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Water Authority Wins National 2021 EPA WaterSense Excellence Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the San Diego County Water Authority with a 2021 WaterSense Excellence Award for advancing water efficiency through its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper, or QWEL, program. The Water Authority received one of 34 WaterSense awards last week at the national WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas.

EPA WaterSense-QWEL-Primary-Water Conservation

Water Authority Wins National 2021 EPA WaterSense Excellence Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the San Diego County Water Authority with a 2021 WaterSense Excellence Award for advancing water efficiency through its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper, or QWEL, program. The Water Authority received one of 34 WaterSense awards last week at the national WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Water Authority pivoted its QWEL courses to a virtual format. The Water Authority partnered with San Diego Gas & Electric to install nearly 4,000 WaterSense-labeled showerheads for county residents and helped reduce outdoor water waste by using its WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program to install more than 1,000 WaterSense-labeled irrigation controller stations, saving more than 6 million gallons of water.

“Working collaboratively with the EPA to increase water efficiency by training hundreds of landscape professionals each year makes a significant contribution to saving water, especially during dry times,” said Gary Croucher, Board chair of the San Diego County Water Authority. “The QWEL program is an effective education program for landscape professionals that provides the knowledge and skills needed to help our communities save water and keep landscapes healthy and beautiful.”

EPA WaterSense-QWEL-Excellence Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the San Diego County Water Authority with a 2021 WaterSense Excellence Award for advancing water efficiency through its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper, or QWEL, program.

As one of the first QWEL providers in Southern California, the Water Authority has helped to expand the program’s branded outreach and educational outcomes. Since the January 2016 launch of QWEL, more than 1,400 San Diego landscape professionals have participated, making the region’s program one of the largest in the nation. More than 800 landscape professionals have earned QWEL certificates in the San Diego region over the past six years by passing a rigorous national test.

Landscape water efficiency

The Water Authority promotes English and Spanish QWEL training in collaboration with trade associations, faith-based organizations, English-as-a-Second-Language programs, community colleges and Master Gardeners associations. Nearly all (99%) program participants surveyed said the class would help them better manage landscape water efficiency, and 98% rated the class good or excellent.

This is the third time the Water Authority has achieved the Excellence Award for the QWEL program, which is certified by EPA to significantly increase water management skills and knowledge among landscape professionals.

WaterSense works

WaterSense, a voluntary partnership program sponsored by EPA, is both a label for water-efficient products and homes and a resource for helping consumers learn ways to save water. Since the program started in 2006, WaterSense labeled products have helped consumers and businesses save 5.3 trillion gallons of water – enough water to supply all households in the United States with water for 200 days! In addition to water savings, WaterSense has helped reduce the amount of energy needed to heat, pump, and treat water by 603 billion kilowatt hours and save $108 billion in water and energy bills.

“In 2020, our WaterSense partners continued to make saving water possible by educating consumers and businesses about WaterSense and water-efficient behaviors,” said Veronica Blette, the WaterSense program manager. “Our award winners’ creative and committed approaches to water conservation helped consumers save water, energy, and money on their utility bills at a time when they needed it most.”

The San Diego regional QWEL program is made possible in part by grant funds from voter-approved Proposition 1 administered by the California Department of Water Resources.

For more information about WaterSense go to: :www.epa.gov/watersense.

For more about the Water Authority’s QWEL program, go to: https://qwel.watersmartsd.org/.

Water Authority Wins National 2021 EPA WaterSense Excellence Award

October 11, 2021 – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized the San Diego County Water Authority with a 2021 WaterSense Excellence Award for advancing water efficiency through its Qualified Water Efficient Landscaper, or QWEL, program. The Water Authority received one of 34 WaterSense awards last week at the national WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas.

Take Ten Minutes to Track Down Leaks During Fix-A-Leak Week 2020

Easily fixed water leaks in American households account for nearly one trillion gallons of water wasted annually. The average household leaks nearly 10,000 gallons of water every year. This would wash 300 loads of laundry and could cost you an additional 10% on your water bill.

Fix-A-Leak Week 2020 is March 16-22. It was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is supported by WaterSense partners across the U.S. and Canada, including the San Diego County Water Authority and many of its 24 member agencies.

If your cat is using the kitchen faucet as a water fountain, you might need to fix a leak during Fix-A-Leak Week 2020. Photo: Stratman2/Pixabay

Take Ten Minutes to Track Down Leaks During Fix-A-Leak Week 2020

Easily fixed water leaks in American households account for nearly one trillion gallons of water wasted annually. The average household leaks nearly 10,000 gallons of water every year. This would wash 300 loads of laundry and could cost you an additional 10% on your water bill.

Fix-A-Leak Week 2020 is March 16-22. It was created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is supported by WaterSense partners across the U.S. and Canada, including the San Diego County Water Authority and many of its 24 member agencies.

The Sweetwater Authority will join other water agencies in California, Texas, and Oregon for a Fix-A-Leak Week 2020 “Twitter Party” to help consumers virtually with tips on tracking down leaks and other ways to save water.

In 2019, “leak detectives” across the U.S. put their tools, checklists, and dye tablets to work in bathrooms, kitchens, at faucets and spigots around their homes and joined EPA in the annual Fix a Leak Week by donning their leak detective hats and grabbing their sleuthing gear to find and fix common household leaks. Leaks were detected and fixed in bathrooms – toilets, showerheads and faucets, outside at spigots and in many other locations.

It takes just 10 minutes to perform a quick search of your home for leaks. Many of the most common leaks are easy for anyone to fix such as worn-out toilet flappers, leaky showerheads, and dripping faucets. They require basic tools and hardware.

Here are a few handy tips for finding leaks:

  • Check your water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes at all, you probably have a leak.
  • Identify toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If any color shows up in the bowl after 10 minutes, you have a leak. Flush immediately after this to avoid staining the tank.
  • Turn on your shower and look for drips or stray sprays you can stop with tape.
  • Under sinks, check for pooling water under pipes. Look for rust around joints and edges caused by leaking water.
  • Check under your water heater tank for pooling water, rust, or other signs of leaks.
  • Check all spigots outside. Fixing a leak might be as simple as securing the hose connection, or replacing a worn-out washer.

Find more guides and videos you might find helpful in finding and fixing leaks on the EPA’s “Fix-A-Leak Week” website.

Water Authority Wins National 2019 WaterSense Excellence Award

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the San Diego County Water Authority with a 2019 WaterSense Excellence Award for advancing water efficiency through its Qualified Water Efficient Landscape program, known as QWEL. The Water Authority received one of 25 WaterSense awards at the national WaterSmart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas.