Improving Water Efficiency
The WEP was established with the idea that water providers could maximize resources and customer services through collaboration. Partnerships, outreach and advertising programs, awards and other accomplishments are outlined below.
- A dozen carwashes in the Sacramento region certified as Be Water Smart
- Sacramento River Cats
- Sacramento Bee: Water Spots Video Contest
- Project Wet: School Education Teacher Trainings
- University of California (UC) Extension: Annual Harvest Day
- EcoLandscape California: Green Gardner Training Program
- Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD): Rebates
- Save Our Water partner
- Alliance for Water Efficiency member
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) WaterSense partner
Outreach and Advertising
WEP has developed several award-winning outreach and advertising programs. Most of these have focused on helping customers reduce water use outdoors, where most household water use occurs. Often funded by grants, outreach programs typically include (as budget allows) advertising on television, radio, billboards and online (Facebook and Google), outreach to customers at regional community events, partnerships with local sports teams such as the Sacramento River Cats, local carwashes, home improvement stores and others, give-aways that encourage water efficiency and outreach to news media.
The campaign provides a consistent message on how to save water outdoors across the Sacramento region. In response to California’s historic drought, the campaign has expanded to include tips on saving water indoors. The program also implements school education projects like the Water Spots Video Contest for high school students to develop public service announcements (PSAs).
- 2015, Most Effective Social/New Media Category, Award of Distinction, California Association of Public Information Officials, “Show Us Your Drought Face!” Campaign.
- 2014, Honored with a 2014 Influence Award for Continuing Public Relations Programs by the Public Relations Society of America California Capital Chapter, Regional Water Authority Water Efficiency Program–Do the Sprinkler!
- 2013, Short-term Public Relations Campaign Category, Silver CAPPIE Award, Sacramento Public Relations Association, Water Spots: RWA Student Video Contest.
- 2012, Continuing Public Relations Program Category, Gold CAPPIE Award, Sacramento Public Relations Association, “Blue Thumb” Campaign.
- 2012, New Media—Blog Category, Silver CAPPIE Award, Sacramento Public Relations Association, “Blue Thumb” Blog.
- 2012, Overall Communications Program Category, Crystal Award, International Association of Business Communicators, “Blue Thumb” Campaign.
- 2012, Social Media Category, Crystal Award, International Association of Business Communicators, “Blue Thumb” Campaign.
- 2012, Campaigns/Programs: Marketing/Communications Category, Award of Distinction, California Association of Public Information Officials, “Blue Thumb” Campaign.
WEP allows water provider members to leverage their investments in water efficiency and take advantage of grant funding available. Since 2003, the WEP has secured nearly $6.2 million to date from highly competitive grant programs. Grant awards include:
- $16 million Prop 84 Implementation Grant (WEP project included)
- $9.7 million Prop 84 Drought Grant (WEP project included)
- $1.7 million Prop 84 Implementation Grant (WEP project included)
- $2.5 million USBR CalFed 2014 Interior Retrofit grant
- $300,000 2014 Water Energy Grant
- $1.9 million for drought assistance (Prop 50)
- $1.2 for large landscape improvements and upgrades (Prop 13)
- $1.1 million for toilet rebates (Prop 50)
- $395,000 for leak detection and repairs (Prop 13)
- $294,000 for weather-based controller rebates (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation CalFed)
- $1 million for large landscape improvements, irrigation efficiencies and direct installations (Prop 84)
- $20,000 CII Large Landscape Water Efficiency Pilot (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)
- $35,000 CII Data Collection (California Department of Water Resources)
- $15,000 for School Education (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)
- $1,113,401 SRCSD/RWA Water Conservation Program (SRCSD partnership)
- $37,000 for the expansion of the Green Gardener Training Program (EPA Climate Showcase Communities Grant)
- $300,000 for direct installations (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation/CalFed)