Smart Water Application Technologies, a committee of the Irrigation Association, Fairfax, Virginia, annually recognizes water providers that are committed to promoting outdoor water conservation by increasing engagement, education and partnerships with important stakeholders. SWAT recently announced the recipients of its 2020 awards. These awards were presented virtually and announced during the WaterSmart Innovations Webinar Series on Oct. 28.
Outstanding Industry Partnership Award
Colorado Springs Utilities is the recipient of the SWAT Outstanding Industry Partnership Award. This award recognizes a water provider that has successfully implemented a program focused on partnership building with landscape and irrigation professionals to promote outdoor water conservation.
The utilities’ trade allies program aims to transform the market to increase the purchase of efficient irrigation technologies throughout its service area through educational events, communication and rebate programs targeted to irrigation and landscape professionals.
“Colorado Springs Utilities’ trade allies program highlights the importance of investing in the partnerships between irrigation professionals and water utilities,” says IA Industry Development Director John Farner. “Congratulations to everyone involved in this program. This SWAT recognition is well deserved.”
Colorado Springs Utilities currently serves about 135,000 residential customers and 8,200 commercial customers, and it has a water service territory that covers 195 square miles. Each year, the utilities provides about 73,000 acre-feet of water to its customers, with an estimated 30% of that used in the landscape.
Outstanding Public Engagement Award
Sonoma Water is the recipient of the SWAT Outstanding Public Engagement Award. This award recognizes a water provider with a successful program focused on public engagement and education on smart, efficient irrigation technologies and practices.
The Garden Sense program provides interested customers with the tools and information to take their projects through to completion and reduce outdoor water demand from inefficient irrigation systems, high water use plants and poor landscaping practices.
“Sonoma Water, along with its partners, continues to show national leadership in setting the bar for engagement with its customers,” says Farner. “In an area continuing to be challenged by water use demands, drought and wildfire, the Garden Sense program is a prime example of how to effectively conserve water, while valuing the living landscape.”
The Garden Sense program is offered in partnership with the UC Master Gardener Program of Sonoma County. Sonoma County, which has a population of more than 500,000, covers a geographic area of 1,768 square miles.