Winners were announced
weekly and water-saving tips were shared during a
"Water Smart Minute" video on Upper District's website
and social media. The Upper District also conducted six
live landscape webinars for 150 participants; speakers
discussed WaterSense labeled products and how to find
an irrigation professional. To reach younger residents, the



"What is WaterSense" video.

2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Winners
Upper District sent emails to principals of over 250 schools encouraging students to be leak detectives for Fix a
Leak Week.
To further promote and incentivize water savings, the Upper District offered rebates for WaterSense labeled
toilets, urinals, and weather-based irrigation controllers. To help the WaterSense program and its partners reach a
broader audience with water-saving messages, the Upper District also provided EPA with Chinese translations of
several WaterSense campaign materials.
The Broward Water Partnership (BWP) of Florida won its fourth Partner of the
Year Award, due in part to its creative use of digital advertising technologies and
promotional partnerships. In 2020, the Partnership promoted several WaterSense
campaigns, including Fix a Leak Week, Your Better Bathroom, and Shower
Better. The partnership's outreach efforts during Fix a Leak Week reached over
16,000 people in the Broward County area. BWP provided graphics and brochures to its municipal partners so
they could promote WaterSense campaigns and water efficiency as well. The Partnership also created its own
unique campaigns, such as the Conservation Ambassadors—characters that
promote water conservation and WaterSense labeled products on social media
and in advertising.
To boost rebate numbers during the pandemic, BWP placed print and digital
advertisements for the water-efficient product rebates it offers, along with
television ads focused on WaterSense labeled toilets. The Partnership used
"geofencing" technology to advertise directly to smartphone users located
around local big-box stores Lowe's Home Improvement and The Home Depot.
BWP also used GIS technology to target condominium addresses and owners
from buildings constructed before 1994 that are eligible to receive rebates on
WaterSense labeled fixtures, and sent over 7,000 postcards to residents in these
target areas notifying residents of available rebates. In 2020, the Partnership
conducted a study to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affected water use in
Broward County that revealed new opportunities to increase outreach about
WaterSense labeled faucet aerators and showerheads, which many BWP
partners offer free of charge.
Even with the challenges presented by COVID-19, BWP was able to give several virtual presentations focused on
water conservation; during each presentation, attendees were encouraged to install WaterSense labeled products.
The Partnership also encouraged residents to save water at home through its Water Whiz Challenge, promoted
via digital and print advertisements, social media, and email blasts. More than 200 residents submitted actions
they took to protect water resources!
Broward Water Partnership
ConservationPays.com • 1-800-270-9794
Join the
Water Whiz

Each day you take steps to >
save water, reduce greenhouse
gas emissi ons and protect the

2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Winners
To help graduates promote their QWEL certification and their knowledge of WaterSense labeled products and
water-efficient irrigation techniques, the City of Aspen provided each graduate of its certified professional courses
with QWEL stickers that included the WaterSense label to put on their trucks or business windows. The City
also sent a quarterly newsletter to about 50 certified professionals that included information about upcoming
WaterSense webinars and any new program resources available to promote or improve their water-efficient
irrigation services. For the broader audience of Aspen's 7,500 residents and property owners (not to mention
its ever-expanding base of seasonal visitors), the City's webpage on Water Wise Landscaping has a section
dedicated to WaterSense and includes links to guides and webinars and case studies.
Throughout 2020, the City of Aspen continued to revise its Water Efficient Landscaping Standards, which require
all new and retrofitted landscapes to have WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers and third-party irrigation
audits by a professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program. The City also continued to provide trainings
to other water utilities in Colorado and provided resources and curriculum to those interested in offering their own
QWEL trainings.
Orbit Irrigation Products, Inc.
.	i	Orbit Irrigation Products has earned a WaterSense Partner of
} ~•nUVE' ^e Year Award as a result of its commitment to manufacturing
^—			and promoting WaterSense labeled spray sprinkler bodies and
controllers. WaterSense labeled spray sprinkler bodies joined the Orbit family of labeled products with 54 models
in 2020, and now 95 percent of the B-hyve controller models are WaterSense labeled.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Orbit associates visited The Home Depot and Lowe's Home Improvement
stores in key irrigation markets to demonstrate how its WaterSense labeled B-hyve smart irrigation controllers
work, highlighting their water-efficient programming and performance. Once COVID-19 restrictions were in
place, Orbit pivoted its promotion and shipped B-hyve displays to over 1,000 big-box retailers. More than half
of those displays showed a video about the B-hyve's water-efficient features, and Orbit provided tear pads for
retailers to promote available rebates for controllers. Recognizing 	
that irrigation professionals and products were still in high demand
during the pandemic, Orbit conducted quarterly virtual trainings
with professionals to encourage them to install WaterSense labeled
Orbit Irrigation Products also partnered with local utility districts to
conduct socially distant trainings for residents and water managers
to show how WaterSense labeled controllers work to ensure smart
watering. To help California communities that chose to enact the
state's Model Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance, Orbit also
helped prepare documents for contractors and consumers to specify
and purchase WaterSense labeled products.
"Partnering with WaterSense has
been extremely beneficial for the
Orbit B-hyve brand. As a company
that is focused on water conservation
through smart technology, the
partnership came naturally and helped
to amplify our shared goal of making
water conservation easier and more
accessible to all consumers."
—Brad Wardle, Director of Marketing
The Home Depot has won a WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year Award for its
commitment to offering and promoting WaterSense labeled products in stores. Wth 100
percent of their in-store assortment of toilets, bathroom faucets, and showerheads being
WaterSense labeled, customers who shop in one of their nearly 2,000 stores across the
United States are assured of water savings. In 2020, The Home Depot worked with over
450 utility partners to launch their utility rebate incentives tool in stores and online, making it
easy for customers to save both money and water when purchasing these products. The tool
The Home Depot

