The awards program recognizes water providers that are committed to promoting outdoor water conservation by increasing engagement, education and partnerships with important stakeholders. Cities, counties and utilities involved in programs that promote outdoor water conservation are eligible to apply.
Two awards will be presented to winners of the program, including the Outstanding Industry Partnership Award, recognizing water providers with programs focused on building partnerships with landscape professionals, irrigation contractors and other professionals with irrigation responsibilities to promote outdoor water conservation and the Outstanding Public Engagement Award recognizing water providers with programs focused on engaging and educating residential or commercial end users on smart and efficient technologies, best practices and programs related to outdoor water conservation.
In 2022, the Outstanding Industry Partnership Award went to Inland Empire Utilities Agency, Chino, California, for its Residential Small Site Controller Upgrade Program.
“Through a collaborative effort between the Inland Empire Utilities Agency, its customer agencies and Conserv Construction Inc., the program focuses on the higher water use demographic within the small residential landscape sector,” according to the utility. “The program promotes an improved understanding of landscape irrigation control technologies while ensuring more efficient scheduling and operation of automated irrigation systems through required training class attendance, landscape evaluations and smart controller technology upgrades.”
The Outstanding Public Engagement Award went to Sonoma and Marin counties, California for its Water Smart Landscape Design Template Project and Sonoma-Marin Saving Water Partnership.
“The Water Smart Landscape Design Template project is a response to the devastating October 2017 wildfires in Sonoma and Napa counties (California),” according to the utility. “With more than 5,000 homes destroyed, the task of rebuilding in the aftermath presented challenges and opportunities for the community and its resources. The goal of the program is to assist the region in the rebuild process by streamlining the permit process while encouraging the installation of water efficient, climate appropriate and sustainable landscapes that comply with local Water Efficient Landscape Ordinance requirements in addition to incorporating low impact development practices and on-site water reuse.”
SWAT is a coalition of water purveyors, equipment manufacturers and irrigation practitioners with shared interests in the Smart Water Application Technologies, or SWAT, initiative in North America. Applications for the program are due July 14 and can be found here.