Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership Wins 2013 EPA WaterSense Excellence Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2013
CONTACT: Carrie Pollard
Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership Wins 2013 EPA WaterSense® Excellence Award
(Santa Rosa, CA) Today the Sonoma Marin Saving Water Partnership (Partnership) was recognized with a 2013 WaterSense Excellence award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for promoting water efficient irrigation practices through implementation of the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Program. The Partnership was honored for its groundbreaking regional approach towards cost-effective incentive and educational based water use efficiency programs.
The Partnership represents 10 water utilities in Sonoma and Marin counties, including the Cities of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Petaluma, Sonoma, Cotati; North Marin, Valley of the Moon and Marin Municipal Water Districts; Town of Windsor and Sonoma County Water Agency. The Partnership was formed to identify and recommend implementation of water-use efficiency projects and maximize the cost-effectiveness of water use efficiency programs in Sonoma and Marin Counties.
“The Partnership is a unique agreement among stakeholders who want a secure and affordable water supply,” said David Rabbitt, chairman of the Board of the Sonoma County Water Agency and the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “The Partnership, through its many water efficiency programs, educational seminars and outreach campaigns, provides information to our communities about the importance of conserving water and curbing water-wasting behaviors.”
The Partnership establishes common water use efficiency programs on a regional basis that are applicable across political and jurisdictional boundaries. The partnership has surpassed conservation goals set in 2009, showing that establishing regional programs may be a cost effective way to conserve more water than would otherwise have been saved on an agency-by-agency basis.
“Water use efficiency programs are critical as we strive to supply our communities with fresh water during California’s long, dry periods,” said Jake Mackenzie, Rohnert Park Councilman and chairman of the Water Advisory Committee. “Despite a hot summer, water use in the Sonoma-Marin region dropped this year in response to a call for water-use efficiency, indicating that the Partnership’s financial incentives for ratepayers and education-based outreach have been successful.”
The 2013 WaterSense Excellence Award from the EPA recognizes that the Partnership is distinguished for its innovative regional approach to water use efficiency programs and the reduction in per capita water use based on data from previous years. One of the most successful of these programs is the Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper Program (QWEL). From its early development, QWEL’s mission has been to educate landscape professionals and their customers on the benefits of sound landscape design, management, and irrigation practices. Since the QWEL program became WaterSense labeled in 2007, QWEL has issued over 700 certifications and is offered by 10 organizations throughout the US.
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 please visit www.savingwaterpartnership.org or contact Carrie Pollard at Carrie.Pollard@scwa.ca.gov.
The purpose of the Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership is to establish the financial obligation for the eight local water utilities, Marin Municipal Water District and Sonoma County Water Agency, identify and recommend implementation of water conservation projects and to maximize the cost-effective projects for the Partnership. Visit us online at www.savingwaterpartnership.org.