2021 WaterSense Partner of the Year Award Winners
tracked over 47 million impressions for rebate offerings on WaterSense labeled products, representing over $3.6
million in savings. Customers also received a total of $66 million in WaterSense labeled product markdowns!
To educate customers on options for bathroom fixtures, The Home Depot conducted its Bathroom Refresh
Workshop, featuring WaterSense labeled products, for over 10,000 participants in the beginning of 2020.
They successfully pivoted their in-person workshops to virtual offerings by livestreaming their Homeowner 101
workshop three times in 2020, which garnered over 62,000 views. Home Depot account representatives also
helped educate professional plumber and contractor customers. To educate employees, they provided web-based
training, pocket guides for associates, and a green team manual that helps identify products that have less impact
on the environment.
The Home Depot showed its dedication to water savings through various marketing and outreach activities in
2020, promoting WaterSense online, in stores, and during educational and sales events. These efforts garnered
533 billion impressions. The retailer placed 127 million print ads featuring WaterSense labeled products. On social
media, The Home Depot promoted Fix a Leak Week, celebrated Earth Day, and made a WaterSense Pinterest pin
that generated over 2.6 million impressions. They even continued a collaboration with the Georgia Aquarium with
a display highlighting WaterSense and water savings.
Fulton Homes
Fulton Homes
You 're Proud To Own, We're Proud To Build!
Fulton Homes won its second WaterSense Builder Partner of the Year Award.
In 2020, Fulton Homes designed nearly 800 homes to meet WaterSense
specifications, and over 300 of their homes earned the WaterSense label.
This far exceeded the company's initial goal to earn the label on 270 homes.
Fulton also set a goal to achieve 100 percent usage of WaterSense labeled products in homes it built last year,
and the company came close to achieving that goal.
Fulton Homes provided new employees training on WaterSense in 2020 and provided materials about
WaterSense to its plumbing contractors. They also coordinated with site foremen and verification providers to
ensure WaterSense specification requirements were followed. To
further promote WaterSense, Fulton put the program mark on all its
promotional materials and banners and mentioned the program in
articles. Kids who visit Fulton homes received stickers about water
As part of its commitment to sustainability, Fulton Homes
participates in other programs that promote healthy, comfortable,
and efficient homes. In 2020, the company became a Triple
Crown winner, earning ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year, Indoor
AirPLUS Leader, and a WaterSense Partner of the Year Award!
"Fulton Homes is thrilled to be
recognized for receiving their second
WaterSense Partner of the Year Award.
We look forward to implementing
WaterSense version 2.0 as water
conservation is extremely important,
particularly here in the desert."
—Doug Fulton, Chief Executive Officer
Learn More
WaterSense congratulates the 2021 Partners of the Year. For more information and to learn about all the
benefits of partnership, visit www.epa.gov/watersense.