SCV Water has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a 2020 WaterSense Excellence Award winner for its Multifamily Apartment Program, which strives to improve water efficiency in multifamily housing.
“We’re honored to win our first WaterSense Excellence Award,” said Resource Conservation Manager Matt Dickens. “We’re so fortunate to have property management companies that were willing to partner with us in saving water in our valley.”
SCV Water is one of only 13 entities nationwide to receive the Excellence award. In total, 29 entities, which include utilities, manufacturers, builders and other organizations, were recognized by WaterSense in 2020, including eight WaterSense Partners of the Year, and eight Sustained Excellence Award winners.
“Since the program started in 2006, our WaterSense partners have made it possible for consumers and businesses to save more than 4.4 trillion gallons of water and $87 billion on utility bills,” said Veronica Blette, WaterSense program manager. “Our award winners in particular have gone above and beyond to make water, energy, and money savings easy for Americans.”
SCV Water’s Multifamily Apartment Program
SCV Water developed its Multifamily Apartment Program using the EPA’s Water Score for Multifamily Housing tool. The tool determines how efficiently a building uses water compared to similar properties nationwide. While an initial score is assessed, the focus is on efforts to increase the score by upgrading to water-saving devices such as toilets and showerheads and through irrigation efficiency improvements.
“We used the Water Score tool as an opportunity to start conversations, prioritize conservation potential and track performance,” said Dickens. “Based on the initial scores, we reached out to GHP Management, which is focused on sustainability and manages several regional complexes, to help them improve their water scores and work towards achieving their conservation goals.”
In 2019, GHP Management’s three multifamily complexes received water efficiency check-ups, which included the installation of 1,800 high-efficiency showerheads, 2,600 kitchen and bathroom aerators, and nearly 3,000 water-saving toilets, as well as many leak repairs. Each unit also received information on more water-saving WaterSense products, tips and smart practices for efficient water use.
“Our initial effort with just these three properties saved an estimated 55 million gallons of water in 2019,” said Dickens, “We’ve collected water use data for nearly 80% of the multifamily complexes in the valley and can’t wait to bring more of them on board to help save water and money for our customers.”