The first WaterSense-labelled production community in the country is KB Home's Springwood neighborhood near Sacramento, Calif.
The first WaterSense-labelled production community in the country is KB Home's Springwood neighborhood near Sacramento, Calif.

Manufacturers Kohler and American Standard and production home builder KB Home are among the winners of the EPA’s 2012 WaterSense Partners of the Year for their work in increasing water efficiency and awareness of the WaterSense label across the country.

The winning companies, announced on Oct. 4, include:

• American Standard Brands earned a Manufacturer Partner of the Year Award for developing a WaterSense-labeled toilet model that can be installed without tools. This Saver toilet is designed to be installed with simple hand tightening; everything needed to install it comes right in the box. American Standard also toured the country with a display that demonstrates WaterSense-labeled faucets, toilets, and showerheads.
• Kohler Co., now a three-time WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year, introduced its most water-efficient dual-flush toilet in 2011. Kohler also more than doubled its WaterSense-labeled showerhead offerings last year and supported the "Wasting Water Is Weird" consumer education campaign.
• Lowe's Companies Inc. became a three-time WaterSense Retailer Partner of the Year by supporting the "Wasting Water Is Weird" campaign and training its sales associates with messages about WaterSense labeled products in order to help customers save about four billion gallons of water in 2011.
• Colorado Springs Utilities was named the WaterSense Promotional Partner of the year for helping a local builder create the first WaterSense labeled home in Colorado. The utility also encouraged commercial kitchens in the area to try high-efficiency sprayers that helped save more than 20 million gallons of water.
• KB Home, now a two-time WaterSense Builder Partner of the Year, built nearly 100 WaterSense-labeled homes in 2011 and pushed the limits of sustainable building with a concept home designed to achieve net-zero energy use and the highest levels of water and other resource efficiency.

WaterSense also honored the following Excellence Award winners: Arizona Municipal Water Users Association and New Mexico Office of the State Engineer for innovative Fix a Leak Week activities, American Water for outstanding education and outreach, Alliance for Water Efficiency for effective strategic collaboration, and The Home Depot for achievements in employee education.


‘Wasting Water is Weird’

Kohler Co. recently teamed with Lowe’s, Bosch Home Appliances, Procter & Gamble, the Shelton Group PR agency, and WaterSense to launch a public service announcement campaign called “Wasting Water Is Weird.”

The central campaign figure, “Rip the Drip,” showed up in consumers' homes when they wasted water to remind them just how weird it is to use more water than needed. The humorous campaign was splashed across a number of media platforms, including video PSAs for broadcast outlets, a website, social media, and outdoor and online advertising. Its light approach to a serious subject garnered 432 million views and was part of the reason why Kohler was again honored as a WaterSense Partner of the Year.